Inspirational note: My teacher, Abbey Simon, is now 96. In 2015, he and his wife were struck by a car and Mr Simon suffered a broken wrist and two broken fingers in his right hand.
In his mid-nineties, Mr Simon re-taught himself how to play. When asked why, he simply replied "It's who I am. I wouldn't know what to do with myself otherwise."
You be the judge.
Mr Simon has recorded the complete works of Chopin and Ravel, in addition to the Rachmaninov piano concerti, transcriptions for the piano and much more. One of my very favorite recordings is his Chopin B Minor Sonata…simply inspired and riveting. The sense of sweep and narrative in his playing is irresistible.
I invite you to explore his incredible pianism and artistry of one of the great 20th-Century American pianists for yourself.
Having taught for years at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and, more recently, the Julliard School and as the Cullen Chair at the University of Houston (where I worked with him), Mr Simon has left a legacy of the highest level of commitment and dedication to the musical arts.
Mr Simon has also served on the juries of numerous prestigious piano competitions all over the world and championed the formation of a Piano Olympics, essentially rolling the number of ever-proliferating piano competitions into one event every few years which would serve as a means of launching up and coming pianists into the professional world.
It’s never too late for one to explore one’s passions.