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December 2009

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Both Halves - December 30

When I was watching a year-end report on CBS on Sunday I learned that Arthur Ferrante, half of Ferrante and Teicher, had died in September. Lou Teicher died in 2008.

I wrote of my fascination with the duo when Mr. Teicher died. With some editing, I repeat that entry here.

I first heard duo-pianists Ferrante and Teicher when I was a little girl. They were featured guests on a television show. I was fascinated that it was even possible to play two pianos at one time and wind up with music. I thought it was hard enough to play duets with a partner sharing the same keyboard.

Then when I was 16, Ferrante and Teicher played a concert as part of our county's community concert series. A friend of mine and I went, and I was once again enthralled. I had a chance to go backstage afterwards, and came home with my memories and their autographs.

A year or so later they were playing in Charlotte, and I asked, through a feature in the now-defunct Charlotte News, to meet them. I didn't ask the paper to give me tickets; we'd already bought them. All I wanted was a chance to meet two people whose work utterly fascinated me. My request was granted.

A little while before concert time, I was escorted backstage (by Paul Buck himself, for those of you up on Charlotte arena history) for a few minutes to chat, and to shake hands.

It was a wonderful moment. Both men were charming and affable. They said they were always happy to meet young people who were musicians, thanked me for my interest, and wished me well.

That was one of the best nights of my high school life. I came home and wrote down everything about the meeting, and the wonderful concert, while the details were still fresh.

I extend my condolences to Arthur Ferrante's family. And I raise my cup in gratitude for many hours of lovely music, for his part in making a young person happy, and in celebration of his life.

May both halves of this fascinating duo rest in peace.

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