A chip falls off a musical dynastymain
A friend rang to say that Harold Rubens has died, aged 92.
He was a piano prodigy from Cardiff who played the Beethoven G majpr concerto with George Szell when he was 10 but never made a big career.
His brother Cyril was a violinist in the London Symphony Orchestra. Sister Beryl (still alive) played viola at Welsh National Opera.
The family celebrity was novelist Bernice who won the Booker prize for The Elected Member and wrote a profoundly true story of music teaching, Madame Sousatzka, which was filmed with Shabana Azmi and Shirley Maclaine. Bernice, too, could play.
Harold used to drop in on friends and, if he felt like it, play their piano. One told me that when he finished, there were 50 people in the street outside listening intently, clamouring for more.
Here’s a BBC Wales link.
And here’s Harold with George Bernard Shaw, and his piano teacher, Madame Ledruskaya.
Another friend got in touch later to say that he died a year ago, but everyone’s thinking of him today, on the anniversary.