Pianists: Diary of a Miracle

Monday, 3 p.m.: Danish-born Pianist Gunnar Johansen, 63, gets a phone call at the University of Wisconsin, where he has been artist-in-residence since 1939. Boris Sokoloff, manager of the Philadelphia Orchestra, is on the line. Conductor Eugene Ormandy and Pianist Peter Serkin have disagreed on the interpretation of Beethoven's Piano Concerto in D Major, which Serkin was to play with the Philadelphians in Manhattan's Philharmonic Hall the following evening. Could Johansen fill in? Johansen has never even heard the piece, a little-known transcription by Beethoven of his only violin concerto. He dashes next door to the music library, glances...

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