Musical Fathers

The Mozarts: The Famous Father and Two of His Prodigies(Photo: Painting by Carmontelle)
The Mozarts: The Famous Father and Two of His Prodigies(Photo: Painting by Carmontelle)

This Sunday is Father’s Day.  There are lots of musical dads out there – famous and not so famous.

Leopold Mozart was, and even today still is, one of the most famous musical fathers.  In fact, he might not have been famous at all had he not been dad to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

The pianist Lang Lang and his father, Lang Guo-ren, have a complex story, at least as told from the son’s point of view in his memoir, Journey of a Thousand Miles.

Since I am a musician, I guess it’s safe to say that my dad was a musical dad, though he himself wasn’t exactly musical.  His father had played in dance bands all around Virginia as a lad but made his living in business.

My father played the harmonica and could whistle a fair game, but couldn’t sing a tune to save his life.  He became a journalist and watched with curiosity, I’m sure, as I became a musician.  I could not have done it without him.

Dad died several years ago.  This Father’s Day, as daughters and sons around the world pay tribute to their dads, I’ll be thinking of those musical fathers–including my own–and listening gratefully to their musical legacies.

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