The 92-year-old pianist talks Fauré, Ravel, Nazi Germany and feeling the hand of God.
You were born in 1923 in Germany and you left in 1939. How hard was it to get a musical education during that period?
In many respects it was very hard, and in many respects not hard at all. My father played the violin very badly, and so I started on the violin. My brother had a piano teacher but he was always too tired for the lessons so I used to take the lessons instead of him. I made very good progress on the piano and eventually my father told me I have to go to school and I can only do one of them. So I selected the piano.
Here, I was lucky. The teacher I had was an organist in Germany, in a church. He was not permitted to teach Jewish children but he let me come to his house to take piano lessons. He was a very devoted and very loving teacher. He made music with me and showed me that it was important to him, and at the same time of course it was very important to me. Now that he’s...