Giving Thanks, Day 1: October 18, 2017

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This is from a series which is being posted at http://www.maryo.co/category/thankfulness/

Today, since it’s a “teaching day”, I’m thankful for my piano studio, my students, and my piano 🙂

When I was growing up, my dad was a minister, meaning we lived in whatever parsonage the church chose to let us live in.  The one we had in Pawcatuck, CT had an upright piano that someone had put out in the sunroom.  Not the best place for a piano, but I digress.

Since we had the piano already, someone – probably my mom – decided that I would take lessons.  We had the organist from the Baptist church just across the river in Westerly, RI

Apparently, Clara Pashley was fondly remembered at the church (now Central Baptist Church) since she was mentioned in an article from 2010.

 

screenshot-2016-11-04-10-04-33
25-centsMiss Pashley walked to our house each week and taught me (and my mom who was always listening in) piano for the grand sum of 25 cents.

I started with Ada Richter’s classic Teaching Little Fingers to Play, which has now been morphed into the John Thompson library.

From there, it was the Michael Aaron series, and some sheet music.

There was no music store in our town, so I have no idea where any of this music came from – but I still have it all.

My parents did very well for their quarter a week investment, especially since my mom paid good attention and was able to beef up lessons she’d had as a child.  Later on, she played well enough that she was church organist for a local Roman Catholic Church.

But I digress…

In those days, kids couldn’t do a whole lot of activities, so in 6th grade, I decided I wanted to be a Girl Scout.  Bye, bye Clara.

Girl Scouts didn’t last long but I did play piano in a talent show.  I remember, I carefully cut Burgmüller’s Ballade out of my Michael Aaron book and made a nice construction paper cover.  (I still have this, too)

balladeburgmuller

 

I doubt that I played this well but here’s what it was supposed to sound like:

 

A few years intervened and we moved to Springfield, MA.  The parsonage piano there was in terrible shape and in the dark, never-used basement.  But I decided to make it mine and cleared up the area around it and started “practicing”.

My Junior or Senior year of High School I decided I wanted to major in music in college.  I decided to learn, on my own, a piano arrangement of Aragonnaise by Jules Massenet.  I have no idea why or where that sheet music came from but I started working furiously on this piece.

aragonnaise

Hopefully, at some point, it should have sounded like this:

 

 

I started pedaling (no pun intended!) my music to the Universities of Connecticut and Massachusetts and ended up at UMass Amherst since we were state residents.

Early morning gym classes (usually swimming), then wet hair traipsing across campus to music theory in winter 5 days a week.  AARRGGH!

But I stuck it out.

My wonderful piano teacher, Howard Lebow, was killed in a car accident my sophomore year and I was devastated.  There will be more about him in a post on January 26, 2018 here on https://oconnormusicstudio.com

I took yet another break from piano lessons – but I kept playing.

After DH graduated, we moved to Milwaukee, WI for his graduate school.  Besides working 2 jobs, I found time to commandeer the practice rooms at the University of Wisconsin.  I also found a teacher at the Schaum School of Music.  She was amazed that I had no piano at home to practice on.

When we later moved to Alexandria, VA my DH gave me a choice of new car or piano. So, I found a used piano.  The owner had acquired it in a divorce and wanted it gone.  Yesterday.  She even paid to move it out of her apartment.

The new-to-me piano took up half our living room.  When my parents came to visit, their feet were under my piano as they slept on cots.

I found yet another new piano teacher and she is still my best friend to this day.

That piano moved to several locations before I bought a brand new Yamaha grand piano.  The movers accidentally brought in the wrong one and I made them return it.  The people who lived in an apartment were probably unhappy when they had to return my piano and take their own new baby grand back.

I started teaching as a traveling piano teacher in Silver Spring, Maryland.  I continued that in Wilmington, DE.

When we got to Fairfax, VA I decided no more traveling.  Students would come to me.  And so they have since 1973.

What is supposed to be our living room is filled with music books, electric keyboards, the grand piano, 2 organs, 2 violins, 2 clarinets, a hand-made (by me!) dulcimer and other musical “stuff”.

Piano playing has gotten me through the worst times of my life.  Teaching has been a lifeline for me, as well.

I am so thankful for the students who have stayed with me over the years.

