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#1573971 - 12/10/10 12:10 PM Are there any pianists with successful careers who...
pianoloverus Online   content
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switched careers into a completely different field(nothing to do with music)?

I mean pianists who were extremely talented(with probably enough talent to make a good living)but more or less starting out or pianists who were already successful enough to earn a good living from just performing.

I got the idea for this thread from the thread about dropping out of music school. In chess, where it is even much harder to make a living, there are some top notch players who have completely swithced careers for example Patrick Wolf(lawyer?), Reuben Fine(psychiatrist), Isaac kashdan, Michael Wilder(lawyer), Stuart Rachels(professor etc.


Edited by pianoloverus (12/10/10 03:04 PM)

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#1574014 - 12/10/10 01:06 PM Re: Are there any pianists with successful carrers who... [Re: pianoloverus]
the nosy ape Offline
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Registered: 06/10/08
Posts: 719
Loc: Westford, MA
Paderwski quit the concert stage to become a politician and diplomat. He was Prime Minister of Poland and also their ambassador to the League of Nations.

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#1574017 - 12/10/10 01:13 PM Re: Are there any pianists with successful carrers who... [Re: pianoloverus]
Opus_Maximus Offline
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Registered: 11/27/04
Posts: 1497
Canadian pianist Nadia Cole is now a doctor...the Israeli pianist David-Bar Illan became assistant to Benjamin Netanyahu of the Israeli government..

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#1574049 - 12/10/10 01:58 PM Re: Are there any pianists with successful carrers who... [Re: pianoloverus]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13812
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I know two pianists who took started as university professors and then moved into administration.

Both are now provosts at American universities.
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#1574062 - 12/10/10 02:29 PM Re: Are there any pianists with successful carrers who... [Re: pianoloverus]
keyboardklutz Offline
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I went to college with a guy, damn good pianist, who appeared for the first few weeks, disappeared then turned up for his finals 3 years later! He past them all and demanded his degree, the college turned him down as he had failed to turn up to any classes, whereupon he showed them there was nothing in their constitution that stipulated he had to attend. They handed it over, he went off to postgrad law school!
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#1574090 - 12/10/10 03:05 PM Re: Are there any pianists with successful carrers who... [Re: pianoloverus]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
oh that was my twin... the one that studied in Europe.
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#1574131 - 12/10/10 04:05 PM Re: Are there any pianists with successful carrers who... [Re: pianoloverus]
RonaldSteinway Online   content
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Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1500
People who play piano well are usually smart people.
That is why so many smart people if they had the opportunity to learn how to play piano, they play piano well.

Till today, I have never met people who can play piano well and dumb.

Look at the finalists of any amateur piano competitions, most of them have very high education, many doctors, PhDs, etc, for example our Marc C.

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#1574270 - 12/10/10 07:18 PM Re: Are there any pianists with successful carrers who... [Re: pianoloverus]
PaulaPiano34 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/16/10
Posts: 1217
I heard Evgeny Kissin is taking a two year sabbatical from piano (still performing but not his usual 60 concerts a year) and is now devoting his time the Jewish vs. Palestinian problems in Jerusaelm (pardon my awful spelling). In an interview, he was asked if he wanted to take up a political career and he replied: "Am I interested in politics? Yes. As for participation: I have no such plans. But I cannot exclude the possibility that if the time comes and I feel the need to speak out on which I find important, I may do so." It's amazing how eloquent he is.

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#1574875 - 12/11/10 05:54 PM Re: Are there any pianists with successful carrers who... [Re: RonaldSteinway]
dolce sfogato Offline
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Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2660
Loc: Netherlands
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
People who play piano well are usually smart people.
That is why so many smart people if they had the opportunity to learn how to play piano, they play piano well.

Till today, I have never met people who can play piano well and dumb.
Look at the finalists of any amateur piano competitions, most of them have very high education, many doctors, PhDs, etc, for example our Marc C.
I know them too well...


