He played concertos with the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland, Philadelphia and other top orchestras until , in 1998, he underwent gender realignment surgery and became Sara Davis Buechner.
Since then, says Buechner, US orchs have slammed their doors. If it weren’t for Canada, she’d despair.
‘Canada was my salvation in many ways,” she tells the Calgary Herald. ‘The conductors and presenters in Canada were much more open, because they hadn’t really known me. They judged me on the music itself.’
Early on, Buechner won the Gold Medal of the 1984 Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition in Salt Lake City, Utah, and came third in the 1986 Tchaikowsky International Piano Competition in Moscow.
A Dvorak concerto last month in Victoria shows the pianist at full pitch. Watch.