Lionel Kelly, 78, may have come late to the piano – he took it up at the age of 73 – but it’s changed his life. “I first heard Mahler performed in London in the mid-50s, when he became very popular over here,” he says. “I’m currently working on a piano transcription of the Adagietta from his Symphony No. 5. It’s a beautiful piece of music, slow and passionate, and was used in Luchino Visconti’s 1971 film of Thomas Mann’s novella, Death in Venice. To be able to play Mahler now, all these years later, is a real treat.”
Kelly, formerly director of American Studies at Reading University, practises up to four hours a day. He has lessons in Reading with Janet Sherbourne, whom he describes as “an excellent, if strict, teacher”, and is not taking grades. “Janet reckons I’m somewhere between grade four and five level, but I’m just doing it for pleasure, because I want to learn and play,” he says.
Bach, Beethoven and Mozart are among other composers tackled by Kelly…
Read the entire article at It’s Never Too Late to… Take Up Piano – Telegraph.