How many OQ’s remember John Railton? When I was 12, he was adjudicating our House Music Festivals and then turned up in Devon in the late 1980’s,
so over the past 2 decades I have had the great good fortune to have him at my side, nudging me to play more and more beautifully. Somehow he has the knack of bringing me to stillness, of enabling me to truly listen and drawing the best out of me. It was at his suggestion some 15 or more years ago that I took a performance diploma (I had left physio to be at home with 2 children under 4…. I burnt every meal from the piano stool for months)…. which led to me becoming a full time piano teacher (and son to become a chef, while daughter studies naturopathic nutrition; yummm!).
It was also at his suggestion that I made my first acquaintance, 15 years ago, with Beethoven’s sonata op. 110 in A flat, which I will be playing in a couple of weeks and which continues to be such a powerful inspiration and challenge.
For so many pupils, children and adults alike he extends his interest and support consistently and in the most laid-back-nearly-horizontal way!!
He is still playing and teaching and busy (I think he has passed the 80 mark) running music appreciation groups.
Today he made chopin’s 1st prelude make more sense than ever (it sounded quite different on my mother’s knee, wrapped up in her dressing gown) and then tweaked the tempo of my current favourite Brahms Intermezzo, so that it is now fluid and free. Next week we look at the Beethoven. All of a sudden I am so excited about playing again!
Oh yes, I have booked my ferry passage. Harwich to Esbjerg at the end of June.
Lots to do and I think my supper is burning…