To my second mom, Marietta Orlov, Rest in peace.

November 8th, 2020 § 3 comments § permalink

I always used to call Marietta Orlov, my piano teacher, my second mom. She was the most important person in my artistic life – everything I am as a musician, she had a hand in it. I cannot begin to tell you how much she gave me and all of the things that she taught me and helped me discover. I am so glad to be among the hundreds and hundreds of people she touched; her inimitable (yet often imitated) singing, her compassionate insight and joy will live on in us and in all the people we go on to work with. She taught me how to think for myself, and how to teach creatively and what music, the discussion and learning and sharing of music, should be about.

When I was auditioning for music schools, and getting rejected by most, she saw something in me that I think only she could really see. She often joked that she saw some talent in me, and a lot of laziness. She told me that she was not going to allow me to be lazy anymore, even if it meant giving me two lessons a week, even during the summers. And that’s what she did, for five straight years. (For which she never allowed me to pay her for.)

I don’t think that what I became as an artist was anything that either of us would have predicted, but I suppose that’s one of the amazing things about her teaching – she didn’t want you to be anything specific, she didn’t have an Orlov “sound” or “aesthetic” – she just wanted to you figure out how to figure it out, and not be too, too barbaric or ridiculous along the way. “Okay – well, if that’s what you’re going to do, would you consider this…”

So goodbye, mom. I am so happy that you managed to lead such an incredible life, and infect so many of us by example and through your wonderful, innigster, heartful teaching. Always with love.