When I was a child, we did not use to listen to classical music at home. We had only a disc of Wiener waltzes. I was introduced to classical music at school when I was 12. Each Monday morning, the first lecture took place in the school theatre and consisted in listening to some great work. I remember having heard then for the first time the Jupiter symphony, the Pastoral symphony, the Pictures at an exhibition from Mussorgsky in the orchestral version from Ravel. I did not remember that there was some piano solo music. The work was commented by our professor, a priest named l’abbé Bernard who taught also French and Latin and brought his own hi-fi magnetophone, an impressive big Uher, and loudspeakers for these listening sessions. I did not remember why my first vinyl disk bought with my pocket money was favourite piano pieces, The Letter to Elise, Liebestraum and others. At that time I entered in a boys choir. My knowledge of the music theory was rather poor. It still is.
My first contact with a piano was a few years later when I spend some summer vacation periods in an old house on the Channel shore. The upright piano was as old as the house and had been not tuned for several years. I could repeat one hour long some known melodies, like the the Letter to Elise or Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, played with only one finger.
I started playing guitar when I was 20 because I liked much, I still do, Leonard Cohen songs. When I had a job, I bought more and more classical music disks. I started piano as an autodidact when I was 35 because I was so much impressed by the andantino of the sonata in A major, D. 959, from Franz Schubert. I am now 51. I have got recently some piano lessons from a professional pianist coming from Kirghizstan, Natalia Yastreb. Unfortunately she was not authorized to stay in France. I owe to her significant progress achieved during the 8 month period when she gave me lessons, one hour each week.