The pianist and playwright Israela Margalit shares a telling incident in the life of her friend, the Hungarian legend Annie Fischer.
Annie Fisher took me under her wings when I was a young pianist. As I remember, Annie had her Carnegie Hall Recital debut quite late in her life. It was on a Sunday, at 3 o’clock.
Tickets were selling poorly.
On the Friday before we had lunch at the Russian Tea Room. Annie told me that she had declined a request from the New York Times for an interview with Harold Schoenberg. I was stunned and told her everyone in the music business would kill for such an interview. I urged her to say yes, saying people would love to read it, and it would help ticket sales. Annie said she never gives interviews and she’s not going to start now.
On Sunday I came to Carnegie Hall and saw a line around the block. People heard about the recital and came in droves to buy tickets. The concert started late and the hall was full.
What happened between Friday and Sunday? we asked Israela.
Word of mouth, she replied.