Sunday, March 07, 2010

Two Exceptional People


I love crossing paths with people who are really good at what they do, especially when you can see how much they enjoy it.  In the past two days I have encountered two such individuals.

This is Temple Micah’s annual Scholar in Residence weekend.  This year’s scholar is Dr. Lawrence Hoffman, a rabbi and teacher at Hebrew Union College in New York City.  He is the type of speaker who lectures without notes and manages to hold his audience’s attention from the first word to the last. 

Yesterday’s topic was “How to Have the Seder You Always Wanted”, in which he totally debunked the typical seder, where the goal is mainly to get through the Passover haggadah and get on with dinner.  His suggestions were practical and radical and things that everyone could easily do.

Today’s talk entitled “A Day of Wine and Moses” explored the history of the Passover seder.  What I found fascinating was the parallel and shared history between Jewish and Christian traditions.

Tonight we went to hear the NSO perform with guest artist Ingrid Fliger.  She is a young vivacious pianist from Argentina.  She played a Mozart piano concerto with unbelievable style and energy.  It seemed like her fingers were just flying across the keys.

Ingrid is a personal friend of my piano teacher, who invited us to a reception at her house following the concert.  There we got to meet this fine young artist and learn just a little about her life that keeps her on the road much of the time.  If it hadn’t been so late and Ingrid hadn’t been leaving for New York at 6 AM, I would love to have asked her so many questions about her career as a concert pianist.

It is so obvious that both of these people are passionate about their work.  It shows in all they have been able to accomplish and how they are able to captivate their respective audiences.

3 Comments:

Blogger Russell said...

Most interesting. I am jealous! The speaker sounds excellent and I like the Days of Wine and Moses title. Reminds me of one of my all time favorite songs.

The young woman sounds remarkable. I heard once that a true prodigy either has math or music skills. Everything else has to be learned.

Of course when you take natural talent and combine it with discipline and years of hard training you get a pianist like the woman you met.

Any person who loves what they do is a joy to be around.

Take care.

8:13 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

What a treat! It's wonderful spending time with people who love what they're doing and do it well.

1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tried to post a comment yesterday that disappeared, but the short version is that both of your experiences sound lovely, and that I'm drawn to people who are sincerely/humbly passionate and deeply involved in their Thing -- musicians, artists, parents, cooks, contractors, landscape designers, astronomers, health practitioners, teachers, you name it.

F.

9:49 AM  

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