Thursday, 24 March 2011

Play it again, Mr President: The Statesmen Pianists

There's a great article Famous People who Played the Piano  from the website. The article mentions politicians, but also includes famous actors and scientists.

Two US Presidents played the piano to a high standard: Harry Truman
Harry Truman at the Whitehouse (
 and Richard Nixon - here playing his own composition

Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice performs a piano Brahms quintet for the queen in 2008. Read the Daily Mail's article covering the performance. Her counterpart in the UK William Hague,  Foreign Secretary started playing the piano when he stepped down as leader of the conservative party according to this 2003 article in the Guardian: William Hague - the piano years

Ignace Paderewski, Polish Prime Minister in 1919, and a student of the great teacher Theodor Leschetizky (who also taught Schnabel) performs the Hungarian Rhapsody (clip originates from "The Art of the  Piano"). I'm quite familar with one of his legacies - the Paderewski editions of Chopin piano works.

Then there are the hobbyist statesmen - pianists. Here's Vladimir Putin singing and playing Blueberry Hill on the piano.

Perhaps a little more accomplished is Germany's oldest living Chancellor Helmut Schmidt who released a CD of Mozart and Bach Piano Concertos in 2008 coinciding with his 90th birthday.

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