 

October 15 ~ This Day in Music History

today

• 1818 ~ Alexander Dreyschock, Bohemian pianist

• 1844 ~ Friedrich Niedzsche, German philosopher and composer

• 1900 ~ Boston Symphony Hall’s first concert took place

• 1906 ~ American premièr of Puccini’s opera, “Madama Butterfly”, Washington, D.C.

• 1913 ~ David Carroll, Conductor, arranger, record producer for The Diamonds and The Platters

• 1925 ~ Mickey (McHouston) Baker, Guitarist, singer in the duo, Mickey and Sylvia

• 1925 ~ Grand Ole Opry started on radio in Nashville, Tennessee (where it still originates). It was first heard on network radio in 1939. The show finally made it to TV on this day in 1955.

• 1926 ~ Karl Richter, German organist and conductor

• 1931 ~ The production of “Cat and the Fiddle” opened in New York. It played for 395 performances.

• 1932 ~ The first city-owned opera house, the War Memorial Opera House of San Francisco, opened this day. “Tosca” was the first opera presented.

• 1937 ~ Barry McGuire, Singer, songwriter with The New Christy Minstrels

• 1938 ~ Marv Johnson, Singer

• 1942 ~ Don Stevenson, Drummer, singer with Moby Grape

• 1946 ~ Richard Carpenter, Composer, singer, Grammy Award-winning group, the Carpenters

• 1948 ~ Chris De Burgh (Davidson), Singer, songwriter

• 1951 ~ I Love Lucy debuted on CBS-TV. For the next 20 years, Lucille Ball would be a TV regular. She did take 1956 off. Why? No, having little Ricky had nothing to do with it. She starred in “Damn Yankees” on Broadway that year.

• 1953 ~ Tito (Toriano) Jackson, Singer with The Jackson Five, brother of Michael, Janet, Jermaine, LaToya

• 1953 ~ “Teahouse of the August Moon” opened on Broadway to begin a long and successful run of 1,027 performances.

• 1955 ~ The Grand Ole Opry started on TV

• 1964 ~ An American treasure passed away. Cole Porter, renowned lyricist and composer, died at age 73. I’ve Got You Under My Skin and hundreds of other classics crossed all musical style and format boundaries throughout his long and rich career. More information about Porter

• 2001 ~ Etta James, the prolific jazz vocalist whose soulful, blues-influenced recordings over more than a half century won her acclaim and two Grammy nominations, died of complications from a bout with cancer. She was 72. Jones’ style was described as a cross between Billie Holiday, her idol, and Dinah Washington. She died the same day her last recording, Etta Jones Sings Lady Day, hit music stores. Born in Aiken, S.C., Jones was a teenager when she was discovered while competing in a contest at the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem. Jones collaborated with such greats as Oliver Nelson, Earl “Fatha” Hines, Kenny Burrell and Cedar Walton, both in concert and on recordings. She recorded prolifically for RCA, Prestige, Muse and more recently Highnote Records. Jones earned a gold record for her 1960 recording Don’t Go to Strangers, and received a Grammy nomination in 1981 for Save Your Love For Me. She got a second Grammy nomination in 1999 for a collection of songs: My Buddy – Etta Jones Sings the Songs of Buddy Johnson. Jones was the recipient of many awards, including the prestigious Eubie Blake Jazz Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Women in Jazz Foundation.

October 10 ~ This Day in Music History

 

 

• 1902 ~ The Gibson Mandolin guitar company was formed. Gibson’s first electric guitar the ES-150 was produced in 1936, and in 1946 Gibson introduced the P-90 single coil pickup, which was eventually used on the first Les Paul model made in 1952.

• 1906 ~ Paul Creston, American composer and organist

• 1908 ~ Johnny Green, Songwriter of Coquette, Body and Soul, I’m Yours, (You Came Along From) Out of Nowhere, I Cover the Waterfront, Easy Come, Easy Go; won five Oscars for work on MGM films: “Easter Parade”, “West Side Story”, “Oliver”, “An American in Paris”, “Bye Bye Birdie”, “High Society”, “Raintree County”, “The Great Caruso”, “Summer Stock” and “Brigadoon”

• 1914 ~ Ivory Joe Hunter, Singer, pianist, songwriter

• 1920 ~ Thelonious (Sphere) Monk, American jazz pianist and composer

• 1928 ~ You’re the Cream in My Coffee … comes from “Hold Everything”, which opened on Broadway this day and ran for 413 performances.

