We were still waiting at the Inchon International Airport in Korea for participants from other countries to arrive for the Pyeongchang International Music Festival, when this man walked up to me and introduced himself as Nicholas McCarthy. Nicholas told me that he was also going to this Festival and mentioned that he was a pianist.
I was somewhat shocked and tried not to stare, but he was missing his right arm. “You play the piano?” I quietly asked myself. “But HOW is this possible, you have only one hand?”
Immediately I thought of the composer Maurice Ravel, who composed the Piano Concerto for the Left Hand in D Major, which was commissioned by the Austrian pianist Paul Wittenstein, who lost his right arm during World War 1.
Nicholas talked with me for a few more minutes and then left. Actually I was too tired to talk much, because we have been in an airplane for 13 hours and been traveling for already about 24 hours, plus we had to wait another 5 hours in the airport for the other festival participants.
Then the next evening I got the surprise of my life: there was Nicholas McCarthy on stage playing the piano. Not only was he playing the piano, but he was one of the invited guest artists for this International Festival, a touring concert-pianist. And WOW, Nicholas played the piano better with one hand, than most people could ever accomplish with both hands!!!
That was one of the highlights for me of this entire Music Festival in Korea. He inspired me to practice piano more again and set higher goals for myself.
Nicholas is a great testament to what is possible if you truly want something.
If it’s important to you, you will find a WAY,
if not, you’ll find an EXCUSE!
Enjoy the video!