Celebrating a Maestro

Tuesday, September 18, 2012
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What is Michaelangelo without his paintbrush? Or Yo Yo Ma without his bow? Heck, what would Adele do without her vocal cords and batting eyelashes? Imagine the hardship of losing the ability to create the one thing you love the most. Virtuoso pianist Byron Janis experienced that hardship when he was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis and was forced to reevaluate his gift, his life and his career. Years later, Janis has trained himself to play through his ailment, as well as taking on a role as composer, educator and most importantly, humanitarian. He is of the school of thought that music has it’s own incredible healing power, and to honor this inspiring creative mind, The National Arts Club awarded him this past week with their coveted Lifetime Achievement Award.

Presented at The National Arts Club’s Gramercy Park home, Janis was joined by host Chuck Scarborough (NBC anchor), musicians, broadway stars and adoring fans. Guests enjoyed moving presentations by fellow pianists Inna Faliks and Nimrod David Pfeffer, Vy Higginsen and the Gospel Teens Choir. The evening was well-suited to celebrating Maestro Janis, a genuine living legend of music.

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by David BreulPhotographed by Billy Farrall