• 1937 ~ The Mutual Broadcasting System debuted Thirty Minutes in Hollywood. 48 sponsors shared the cost of the program that aired in 72 cities nationwide. It was the first Mutual co-op radio show. George Jessel and Norma Talmadge starred. Music was provided by the Tommy Tucker Orchestra.

• 1940 ~ Moonlight and Roses, by Lanny Ross, was recorded on the Victor label.

• 1942 ~ The anniversary of the first production of Verdi’s opera Aida by an all African-American cast

• 1946 ~ Ben Vereen, American dancer and singer of popular music, Tony Award-winning actor, TV host of You Write the Songs

• 1953 ~ Midge (James) Ure, Singer, songwriter

• 1955 ~ David Lee Roth, Singer with Van Halen

• 1958 ~ Tanya Tucker, Singer

• 1961 ~ Martin Kemp, Bass with Spandau Ballet, brother of musician Gary Kemp

• 1970 ~ Neil Diamond reached the #1 spot on the pop music charts for the first time with Cracklin’ Rosie. In 1972, Diamond would reach a similar pinnacle with Song Sung Blue.

• 1979 ~ Not just Rumours, but fact, that Fleetwood Mac got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

• 1985 ~ Yul Brynner passed away

• 2001 ~ Patricia Anne McKinnon, whose singing career began on Canadian television’s “Singalong Jubilee”, died of lymphatic cancer. She was 53. McKinnon was born in Shilo, Manitoba. Beginning her singing career at the age of 13, McKinnon sang for the Halifax-produced “Singalong Jubilee,” a show on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. She also starred in television programs, including “Juliette,” “Show of the Week,” and “A Go Go ’66.” For more than 28 years McKinnon fought Hodgkins disease, which put her career on hold at times.

• 2003 ~ Eugene Istomin, one of the first great classical pianists born in America, died after battling liver cancer. He was 77. At 17, Istomin won both the prestigious Leventritt and Philadelphia Youth Orchestra awards. In 1943, he made sensational debuts in the same week with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy and the New York Philharmonic under Artur Rodzinski, playing Johannes Brahms’Second Piano Concerto. At 25, he began a long association with cellist Pablo Casals. A year and a half after Casals’ death in 1973, Istomin married his widow, Marta, now president of the Manhattan School of Music. In a career that carried him throughout the world, Istomin gave more than 4,000 concerts with leading conductors – including Bruno Walter, Fritz Reiner, George Szell, Leopold Stokowski and Leonard Bernstein.

October 9 ~ This Day in Music History

columbus
The day signifies Christopher Columbus’ arrival to America on October 12, 1492

 

OCMS 1813 ~ Giuseppe Verdi, Italian composer
Read quotes by and about Verdi
More information about Verdi

OCMS 1835 ~ Camille Saint-Saëns, French composer, organist and conductor Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals is featured in Disney’s Fantasia and Fantasia 2000.
Read quotes by and about Saint-Saëns
More information about Saint-Saëns

• 1931 ~ Russ Columbo’s Prisoner of Love was recorded on Victor Records.

OCMS 1940 ~ John Lennon, British rock singer, songwriter and guitarist
More information about Lennon

• 1935 ~ Cavalcade of America was first broadcast on radio this very day. The CBS show featured some of Hollywood and Broadway’s most famous stars in leading roles in the half-hour radio dramas. Thomas Chalmers narrated the stories about obscure incidents and people in American history. The orchestra (yes, radio shows had live orchestras back then) was led by Donald Voorhees. The show aired from 1935 to 1953, changing from CBS to NBC in 1939; with one sponsor for its entire duration. The DuPont Company introduced its slogan on Cavalcade of America …”Better things for better living through chemistry…”

• 1941 ~ Helen Morgan passed away

OCMS 1944 ~ John Entwistle, Bass, French horn with The Who
More information about Entwistle

• 1947 ~ “High Button Shoes”, opened on Broadway in New York City with an entertainer named Phil Silvers in the lead. The popular show ran for 727 performances.

