Wednesday, March 02, 2016
Play Life More Beautifully––by Andrew Harvey and Seymour Bernstein
Seymour Bernstein is a wise and beloved piano teacher, now in his eighties, who has offered instruction on the piano to over a generation of grateful students. Seymour is indeed unique, an elder who abandoned his promising career as a gifted concert pianist to offer his guidance and direction to others who shared his love of the piano and of the arts.
The recent film "Seymour" was indeed a fascinating portrait of this unique being. Seymour has lived in the same New York City apartment for over forty years. His accumulated wisdom and charm are indeed a rarity in today's world of commercialism and hype. He is an elder to be treasure and heard. Now Andrew Harvey (who participated in the making of the film) has published a much needed biography of Seymour, so that others may make the acquaintance of this special person and so that his legacy may be preserved.
Seymour has much to say, about following your own passion, about never giving up on your own creative gifts, about performing in public after many years of absence on stage.
Here is the Amazon description of this book:
It started with a dinner party. When 86-year-old pianist and teacher Seymour Bernstein met Ethan Hawke, international film star, the two quickly discovered they shared a common malady: stage fright. Based on his familiarity with nervousness prior to concerts, Seymour was able to provide Ethan with invaluable insight and advice. That was the beginning of a deep friendship.
Renowned spiritual scholar and activist Andrew Harvey was a fellow dinner guest that auspicious night and contributed to the decision to create a documentary about Seymour exploring his unique combination of accomplished musician, teacher, and seasoned elder. The film, Seymour: An Introduction, directed by Ethan Hawke, has received enthusiastic critical acclaim and is an inspiration to all who see it.
Seymour and Andrew’s friendship has continued to thrive with a shared curiosity and appreciation for the intersection of life and art. The trusting conversations captured in this book between these two dear friends reveal key truths about passion and creativity through an exploration of music, difficult childhoods, the friendship of animals, and journeys of the spirit.