It’s Never Too Late to… Take Up Piano – Telegraph

Schubert took piano lessons aged six, but don't let that put you off

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.

February 19 ~ Today in Music History



. Luigi Boccherini, Italian composer
More information on Boccherini


. 1878 ~ Thomas Alva Edison, famed inventor, patented a music player at his laboratory in Menlo Park, NJ. This music device is the one we know as the phonograph. Edison paid his assistant $18 to make the device from a sketch Edison had drawn. Originally, Edison had set out to invent a telegraph repeater, but came up with the phonograph or, as he called it, the speaking machine.

. 1902 ~ John Bubbles (John William Sublett), An actor: Porgy and Bess (1935 Broadway version), films: Cabin in the Sky, Variety Show, A Song Is Born, No Maps on My Taps; dancer: credited with creating ‘rhythm tap’

. 1912 ~ Stan Kenton, American jazz pianist, composer and Grammy Award-winning bandleader

. 1927 ~ Robert Fuchs, Austrian composer and music teacher. As Professor of music theory at the Vienna Conservatory, Fuchs taught many notable composers, while he was himself a highly regarded composer in his lifetime.

. 1940 ~ “Smokey” Robinson, American rhythm-and-blues singer and songwriter

. 1942 ~ If there was ever such a thing as a jam session, surely, this one was it: Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra recorded I’ll Take Tallulah (Victor Records). Some other musical heavyweights were in the studio too, including Frank Sinatra, Jo Stafford and the Pied Pipers, Ziggy Elman and drummer extraordinaire, Buddy Rich.

. 1981 ~ George Harrison was ordered to pay ABKCO Music the sum of $587,000 for “subconscious plagiarism” between his song, My Sweet Lord and the Chiffons early 1960s hit, He’s So Fine.