• 1948 ~ Jackson Browne, Songwriter, singer

• 1967 ~ “And now…heeeeeeeeerrrree’s the Doctor!” Coming out of the NBC Tonight Show Orchestra to become musical director of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Doc Severinsen replaced Skitch Henderson on this night. Doc became famous for an eccentric wardrobe, quick wit, great trumpet solos and fabulous charts. Tommy Newsome became Doc’s backup arranger for many of the tunes the band played. Later, Doc and the band would move to solo albums, group CDs and incredibly successful concert tours. Doc went on to play with various symphony orchestras and even became the owner of a custom trumpet company in the San Francisco Bay Area.

• 1973 ~ Priscilla Presley, was divorced from Elvis in Santa Monica, CA. Ms. Presley got $1.5 million in cash, $4,200 per month in alimony, half interest in a $750,000 home plus about 5% interest in two of Elvis’ publishing companies.

• 1973 ~ Paul Simon got a gold record this day for his hit, Loves Me like a Rock.

• 1975 ~ John Lennon turned 35. To celebrate, Yoko Ono Ono presented John with a newborn son, Sean Ono Lennon.

• 1976 ~ Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Symphony number 5 in c minor” landed for a twenty-two-week stop in the first spot on the Top 5. Beethoven is dead and this isn’t a ghost story. It’s simply a case of Beethoven being updated with a disco-rock beat and a catchy new title: A Fifth of Beethoven.

• 1985 ~ A 2½ acre garden memorial was dedicated to John Lennon by his widow,Yoko Ono, this day. The memorial in New York City’s Central Park is named Strawberry Fields.

• 1988 ~ Elmer J. ‘Mousey’ Alexander passed away

• 2000 ~ Yoko Ono Opened John Lennon Museum in Japan

• 2001 ~ Herbert Ross died at the age of 76. He was a director and choreographer whose credits include the hit movies “The Goodbye Girl,” “The Sunshine Boys” and “The Turning Point.”

• 2003 ~ Don Lanphere, a saxophone player who came on strong at the dawn of bebop, nearly succumbed to drugs and drinking, then recovered to become the city’s jazz “grandpop,” died of hepatitis C. He was 75. As lead tenor in the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra and in smaller groups, Lanphere’s versatility and virtuosity ranged from blazing riffs on the tenor to a solo jazz rendition of the Lord’s Prayer on the soprano sax. Many who were born long after Lanphere’s boyhood gigs with such legends as Charlie Parker, Fats Navarro and Max Roach hailed him as a jazz patriarch or, as his Web site proclaimed, “Seattle jazz grandpop.” Born in the apple country of central Washington about 95 miles east of Seattle, Lanphere played as a teenager with touring bands in Seattle, then studied music briefly at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. By the time he got to New York, captivated by the post-World War II bebop revolution, he was hooked on heroin. By his early 20s he had recorded with Navarro and Roach and played gigs with Parker, Woody Herman and top big bands, including one led by Artie Shaw. He could write a chart, the chord arrangement on which jazz improvisation is based, from the sound of water dripping in a tub. Battling alcohol and narcotics addictions that resulted in at least one arrest, he was back at his father’s store in Wenatchee – “from the Big Apple to the little apple,” he once said – by 1960. Only after he and his wife Midge became born-again Christians in 1969 did he dust off his horn. In an interview in 1998, he said that without the conversion, “I would be dead by now.”

September 25 ~ This Day in Music History

today

OCMS 1683 ~ Jean-Philippe Rameau, French composer, theorist and organist
Read more about Rameau

 

 

OCMS 1906 ~ Dmitri Shostakovich, Soviet composer
Read more about Shostakovich
Grammy winner
Shostakovich’s music was once condemned as being “un-Soviet” Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto number 2 is featured in Disney’s Fantasia 2000. Read more about Shostakovich

• 1932 ~ Glenn (Herbert) Gould, Canadian pianist, composer, wrote piano essay about Petula Clark
Read quotes by and about Gould
Read news items about Gould

• 1933 ~ Erik Darling, Folk singer with The Weavers and also The Tarriers

• 1934 ~ Hot Lips was recorded by Henry Busse and his orchestra in Chicago, IL.

• 1943 ~ Gary Alexander, Guitar, singer with The Association

• 1945 ~ Onnie McIntyre, Guitar with Average White Band

• 1950 ~ NBC~TV introduced a new concept in daytime programming. Kate Smith debuted an hourlong show. Her theme song for the show was When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain. Kate’s daytime show ran for four years. God Bless America.