Edited by dolce sfogato (12/11/10 05:55 PM)
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#1574963 - 12/11/10 08:15 PM Re: Are there any pianists with successful carrers who... [Re: pianoloverus]
feebeeliszt Offline
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Registered: 05/30/10
Posts: 414
Loc: London
Is there any completely opposite case? i.e. they dropped out from other career (nothing to do with music) to become a pianist
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The notes I handle no better than many pianists. But the pauses between the notes - ah, that is where the art resides! - Schnabel

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#1574995 - 12/11/10 09:22 PM Re: Are there any pianists with successful carrers who... [Re: pianoloverus]
JustAnotherPianist Offline
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Registered: 11/20/08
Posts: 798
Loc: United Kingdom
Pogo stopped concertizing for a few years in order to go into jewelry design...

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#1575008 - 12/11/10 10:13 PM Re: Are there any pianists with successful carrers who... [Re: JustAnotherPianist]
stores Offline
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Registered: 12/28/09
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Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: JustAnotherPianist
Pogo stopped concertizing for a few years in order to go into jewelry design...


While this is true, I'm not so sure he stopped in order TO take up jewelry design, but rather took up jewelry design as a result of the stoppage in his performing career. At least that's the way I understood it.
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"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

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#1575012 - 12/11/10 10:28 PM Re: Are there any pianists with successful careers who... [Re: pianoloverus]
jazzyprof Offline
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Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 2642
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
At the height of his career, in 1969, the Brazilian virtuoso João Carlos Martins "was knocked down during a soccer match, and hurt his arm to the point of a painful neuralgia, so that he had to stop playing piano. But in a surprising change of direction, he went into banking, managed a champion prizefighter, started a construction company, and became a multimillionaire in devalued Brazilian currency. An even more surprising development followed when, in 1981, he was appointed to the post of the Brazilian state secretary of culture; in this capacity, he exhibited an extraordinary knack for urban recovery in the direction of futuristic Americanization." (From his bio)
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#1575026 - 12/11/10 11:12 PM Re: Are there any pianists with successful careers who... [Re: pianoloverus]
DameMyra Offline
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Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1983
Loc: South Jersey
Albert Wong was a child prodigy who recorded the Bach Well-Tempered Clavier when he was 11. After an accident at age 12 he entered college and majored in science, where he specialized in developing new drug delivery systems.
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#1575059 - 12/12/10 12:54 AM Re: Are there any pianists with successful careers who... [Re: pianoloverus]
sophial Offline
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Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3485
Loc: US
Alberto Reyes is both a concert pianist as well as an interpreter at the United Nations.

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#1575075 - 12/12/10 01:40 AM Re: Are there any pianists with successful carrers who... [Re: feebeeliszt]
EJR Offline
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Registered: 10/20/06
Posts: 861
Loc: Bristol, UK
feebeejk,

Originally Posted By: feebeejk
Is there any completely opposite case? i.e. they dropped out from other career (nothing to do with music) to become a pianist


Closest I've heard to this is James Rhodes .

He'd had lessons until the age of 18 but, I believe, had a large bucket full of "issues".

"... at 18 I abandoned the piano entirely and did not touch a note for over 10 years. Instead I went to work in the City in the, as it turns out false, belief that making hideous amounts of money would make up for the loss of my abandoned career as a pianist"

I know nothing about him, other than I enjoyed the BBC documentary shown a few weeks ago in which he featured, about Chopin (filmed in the original locations and salons). He seems to be carving out a Russell Brand style niche for himself.

Perhaps he fits the bill for both yours and the OPs?


Edited by EJR (12/12/10 05:25 AM)
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#1575086 - 12/12/10 01:56 AM Re: Are there any pianists with successful careers who... [Re: pianoloverus]
jazzyprof Offline
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Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 2642
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) gave up a career as organist, pianist, music scholar in France/Germany to become a medical missionary in Africa.
_________________________
"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP

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#1575093 - 12/12/10 02:11 AM Re: Are there any pianists with successful careers who... [Re: pianoloverus]
BDB Online   content
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Registered: 06/07/03
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Loc: Oakland
Denny Zeitlin is both a pianist and psychiatrist. Wim Statius Muller taught music before becoming an intelligence officer for NATO.
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#1575133 - 12/12/10 04:17 AM Re: Are there any pianists with successful carrers who... [Re: feebeeliszt]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7978
Originally Posted By: feebeejk
Is there any completely opposite case? i.e. they dropped out from other career (nothing to do with music) to become a pianist


Not from scratch. They had to have had some connection with the piano or music at some earlier point in their life, I think.

