Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Brazilian Pianist Joao Carlos Martins


João Carlos Martins was on his way to becoming the greatest pianist of his generation. One critic said, "He has a tiny brain in each of his fingers." Best interpretation of Bach? The argument is still Gould versus Martins.

Martins lost the use of both his hands after a mugging, concussion, and a botched operation. If this was a particularly bitter pill to swallow, he never let on. Instead, Martins immediately turned to composing, conducting. Oh yes, and he taught himself to play Bach with what he had left -- three tiny brains instead of ten.

21 comments:

  1. Love Bach!
    But unfortunately there are many obstacles that get in the way of our greatness. Many which we didn't even know.

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  2. Good grief!
    Good heavens--thanks for this.

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  3. And so many of us whine about minor inconveniences.

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  4. That's special, all right. I hope I'd be such a guy in a similar situation, but . . . . Also, the botched operation interests me as much as the rest of the story. Is there an epidemic of that these days or am I just hearing about it by coincidence? Has anyone heard about this book "Brain on Fire"? A fatal brain disease (encephilitis??) is misdiagnosed as schizophrenia, even after referrals to the one doc who understands the difference. One victim, a female journalist, was on NPR this afternoon.

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  5. I think he represents genius as opposed to talent. If you have talent, you're good at something; if you have genius, you are that something.

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  6. I don't even know what to say. Brilliance seems to transcend all obstacles.

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  7. Beautifully said, AH

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  8. oh wow......inspiring and exactly what I needed to hear!!

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  9. Now that is a true artist. Brains, talent, the whole package. I can see why Bach was commissioned to compose for royalty. Absolutely lovely to hear, first thing in the morning.

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  10. What a remarkable soul. And his lyricism: glorious. You've hit the nail on the head with your comment about talent and genius, kb.

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  11. Yeah, overcoming adversity, make lemons into lemonade, but seriously, that sucks

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  12. I don't see it that way, PA. I don't pity him, not at all.

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  13. Wow, beautiful piece, inspiring story.

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  14. Wow, what a story! What wonderful music -- what a recovery!

    Oscar Peterson (jazz pianist) had a stroke in his older years and he lost the use of his left hand. But he brought it back by focusing on music that featured the left hand.

    Music is a healing force.

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  15. What Ana amazing story. Thanks for sharing.

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  16. Attitude. We hold that, at least, in our power.

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  17. Just great! I am glad you post that video of my fellow countryman (conterrâneo in Portuguese). He is very talented and an amazing example of overcoming difficulties.
    Thanks for sharing.

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  18. Again, Wow! He's inspiring, to say the least.

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