“Classical music is a celebration of artistic excellence.”   Bill Clinton

I love all kinds of music: rock, country, some hip-hop, and, yes, some classical.

When I was writing Cold Sweat, the heroine a classical pianist, I would play some of the greats, filling my car with the power and majesty of the instrument. Beethoven, Chopin, Horowitz, Glenn Gould, Annie Fischer and Van Cliburn captivated me and my imagination. It spurred a memory of Van Cliburn performing at my high school back in the late 60’s, when I was too young to understand the majesty of his skill.

Becoming engulfed in the music helped me get Tish’ character deeply embedded in my mind, and I could visualize her playing in a concert hall, the audience caught up in her virtuosity. I enjoyed that phase, the music rich in consonance, truly a celebration of artistic excellence.

This month, to honor the best of the best, I’m going to pull out some of the CD’s I listened to back then and truly appreciate what Van Cliburn can do at the keys.

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