Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Marian McPartland: at 89, no plan to retire

Marian McPartland doesn't plan to retire, as she tells Susanne M. Schafer (San Francisco Chronicle). Her arthritis causes her pain, but at the piano she doesn't feel it, she jokes. In March she will turn 90 and just visited South Carolina for the premiere of her symphonic work "A Portrait of Rachel Carson", inspired by Carson's 1962 environmental book, "Silent Spring". In it "lots of far-out chords" are meant to symbolize "the dissonance of environmental harm to nature". McPartland never learned to write musical scores and hired an assistant to transcribe her musical thoughts. McPartland's radio show "Piano Jazz" runs since 1978 with more than 650 guests talking and playing with the pianist.

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