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#1575137 - 12/12/10 04:40 AM Re: Are there any pianists with successful carrers who... [Re: JustAnotherPianist]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7978
Originally Posted By: JustAnotherPianist
Pogo stopped concertizing for a few years in order to go into jewelry design...


I have heard that Alexis Weissenberg had another career designing greeting cards.

Thalberg retired early and became a winemaker.

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#1575765 - 12/13/10 06:29 AM Re: Are there any pianists with successful carrers who... [Re: pianoloverus]
j.brook Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/08/10
Posts: 4
Imre Antal became an actor and comic after an incurable illness of his hands ended his musical career.

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#1575792 - 12/13/10 07:53 AM Re: Are there any pianists with successful carrers who... [Re: pianoloverus]
Batuhan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/21/09
Posts: 904
Loc: Istanbul
Liszt also priest lol
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#1575809 - 12/13/10 08:41 AM Re: Are there any pianists with successful carrers who... [Re: pianoloverus]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13812
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Not quite what the OP is talking about, but in some countries (Israel and Korea for example), mandatory military service means that almost all musicians from those countries had to take a year or two off to serve their country's military.

Even Ravel joined the war effort for a time, composing relatively little during those years.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1575817 - 12/13/10 08:58 AM Re: Are there any pianists with successful carrers who... [Re: pianoloverus]
Piano*Dad Online   content
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... and now everyone in the military has to wake up to that hideous Rav-eille.
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#1575843 - 12/13/10 10:03 AM Re: Are there any pianists with successful carrers who... [Re: Batuhan]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19589
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Batuhan
Liszt also priest lol
Yes, but he didnlt give up music.

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#1575846 - 12/13/10 10:09 AM Re: Are there any pianists with successful carrers who... [Re: Piano*Dad]
the nosy ape Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/10/08
Posts: 719
Loc: Westford, MA
Originally Posted By: Piano*Dad
... and now everyone in the military has to wake up to that hideous Rav-eille.

Ouch.

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#1575873 - 12/13/10 10:59 AM Re: Are there any pianists with successful carrers who... [Re: pianoloverus]
ConcertEtudes Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/06/09
Posts: 82
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus

I got the idea for this thread from the thread about dropping out of music school. In chess, where it is even much harder to make a living, there are some top notch players who have completely swithced careers for example Patrick Wolf(lawyer?), Reuben Fine(psychiatrist), Isaac kashdan, Michael Wilder(lawyer), Stuart Rachels(professor etc.


Also staying on chess players, Mark Taimanov (Soviet grandmaster) went to Leningrad conservatory and could have been/was a concert pianist.

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#1579297 - 12/18/10 08:17 AM Re: Are there any pianists with successful carrers who... [Re: pianoloverus]
hoffy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/30/10
Posts: 109
Loc: Adelaide, Australia
I am not sure whether he ever made money from it or whether you would consider that he had a successful career at it, but the late Formula One driver, Elio de Angelis, was considered to be a concert standard pianist.

Unfortunately, he was killed in 1986 behind the wheel of his race car in a testing accident.
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#1579331 - 12/18/10 09:27 AM Re: Are there any pianists with successful carrers who... [Re: pianoloverus]
scotpgot Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/26/10
Posts: 129
Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice was supposedly a concert pianist. Though, I don't know if it was ever viable as a "career option" for her.

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#1579387 - 12/18/10 12:01 PM Re: Are there any pianists with successful carrers who... [Re: scotpgot]
EDV Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/24/10
Posts: 26
Originally Posted By: scotpgot
Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice was supposedly a concert pianist. Though, I don't know if it was ever viable as a "career option" for her.


I think she could have been a jazz master...



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