Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

It could be said that we live in an X factor world where fame and stardom come quickly.  For many this is not the case and the road to becoming a world authority takes time and effort in addition to talent.  Yesterday Year 12 students enjoyed a unique opportunity to meet a person “touched by greatness”.  Jay Gottleib is a concert pianist, he has performed with some of the world’s great orchestras, recorded and worked with some notable composers and travels the world to teach aspiring piano maestros.

Yesterday he shared his experience with us a group of non-specialists through word and music.  During his discourse he explained how a mentor can change your life, how authenticity is the key to performance and how a life lived without a passion for what you do is a life wasted.  It was a moment to pause and to think about how we live our lives and what motivates us.  He described the teaching that he had received from the great conductor and teacher Nadia Boulanger, as being ‘her best given to inspire his best’ and how having met Picasso, Shostakovich, Copland and Martha Graham had changed the course of his life.

We are fortunate at the BSP to have access to some inspirational speakers who give freely of their time to work with our students.  In Jay Gottleib they met with a unique artist who has found his life direction as a consequence of the influence of others.  As Headmaster I would hope that all of our pupils find at least one teacher who lights that spark during their time with us, for this is when great education happens.

Nicholas Hammond


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