Take care: Top pianist lops off a fingertip

Take care: Top pianist lops off a fingertip


norman lebrecht

November 22, 2017

The eminent German pianist and conductor Justus Frantz has let it be known that he chopped off a fingertip with a bread knife on Monday.

Surgeons have managed to reattach the fingertip but Justus has been told he has no more than a 50-50 chance of playing again.


  • Ungeheuer says:


  • Andy says:

    I think I read an article somewhere where Peter Donahoe was telling how he sliced open his finger in a hotel window, and it was nearly a lot worse. Fortunately he plays on!

  • Jamaica Ornott says:

    “Justus it comes” I guess. A concert pianist I know removed half of her thumb tip and nail with a cheese grater but gave a concert a week later. Now eating Brie instead of parmesan for the evening snack.

  • Bruce says:

    Doctors like to give the bleakest possible prognosis — I’ve heard this is to lower expectations and protect themselves from lawsuits if the recovery isn’t 100% fabulous.

    When I broke my arm/wrist ~15 years ago, the surgeon pretty much promised me I would develop arthritis and have trouble with things like grasping door knobs and turning keys. None of that has turned out to be true.

    • Antonia says:

      Same here, but with a knee, instead. 16 years later and no arthritis, at age 53. (Granted, I have many years remaining in which to develop it.)

  • Thomasina says:

    That happened to me in front of a dozen guests. I was cutting a bread but I was distracted by the conversation. The bloody bread became traumatic for everyone and I still remember the feeling when the knife bite into my finger (and the scream of guests). After all, what l meant is that the bread knife is dangerous than it looks…

  • Robert Hairgrove says:

    I remember reading something to the effect that Marta Argerich, when she was still quite young, had an engagement which she just didn’t want to play, for whatever reason … so she cut her finger at the tip with a sharp knife, apparently quite severely. But the book in which this is mentioned was borrowed from a colleague and since given back, so I can’t go look it up anymore.