Tim Page: The day my brain began to bleed

Tim Page: The day my brain began to bleed


norman lebrecht

July 01, 2016

I spent a happy hour or three last summer having drinks in London with the finest American music critic of my time, the infinitely engaging Tim Page. Tim is, of course, so much more than a music critic. He’s the leading authority on the novelist Dawn Powell, a movie polymath, a professor at USC and a brilliantly astute observer of the human condition. We had a whale of a time.

A few weeks after our conversation, Tim was found lying senseless on a Connecticut railway platform.

He was rushed to hospital, underwent brain surgery and has battled valiantly ever since to recover his physical and mental equilibrium. Friends could only watch in admiration as he put his life and mind back together again.

Now Tim has written an essay on his year of recovery. It is essential reading.

tim page



Music still astounds and renews me, although it demands more solitary concentration than ever before and I can no longer “swim” in it as I did from earliest childhood.   But I’ve found a new therapy: part of each day is spent listening to complicated pieces that I know fairly well but not too well – large amounts of Bach, Beethoven’s “Diabelli” Variations and late quartets, symphonies by Mahler and Bruckner, “Die Meistersinger” — and I concentrate deeply, often with my eyes shut.  Well-known, technically “simple” works bring pleasure but don’t seem to be furrowing the same neural paths that I sense from more extended challenges.  Such exploration takes me back to my childhood, and the wonder I used to feel when wandering the woods around the University of Connecticut, pushing aside the branches of budding trees, finding out what paths led to what streets and, eventually, which one of those streets would lead me home.       

Read on here.


  • Gaffney Feskoe says:

    I had no idea that Tim had suffered this. I am grateful that he is making such good progress. Also, I did not know that he was from Connecticut. Another great Nutmegger along with Charles Ives, Wallace Stevens (honorary), Antonio Pappano (moved here when he was 13), among others. (Let’s not mention Benedict Arnold).

  • dar says:

    What a close call !
    Prof Tim & all of us, will never hear ‘this’ from our docs…
    Dr. Norman Shealy: “Every known illness is associated with a magnesium deficiency” and that, “magnesium is the most critical mineral required for electrical stability of every cell in the body. A magnesium deficiency may be responsible for more diseases than any other nutrient.”


    Magnesium Deficiency 101
    2 out of 3 Americans do not consume the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) for magnesium, 500 milligrams of magnesium per day.
    And for those headed to the Hospital:
    92% of Patients, when hospitalized, routinely do NOT have their Magnesium levels tested.
    80% of patients in an ICU setting are considered Magnesium deficient.
    And it keeps getting worse…

    Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms

    The following are a list of symptoms that are directly related to Magnesium deficiency according to the scientific literature of the past hundred years.

    Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4
    Fatigue Anxiety & panic attacks Arteriosclerosis Alcoholism
    Constipation Arthritis Blood clots ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
    Dizziness (vertigo) Asthma Bowel disease Alzheimers
    Dysmenorrhea (excessive menstrual pain) Attention Deficit Disorder Calcified mitral valve (mitral valve prolapse) Cancer (breast, colon, prostate)
    Facial twitches Backache, upper back: excess cortisol CFS/ME (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) Cardiac afibrillation
    Food cravings (especially sugar, caffeine, simple carbs) Backache, lower back: emotional Celiac disease Congestive heart failure
    Headaches Cystitis Cerebral palsy Eclampsia
    Heart palpitations Ear infections Chronic kidney disease Emphysema (COPD)
    Hiccups Gluten sensitivity Concussion Myocardial infarction
    Hyperglycemia Hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol, triglycerides) Depression Obesity
    Hypoglycemia Hypertension Diabetes Parkinson’s disease
    Irritability Insomnia Epilepsy/seizures Renal failure
    Loss of appetite Insulin resistance (pre-diabetes) Endothelial dysfunction (dysfunction of lining of blood vessels) SIDS
    Mood swings Migraines Failure to thrive Starvation
    Muscle cramps, spasms Multiple pregnancies (exacerbates Magnesium deficiency) Heart arrhythmias Stroke
    Nausea Nerve problems Hormonal imbalance Sudden cardiac death
    Nervousness Obesity Hyperparathyroid Ventricular fibrillation
    Poor memory / concentration Osteopenia (precursor to osteoporosis) Hypothyroid
    Pregnancy (exacerbates Magnesium deficiency) PMS Kidney disease
    Raynaud’s syndrome Poor concentration Liver disease
    Weakness Pre-diabetes; insulin resistance Metabolic Syndrome
    Sinusitis Miscarriage
    TMJ disorder Mitral valve prolapse (Calcified mitral valve)
    Weight gain (especially on waist) Multiple sclerosis
    Obesity, severe