Thursday, December 06, 2007

Who was that Lady?

Today, I'm protesting a photo caption that appeared in the New York Times. It accompanied Vivien Schweitzer's review, "Listening to the Fragile, Ethereal Beat of Butterflies' Wings". The caption simply says "from left," and names four of the five people in the picture, as you can see. The fifth person, completely ignored, sits at the pianist's left: she is the page turner. Page turning is an honorable avocation that frees the pianist from the drudgery of memorization. Page turning requires concentration in the throes of a great performance, the ability to judge how early to turn each page so the pianist can read ahead, exact knowledge of which repeats will be taken, and precise fingertips that never turn the wrong number of dog-eared or crisply new pages. Who was that lady? She deserved to be identified.

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