How much music can you make?
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On Nov. 18, 1995, violinist Itzhak Perlman,
performed a concert at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City.
Stricken with polio as a child, Perlman painfully walked with the aid of two
crutches to a chair in the middle of the stage. He carefully laid the crutches
on the floor, loosened the clasps of his leg braces, extended one leg forward
and the other underneath his chair, picked up his instrument and nodded to the
conductor to begin.
But something went wrong. After only seconds of playing, one of the strings on
his violin broke. The snap was a gunfire reverberating in the auditorium. The
audience immediately knew what happened and fully expected the concert to be
suspended until another string or even another instrument could be found.
But Perlman surprised them. He quietly composed himself, closed his eyes and
then signaled the conductor to begin again. The orchestra resumed where they had
left off and Perlman played -- on three strings. He played with passion and
power. All the time he worked out new fingering in his mind to compensate for
the missing string. A work that few people could play well on four strings
Perlman accomplished on three.
When he finished, an awesome silence hung in the room. And then as one, the
crowd rose to their feet and cheered wildly. Applause burst forth from every
corner of the auditorium as fans showed deep appreciation for his talent and his
Perlman smiled and wiped the sweat from this brow. Then he raised his bow to
quiet the crowd and said, not boastfully, but in a quiet, pensive, reverent
tone, "You know, sometimes it is the artist's task to find out how much music
you can still make with what you have left."
Perlman should know. Polio left him with less stamina than he had before, yet he
went on. Playing a concert on three strings is not unlike his philosophy of life
-- he persevered with what he had left and still made music.
And isn't that true with us? Our task is to find out how much music we can still
make with what we have left. How much good we can still do. How much joy we can
still share. For I'm convinced that the world, more than ever, needs the music
only you and I can make.
And if it takes extra courage to make the music, many will applaud your effort.
For some people have lost more than others, and these brave souls inspire the
rest of us to greater heights.
So I want to ask, "How much music can you make with what you have left?"
By Steve Goodier / http://www.engleo.com