More than 100 attended the official launching on Thursday of my latest book ‘A Lasting Record’ .
Several of them were in the demolished bluestone Plaza Theatre — near the Geelong Performing Arts Centre’s Drama Theatre where they sat — 60 years ago to hear the great American pianist William Kapell play his last concert.
I reminded the audience that a black cat crossed the stage after interval, and that one of the pieces Willy played was Chopin’s ‘Funeral March’ sonata. Indeed, local pianist Katherine Shiell played the funeral-march movement with great poignancy.
I enjoyed hugely a 45-minute conversation with Maryanne Hyde, manager of lifelong learning at the Geelong Regional Library Corporation, then we took questions from the audience.
Stephen Brockman, whose father John looked after Willy before and after the recital 60 years ago, launched ‘A Lasting Record’ with enormous grace and many compliments. I was very touched. John, though in his 90s, attended. Father and son are pacemakers of Geelong musical life.
Then I signed books until my wrist ached.