Andre Watts


This is a photo of the coconut trees in front of the Blaisdell Concert Hall in Hawaii.


In 1963, David was 13 years old, when he saw for the first time the famous pianist, Andre Watts, perform on TV.  Leonard Bernstein was the conductor of the New York Philharmonic.  Watts was 16 at the time, and he played the Liszt Piano Concerto No. 1.  It was David’s mother who turned on the TV for this performance, because she had studied the piano when she was growing up in Canada.  David enjoys classical music because of his mother’s influence.

In 1969, I saw Watts for the first time when he performed at a piano recital in Bangkok, Thailand.  Watts was my age, 23.  The audience was primarily white, and I was probably the only Korean-American.  I did not notice any Thais in the auditorium, which was packed with foreigners, starved for classical music.  My boss, who had hired me to teach English at Voice of America, was there with his wife.

Last night, David and I both saw Watts perform the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 at the Blaisdell Concert Hall, the final concert of the season. Excellent! He received a standing ovation from the audience.  Naoto Otomo was the guest conductor of the Hawaii Symphony.

Well, what can I say?  We have renewed our subscription for next season’s 12 symphony concerts.  It’s expensive, $882 for the two of us, but well worth the price.

We would rather spend money on classical music than on alcohol.  Somehow, classical music touches the soul, whereas alcohol does not.  Yet, many people would rather go to the bar than to the concert hall.

12 Responses to “Andre Watts”

  1. Joanne Noragon Says:

    Sixty some years old and still following his bliss.

    • gigihawaii Says:

      Andre Watts is 71. He was born in 1946, the same year I was born. His mother was a Hungarian pianist, and his father was in the U.S. Army. Watts was born in Europe, but later came to America to live and study music.

  2. DJan Says:

    So wonderful that you have such fine talent to enjoy. 🙂

  3. honoluluaunty91 Says:

    i was at a workshop on saturday and sunday at the blaisdell and had my car parked just across the auditorium on king street on sunday. as i crossed the street at 4:00ish after the class had ended, i saw some people gathered and wondered – are gigi and david there?

    one of these days we will bump into each other!

  4. Christine Says:

    Thanks for sharing with us your love of classical music!

  5. dkzody Says:

    Sounds like a good use of money to me.

  6. Cathy Says:

    That’s just the way we look at any yearly subscription we have – a bit of a hit all at one time but so so worth it for the enjoyment it brings.

    Were you able to speak to Mr Watts and tell him of both of your long ‘connection’ with him and his music?

  7. DeniseinVA Says:

    How wonderful to have this connection with the artist. Money well worth spending for a whole year of live performances. I developed my love for opera thanks to my father.

  8. Olga Says:

    You are indeed fortunate to have the opportunity and the means to enjoy this shared passion. It’s a matter of knowing your priorities — feeding your soul versus the immediate gratification of an alcohol buzz. I do really wish more people were into care and feeding of the soul. I think it could be a much better world that way.

  9. Tom Sightings Says:

    Hah hah, what a great line: “We would rather spend money on classical music than on alcohol.”

  10. Beatrice Says:

    Your joint and shared passion for classical music is much mire worthwhile than what yiu compared it to, Gigi. Also a wonderfuk story about the connection to Andre Watts.

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