• ‘Arthritis has taught me to look inside myself for new sources of strength and creativity,’ he said. ‘It has given my life a new intensity. I have arthritis but it doesn’t have me.’
    —Byron Janis, ABC
  • ‘In may ways Byron was like an elite athlete who, despite his pain and damage to his joints overcame the arthritis, and can serve as a role model to many,’ said Dr. Steven Abramson, Professor of Medicine and Pathology and Director of the Division of Rheumatology at NYU Langone Medical Center.
    —ABC News/Health
  • …As a longtime supporter and ambassador for the Arthritis Foundation, one thing I emphasize most is that if you’re truly passionate about something, you must keep trying no matter what. Almost nothing is impossible with the right attitude.
    —USA Today
  • …his secret to playing for so many years despite the pain, he has one simple response – ‘It’s mind over matter.’
    —USA Today
  • Byron has always lived in 2 worlds. His ability to ride the winds of music and slip over the barricades that separate how and what we experience here from other, more expanded worlds has been a source of strength as he faces the challenges of arthritis.
    —Maria Cooper Janis
  • Byron Janis lets you hear Chopin…his interpretation is enough for our happiness until the end of time. The others cannot compare.
    —The Journal of Geneva and Gazette of Lausanne
  • Janis bring us an experience like no one else. He touches the dangerous boundaries of the sublime…where I believe great art resides.
    —Le Journal du Dimanche, Jean Cotte
  • ...A Chopin where you will be forever changed.
    —Le Monde del la Musique
  • ...Byron Janis takes his place among the rare chosen ones again, amongst those who look behind notes if not for some new message at least the reflection of the soul, the breath of interior life.
    —Le Croix
  • ...This Chopin recital comes from another world.
  • When last in Spain some years ago, we felt ourselves to be in front of a monster sacre…Today Janis, as much as being a stupendous pianist, is more than that – he is an exquisite musician.
    —YA, Madrid
  • At the Menton Festival last August where he was officially judged biggest box-office, passing Gillels, Richter and Kempff…Last week in Paris the triumph was total as, not since Bernstein attempted the feat, Byron Janis not only interpreted but conducted the Lamoureux Orhcestra Prokofieff’s Third Concerto, turning the prestigious Salle Pleyel wild over 13 curtain calls in a tribute the likes of which Paris has rarely seen.
    —Time Magazine from Rademaekers, Paris
  • ...the mystery is still a mystery; it happened in front of our eyes and ears, but one couldn’t see how it was all being done…Janis’ musical version of the ‘Hunchback of Notre Dame;’ the song ‘Like Any Man’ is more sophisticated harmonically than any thing heard on Broadway in years.
    —The Boston Globe
  • Byron Janis – the extraordinary pianist whom the Russians, including composer Dimitri Kabalevsky, labeled, 'the American Richter'
    —Harper’s Bazaar
  • He has been responsible for some of the most memorable pianism this reviewer has ever experienced.
    —Chicago Tribune
  • He has achieved a level of excellence hardly excelled by Horowitz himself
    —Philadelphia Bulletin
  • ...but the ovations accorded to Mr. Janis have surpassed those for the other American artists ... Mr.Janis virtually unknown here – achieved an even more stormy acclaim simply on the basis of technique and artistry.
    —NYT, headline, Russians Acclaim Pianist Janis. Osgood Caruthers

Edgar Mitchell

I’m very saddened by the death this week of Apollo 14’s Captain Edgar Mitchell, astronaut, pioneer, visionary. He was a friend whose revolutionary life did not stop when he returned to Earth after walking on the Moon. He was a man who did not feel that he had no more worlds to conquer.

He explored outer space and then spent the rest of his life exploring inner space and what it means to have the human capacities we all do: to reach into the unknown and to grow in ways unimagined. He was the founder of IONS (Institute of Noetic Sciences http://www.noetic.org) and challenged scientists and all of us to grapple with the question of what is consciousness. He said, “We went to the Moon as technicians and we came back as humanitarians.” How can you look back from the depth of space to our mighty yet little planet – a blue marble in the darkness – and not be profoundly changed.

This quote also relates to music. It is all too easy with a certain degree of talent, to become a master technician at the piano – but does your musical journey take you and your audience to the heart of your own humanity?

Chopin said, “Bach is like an astronomer who with the help of cyphers finds the most wonderful stars. Beethoven infuses the universe with the power of his spirit. I do not climb so high. A long time ago, I decided my universe would be the soul and the heart of man.”

I was so happy when Edgar agreed to write a comment on the back cover of my memoir, Chopin ….He spent his life in exploration and I hope he will continue to inspire all of us.

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