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Condoleeza plays it again

The former US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, an accomplished pianist, performed the first movement of the Schumann concerto at an Omaha Symphony gala on Friday night. There’s a review here, but sadly no recording.


Since the end of the Bush presidency, Ms Rice will have had more time to practice. Her 2008 Brahms performance for the Queen at Buckingham Palace with members of the LSO sounded under-rehearsed and uncharacteristically hesitant.

Much more propulsive was an Aspen performance of the Dvorak quintet. Harry Truman, aside, no US politician comes close.

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  1. SergioM says:

    This is the equilvalent of giving a rapper a lead role in a film when there are so many talented actors who could play the part so much better.

  2. richardcarlisle says:

    Astounding combination of qualities: sensitive artist tough enough to withstand the high demands of that office– a lot to be proud of for all of us.


  3. Peter Metrinko says:

    She was a war criminal — she has no place on the artistic stage.

  4. Robin Blonstein says:

    Rice can tickle the ivories. Nice. How I wish it was the only stage she had ever played upon. She was dreadfully out of tune in the world theatre.

  5. jean louis steuerman says:

    she definitely should stick to the piano

  6. she and her junta/regime accomplices should be locked up in an Iraqi prison

  7. Scott Colebank says:

    I wonder why she did play the work in its entirety? Who else plays just part of this concerto unless it’s a student recital somewhere?

    • SergioM says:

      Exactly. If she was any good you would think she would perform the entire piece, ya think?

      • It was a gala, ie. either a fundraising event or an appreciation for those who have raised money. In all fairness, at such events, which are not concerts, parts of pieces are often performed as intervals between the bad food and boring speeches.

  8. She plays the piano well, although you can see why she decided on another career. Apparently, Truman was a decent pianist as well. The pianist Ruth Slenczynska tells a wonderful anecdote about being trundled off in great secrecy to the White House on the morning of the day she was about to give recital in Washington, She was not told where she was going or why she was going there. When she arrived, after a wait she was ushered into a room where President Truman and all of his staff were already seated. The President stood up, greeted her, showed her the score of the Mozart Sonata for four hands (the one in C, as I recall), and said “can you play this with me?” So they played the first movement, and when they finished the President got up and said to the staff “see, I really can hold my own with a real piano player!” Slenczynska confirms that he was pretty good.

  9. Kenneth Conway says:

    Has the bad doctor ever read Dostoevsky? In any case, it would have been more fitting had Rice chosen to perform in one of Omaha’s slaughterhouses. And I must wonder how the elite of Omaha coped with the stench of burning flesh and rotting corpses that invariably trails Dr. Ferragamo wherever she goes … now and for all eternity.

  10. Kenneth says:

    Nicely said, Mr. Conway!

  11. Timon Wapenaar says:

    I wish this said more about our politics than about our arts, but it doesn’t.

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