• 1953 ~ John Locke, Keyboards with Spirit

• 1953 ~ Following in the footlights of musical greats like Ignace Jan Paderewski and Victor Borge, a piano player named Liberace made his debut at Carnegie Hall. Liberace performed before a sellout audience. His candelabra and concert grand piano were instant trademarks that lasted throughout his career.

• 1955 ~ Steve Severin (Bailey), Bass with Siouxsie & The Banshees

• 1979 ~ The third musical resulting from the collaboration of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber lit up the Great White Way. Evita opened on Broadway to rave reviews.

• 2002 ~ Bob Radonich, who for 47 years owned a local landmark cafe shaped like a coffee pot, died after suffering a series of strokes. He was 83. His cafe, Bob’s Java Jive, evokes a largely forgotten era of architecture. The street where it sits once featured toy factories shaped like castles, a gas station resembling a colossal neon gas pump and a yellow, lemon-shaped restaurant called the Lemon Lunch. Those other buildings vanished, but the Java Jive survived. Java Jive was originally known as the Coffee Pot Restaurant, built in 1927 by local veterinarian Otis G. Button and designed by an artist, inventor and promoter named Bert Smyser. Radonich bought the cafe in 1955. His wife Lylabell renamed the business for an Ink Spots’ song whose lyrics included I love coffee, I love tea, I love java jive, it loves me. The Java Jive, which was used for a scene in the 1990 movie “I Love You to Death,” was renowned for a pair of chimpanzees, Java and Jive, who played drums while Bobby Floyd, who was Bob and Lylabell’s son, entertained on the organ. Radonich’s daughter now owns and runs Bob’s Java Jive.

September 9 ~ This Day in Music History

today

OCMS 1583 ~ Girolamo Frescobaldi, Italian organist and composer
More information about Frescobaldi

• 1846 ~ This was the day when Richard Wagner began work on his opera Lohengrin. It remains an opera hit and “Here Comes the Bride”, based on the “Wedding March” from this opera.

• 1872 ~ Edward Burlingame Hill, American composer

• 1941 ~ Otis Redding, American rhythm-and-blues singer and songwriter

• 1942 ~ Inez Foxx, Singer with brother, Charlie

• 1942 ~ Luther Simmons, Singer with Main Ingredient

• 1945 ~ Dee Dee Sharp (Dione LaRue), Singer with Chubby Checker

• 1946 ~ Billy Preston, Musician, songwriter, singer with The Beatles, Syreeta, played with Little Richard’s Band

• 1947 ~ Freddy Weller, Musician, guitar with Paul Revere and The Raiders (1969), solo, songwriter

• 1952 ~ David Stewart, Guitarist, keyboard with Eurythmics

• 1956 ~ On this Sunday night, 54,000,000 viewers (82.6 percent of the U.S. television audience) turned their TV dials to CBS as Ed Sullivan introduced 21-year-old singer Elvis ‘The Pelvis’ Presley. Elvis sang Hound Dog and Love Me Tender. Ed Sullivan, watching out for the moral safety of the viewing public (plus a live audience of screaming Elvis fans in the show’s New York theatre) demanded that the CBS cameras not venture lower than Elvis’ waist! Sullivan felt that Presley’s wild gyrations of his pelvis would lead the nation’s females into a frenzy of untold proportions. One female Elvis fan described him as, “One big hunk of forbidden fruit.” Elvis got the largest fee to that date for appearing on Ed Sullivan’s Toast of the Town: $50,000.

• 1993 ~ Helen O’Connell passed away.  She was an American singer, actress, and hostess, sometimes described as “the quintessential big band singer of the 1940s”.

• 1996 ~ Bill Monroe passed away.  He was an American mandolinist, singer, and songwriter who created the style of music known as bluegrass. The genre takes its name from his band, the Blue Grass Boys, named for Monroe’s home state of Kentucky.

• 2003 ~ Warren Zevon, who wrote and sang the rock hit “Werewolves of London” and was among the wittiest and most original of a broad circle of singer-songwriters to emerge from Los Angeles in the 1970s, died at the age of 56. Zevon moved to Los Angeles in the 1960s, making a living writing jingles for television commercials. He also composed the song “She Quit Me Man” for the movie “Midnight Cowboy.” He was just out of his teens when he went to work for the Everly Brothers, first as a pianist and later as their band leader.

