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Page turners - Part 2

Turning pages for pianists is a pretty thankless job—the page turner is usually only noticed when he or she messes up. But for pianists who depend on page turners—and at some point most pianists do, at least those who haven’t switched over to electronic tablets—good, dependable, unobtrusive page turners are worth their weight in gold. They free the pianists from worry and make their lives much easier. Then again… virtually every pianist has a collection of page turner stories that are either funny or horrible or both. Examples? Well, I’m not a pianist, but I was onstage once with a page turner who had eaten a pre-concert dinner very heavy with onion and garlic, and it was all our pianist could do to keep from passing out from the man’s breath. We also once had a page turner, who while leaning over and trying to turn a page during the concert, said to our pianist, “I had an operation on my shoulder. It wasn’t successful.”

A Minute with Miles is a production of South Carolina Public Radio, made possible by the J.M. Smith Corporation.

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Miles Hoffman is the founder and violist of the American Chamber Players, with whom he regularly tours the United States, and the Virginia I. Norman Distinguished Visiting Professor of Chamber Music at the Schwob School of Music, in Columbus, Georgia. He has appeared as viola soloist with orchestras across the country, and his solo performances on YouTube have received well over 700,000 views.