Some Page Turning Humor

Whew, the semester is wrapping up!  My husband and I are looking forward to graduation, although it’s certainly bittersweet.  I will really miss being in school!  We’ll be moving sometime over the next few months, although a lot is still up in the air.  For now, I can tell you we are moving to Ohio!  (Any Ohioan readers out there?)

I received this email forward from a friend of mine, and today I thought I’d share it here.  Enjoy!

The following program notes are from an unidentified piano recital.

Tonight’s page turner, Ruth Spelke, studied under Ivan Schmertnick at the Boris Nitsky School of Page
Turning in Philadelphia.  She has been turning pages here and abroad for many years for some of the world’s leading pianists.

In 1988,  Ms. Spelke won the Wilson Page Turning Scholarship, which sent her to Israel to study page turning from left to right.  She is a winner of the 1984 Rimsky Korsakov Flight of the Bumblebee Prestissimo Medal, having turned 47 pages in an unprecendeted 32 seconds.  She was also a 1983 silver medalist at the Klutz Musical Page Pickup Competition:  contestants retrieve and rearrange a musical score dropped from a Yamaha.  Ms. Spelke excelled in “grace, swiftness, and especially poise.”

For techniques,  Ms. Spelke performs both the finger-licking and the bent-page corner methods.  She works from a standard left bench position, and is the originator of the dipped-elbow page snatch,  a style used to avoid obscuring the pianist’s view of the music.

She is page turner in residence in Fairfield Iowa, where she occupies the coveted Alfred Hitchcock Chair at the Fairfield Page Turning Institute.

Ms.  Spelke is married, and has a nice house on a lake.

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2 thoughts on “Some Page Turning Humor”

  1. Regarding the page turner humour:
    I was a novice page turner/organ stop puller for my good friend at his pipe organ juries. We practiced a bit on the practice organ at one church, but not a whole bunch on the performance organ in another church. It was STRESSFUL, and of course, the worst happened – I pulled the 32′ Bourdon too early. The “light & airy” phrase turned into something more like an earthquake. My friend is a very cool performer, took it all in good stride, and corrected the error on his own. Twenty years later, we are still good friends. Now that is the true test of friendship. (I didn’t stay for the orderves after the performance. It took 3 days before my cheeks went back to their normal colour).

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