articles / Pop Culture

Why Do You Play That?

When Emmanuel Pahud was five years old, he heard a neighbor playing Mozart on the flute. He immediately asked his parents for lessons. At age 22 he was appointed principal flute of the Berlin Philharmonic. He’s been called “one of today’s most exciting and adventurous musicians.”

Speaking of flutists, wasn’t James Galway always intending to be one? After all, he did say, “My granddad played the flute, my dad played the flute. Everyone in the neighborhood played the flute—the doctor who delivered me even played the flute.” But early on Galway played the violin, at least until his instrument contracted a bad case of wood worms.

Photo by Benjamin-Ealovega

Andrew Manze is a gifted violinist who wanted to be an oboist. At the age of ten, after he had been playing the recorder for a few years, someone suggested that he should study a “real” instrument. He chose the oboe, but his choice was vetoed by his orthodontist. Before long Manze was playing violin in an orchestra. He went on to serve as associate director of the Academy of Ancient Music and artistic director of the English Concert.

At the age of nine, Sergei Nakariakov was obliged to give up the piano due to a spinal injury from a car accident. He turned his attention to the trumpet and by the time he was twelve he had been hailed as the “Caruso of the trumpet” and the “Paganini of the trumpet.” Another critic put it this way: “God was looking for a trumpet player. He chose Sergei Nakariakov.”

Written by:
Alan Chapman
Alan Chapman
Published on 07.13.2017