Alice Herz-Sommer

Alice Herz-Sommer was a holocaust survivor who died in 2014 at the age of 110.  At the age of 106, she was still practising 3 hours per day and credits music with saving both her life and her son's life during the holocaust.  She survived Theresienstadt concentration camp by giving over 100 concerts in the camp along with other musicians.   

Alice is an inspiration on so many levels but most notable is her incredible courage and optimism.  You can learn more about Alice by reading her best-selling book called A Garden of Eden in Hell.  In the meantime, please enjoy the video below and marvel at this incredible woman!

Ricker Choi

In 2010, I had the good fortune and pleasure of meeting Ricker Choi at an Adult Performance Class held at the Royal Conservatory of Music.  I was mesmerized by his performance in that class and intimidated too, because I had to perform right after him!  Ricker has been described as an “emerging artist” in a 2008 Toronto Star news article and is the founder of Music Heals!  His vision for Music Heals! is to contribute to the needy in Society through fundraising concerts.    Some of the charities that have benefited from Ricker’s fundraising concerts include the Sick Kids Foundation, World Vision Canada, the United Way, and Oxfam.  I am very inspired, not only by the playing of this “emerging artist” but by his generous spirit and I urge you to attend one of Ricker’s upcoming concerts whose details you will find at rickerchoi.com.  In the meantime, please enjoy the YouTube videos below or go to his site for even more music and inspiration.

2Cellos

I am inspired by 2Cellos for the way in which they are able to bring classical music into the pop/rock world.  They are doing something that I dream about -- literally.  I often awaken in the middle of the night with music playing in my head.  Often, the music is original and occasionally, I have gotten up in the middle of the night to write it down.  I have had a recurring dream involving the song “Paint it Black“ by the Rolling Stones.  The version in my head starts out very quietly with a few notes on the piano.  These few notes gradually become more elaborate and lead into the actual Rolling Stones song.  It then finishes very quietly on the piano.  One day, I do intend to get this dream of mine down on paper but for now I am happy to hear that someone else has been able to connect the classical and the pop/rock world and so effectively too!  Please enjoy their renditions of U2's With or Without You below.