“The Republicans don’t want another piano player in the white house.” – Richard Nixon.
Former US President Richard Nixon is known for many things, but a composer isn’t one of them –that is until now. A clip uncovered on Youtube shows President Nixon performing a short piano concerto he composed with full orchestral accompaniment (“15 Democratic violinists”) on Jack Parr’s Tonight Show, March 8, 1963. What is even more astounding is not that he wrote it, but just how charming it is. He’s not a bad piano player either.
Nixon learned to play piano and violin through college and even considered a career as a musician “I like organ music – particularly the great Cathedrals of Europe… I’ve always thought about how great it would be to play a great organ… and to compose. I’ve also had a great yearning to direct a great symphony orchestra.”
The mini-concerto, performed on a Steinway piano, features ascending scalic passages, and a signature repeated note at the beginning of each melodic phrase. Unfortunately, the video’s sound cuts out at 2:09, and we were unable to find a better copy. We’ll update if we can.
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