• ‘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

A Lesson From Former President Jimmy Carter

Last month I was so inspired when I heard with what courage and grace President Jimmy Carter handled his diagnosis of serious cancer – and then, in spite of that, he went to teach his usual Sunday School classes.

I was reminded of a marvelous and important event at the White House in 1980 when he inaugurated the Department of Education and celebrated that with a Tribute to Teachers in a “Salute to Learning Day.”

I was so happy to be a part of honoring the two vital teachers in my life, Adele Marcus and Vladimir Horowitz. Six of us gave an homage to those most special people in our lives – our teachers, and we were fortunate to have wonderful ones. The profession is not given enough recognition for the responsibility it has in shaping our lives – at times even more than our parents. Good teachers are not always easy to find but if you are passionate about what you want to do, keep looking.

I would like to share with you the poem that was on the back of the White House invitation:

A Tribute to an Honorable Teacher
Don’t name him Teacher, say, or Speaker
Unless you probe the meaning of the Word.
Names mill and choke us like a restless Herd.
Conceal Old Truths and Values from the Seeker.
And often Pretense, Posture are preferr’d.
Numbered Nothing is computed and promoted.
While Truth is fear’d and Beauty goes unnoted.

Remember Passerby, his Trade was Man,
Owning himself like Jim, born free like Huck,
Born with an Essence bigger than his Luck.
Inspired by Giants when they were in the Land,
Nourishing minds till Wisdom makes them Whole –
So is the Man! Behold his Master Soul,
Older than Time, Young as the break of day!
No busy world can take his Gift away.

Tom Sutherland

President Carter continues to teach us every day by the way he chooses to live his life with all his zest possible and his faith in the larger plan for all of us.

view photos