Oncert’s pianist Nicholas McCarthy remembers the time he decided that the piano was for him. He was watching his friend play Beethoven’s Waldstein Sonata. “That’s it,” he said. “That’s what I want to do”. McCarthy was 14 at the time. It was probably a little late to start playing the piano with a plan to build a career. In particular, the fact that McCarthy was born one-handed.
But McCarthy, already struggling with his horn, decided “about two and a half minutes” while laughing. His passion was confirmed when he first heard the works of the French composer Maurice Ravel three years later. Piano Concert In D major for left hand. McCarthy’s grandfather, an avid accordionist, accompanied by the French Conservatory Orchestra, obtained an old recording of a concert performed by French pianist Samson Francois. As McCarthy and his grandfather listened to the roaring soundtrack together, McCarthy thought, It was written for me.
Ravelin Piano Concerto for the Left Hand it was originally composed for the Austrian-American pianist Paul Wittgenstein. Wittgenstein grew up in a family of musicians in Vienna. As a child he sang a duet with Richard Strauss. Brahms and Mahler were friends of the family. Wittgenstein was first impressed in 1913 as a concert pianist. A year later, he was drafted for military service in World War I. During the Battle of Galicia he received a blow to the elbow and later lost his right arm.