The Pianist-Candidate

by Jay Nordlinger

Every so often, I write about the intersection of music and politics. And there is a doozy of a story this year. There is a pianist in New York. His name is Andy Russo, and he is running for the state senate. He’s a Republican, and he is totally unabashed. Well, he’s a candidate, isn’t he? I know many conservatives and Republicans in the music world; many of them are closeted. That world can be ruthless, politically. It’s so nice to see a musician in the arena, baring it all. Out and proud, so to speak.

For a story in the New York Times — yeah, I know, but still . . . — go here.

P.S. WFB liked to tell the story of Clemenceau meeting Paderewski at the Paris Peace Conference. In fact, he used it in an introduction of me once — twice, I think. Anyway, Paderewski has become Polish prime minister, and Clemenceau is introduced to him at the conference. “Any relation to the pianist?” the Frenchman asks. Paderewski answers, “I am the pianist.” Clemenceau says, “And now you’re in politics? What a comedown.”

P.P.S. But, again, I’m glad Russo’s in it! (I’m glad Paderewski was, too.)

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