September 6 ~ This Day in Music History

today

 

• 1781 ~ Vincent Novello, English music publisher, organist and composer

• 1899 ~ Billy Rose (Rosenberg), producer, author, songwriter

• 1923 ~ William Kraft, American percussionist, composer and conductor

• 1928 ~ Evgeny Svetlanov, Russian conductor and composer
More about Svetlanov

• 1937 ~ Benny Goodman and his orchestra recorded “Sugar Foot Stomp” on Victor Records. The tune was a Fletcher Henderson arrangement.

• 1944 ~ Roger Waters, Musician: bass, songwriter with Pink Floyd

• 1948 ~ Claydes (Charles) Smith, Guitarist with Kool & The Gang

• 1954 ~ Banner Thomas, Bass with Molly Hatchet

• 1958 ~ Georgia Gibbs sang “The Hula-Hoop Song” on “The Ed Sullivan Show”. It was the first national exposure for the Hula-Hoop craze. Many people recorded the song to capitalize on the fad, including Teresa Brewer and Betty Johnson. Like sometimes happens with fads, these songs didn’t become very popular. The Hula-Hoop craze lasted a bit longer…

• 1961 ~ Paul Waaktaar, Guitarist, singer with a-ha

• 1975 ~ Glen Campbell hit #1 on the “Billboard” pop music chart with “Rhinestone Cowboy”. It had reached the top position on the country chart on August 23rd.

• 1976 ~ Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis were reunited by Frank Sinatra – after 20 years of going their separate ways. The former comedy team warmly met each other again during a surprise visit by Martin to Lewis’s annual “Labor Day Telethon” for Muscular Dystrophy.

• 1984 ~ Country-music star Ernest Tubb died this day, at the age of 70. Tubb was from Crisp, Texas and was known as the ‘Texas Troubadour’. He patterned his unique style after Jimmie Rodgers. Tubb recorded “I’m Walking the Floor Over You” and sold more than three million copies of the tune. “Blue Christmas”, “I Love You Because”, “Missing In Action” and “Thanks a Lot” were also classics made famous by Tubb. Other recording artists as diverse as The Andrews Sisters, Loretta Lynn and Red Foley recorded with Tubb. His 1979 album, “The Legend and the Legacy”, was a top-ten hit. Tubb was a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1943 and was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1965.

• 1984 ~ Ginger Rogers was in Buffalo, NY for a homecoming at Shea’s Theatre. The star of so many great motion pictures, Rogers had played the Shea 55 years earlier.

• 1986 ~ Bananarama hit the top spot on the pop music charts with “Venus”. The tune had also been a number one hit for the Dutch group, The Shocking Blue (2/07/70).

• 1997 ~ The Westminster Abbey funeral for Diana, Princess of Wales, was an extraordinary event, marked by numerous poignant moments: The people sobbing and throwing flowers at the funeral cortege winding through the streets of London. Her sons, walking behind her casket with their heads bowed. And Diana’s brother, who during his funeral oration took aim at the media, who he said made the princess “the most hunted person of the modern age.” Elton John sang a rewritten version of “Candle in the Wind” to “England’s rose”. The song was originally a tribute to film legend Marilyn Monroe, whose own tragic life, like Diana’s, ended at the age of just 36.

• 2002 ~ Rafael Druian, a violinist and conductor who served as concertmaster of four American orchestras, died at the age of 80. Druian’s lengthy career spanned many roles – performer, conductor and teacher. He was the concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. Born in Vologda, Russia, Druian grew up in Havana, Cuba and began his musical training at an early age. He came to Philadelphia when he was 10 to audition for Leopold Stokowski, who recommended him for a scholarship at the Curtis School of Music. He graduated from Curtis in 1942 and served in the United States Army for four years and played in the army band. During his career, Druian appeared on some groundbreaking recordings of lesser-known violin works. In the 1950s he made recordings of Block, Janácek and Enesco. After working with orchestras around the country, his final concertmaster position was at the Philharmonic from 1971 to 1974. When he finished there he taught at Boston University and the Curtis Institute of Music.