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Of the first ensemble where I played as principal second at that time, he warned me about its conductor: “He is not musical and he likes himself too much”.
I joined the quite excellent orchestra he conducted before my sixth birthday, playing in the second violins, second stand.It was exactly a year ago when my wife’s cell phone rang in the morning and I answered it, not something I would normally do. In the Finnish way of counting days it was 9.10.11., a perfect date to remember.The message was somber: my brother had just received a call that our dad had taken his afternoon nap and didn’t wake up. I used up over a quarter of frequent flier million miles on Delta and flew the long distance to my father’s funeral, coming back in three days.After my mom was stricken with Alzheimer’s, my dad would visit her in the hospital every day but still take time off for long trips here. I returned for her funeral and then brought my dad back with me for over a month. What could I say as there was no fooling the old connoisseur of music.He clearly felt at home with us; the two little granddaughters absolutely adored him, as did the two older ones who would try to see him regularly, too. I took my dad to an opera, not his favorite art form, and after hours of sitting there he was more than ready to come home.