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Jeffrey Arlo Brown - December 2023
Andreas Staier, a world-renowned pianist and harpsichordist, was diagnosed with primary myelofibrosis, a rare bone marrow cancer, in 2019. He has said his music helps calm fear over his health. "The music stays as beautiful as it is. It doesn’t change. And that is very, very consoling."
When the pandemic hit, he started his days by playing Bach's "The Well-Tempered Clavier" on his harpsicord, which led to the idea of a two-part recording of the piece (released in 2021 and 2023). He also started to sketch out his own original compositions which became "Anklänge," a series of six pieces for harpsichord, and premiered it in January of 2023 with the Cologne Philharmonie. Due to a low-immune system at the time and a planned stem-cell transplant scheduled shortly after, Staier was only allowed to come out of isolation for one hour a week with a guest in full personal protective equipment.
He took another break from performing to recover from the transplant, but was back on stage just six months later.
Staier doesn't want to give his diagnosis "authority over my musical life,” he said. “It already has enough authority. It takes up so much of my time, with all the hospital visits and checkups. It’s just beautiful that I can do this. Why should I ruin it for myself by getting nervous?"
Read more of Staier's story here.
Original source: www.nytimes.com