Friday, February 8, 2013

I spy a Grammy

Love + passion = Inspiration.

I was dusting the bookshelf this morning and this was staring at me, beckoning me to hold her. Before I met my father-in-law, I had never seen a Grammy Award up close. Sure, we've all seen them on the Internet and TV and in newspapers and magazines -- the proud recipients clutching that gilded gramophone with joy and elation. But to see one in the living room next to everyday knickknacks and books and trinkets? At the risk of sounding cheesy, it's pretty inspiring holding one of these in your hands (not to mention pretty heavy). It reminds me that love and passion coupled with belief and hard work can lead to unimaginable opportunities and fulfilled dreams.

Peter Salaff won this Grammy 17 years ago for Best Chamber Music Performance with the Cleveland QuartetAs one of the world's leading string quartets for more than two decades, Dad and his fellow bandmates were quite the rock stars of the classical music world. From Paris, Tokyo and the former Soviet Union to festivals in Salzberg and Berlin -- and even a private recital at President Jimmy Carter's White House, my father-in-law played more than 2,500 concerts, recorded nearly 70 works, and spent 26 years traveling the world and playing beautiful music for hundreds of thousands of adoring fans. 

President Carter loved the Cleveland Quartet so much he asked them to stay for a private recital following
their performance for Carter's inaugural celebration on January 20, 1977. That's Dad on Jimmy Carter's left.

"The most important thing is to do what you love," he told his grandson last night during dinner. "Whatever you want to do when you grow up. Choose something you love." I hope my son takes grandpa's advice to heart.

That's my father-in-law on the left. Rockin' that 70s hair and beard.

And at age 71, he's still doing what he loves. Dad's teaching the next generation of classical musicians here at the Cleveland Institute of Music as well as coaching renowned quartets and playing concerts around the country. 

His life is one long, beautiful melody.  
Izzy watches as grandpa makes beautiful music.