Advice from a Pro

by Jay Nordlinger

Last year in Salzburg, I interviewed Marko Feingold, who was then 100. (For the two parts of this interview, go here and here.) He has vivid memories of World War I (and terrible memories they are). In the next war, he survived a grand total of four concentration camps. He has been known to quip, “I could write a Michelin guide to the camps.”

In today’s Impromptus — the final installment of a “Salzburg Journal” — I note that he gave a brief speech during this year’s Salzburg Festival. It was at a memorial concert for Donald Kahn, an old friend for many of us. Donald was the chief benefactor of the festival, and of The New Criterion here in New York. He also contributed to National Review, and came on a cruise.

Back to Feingold (who, at 101, looks in his early 80s, at the most). He has been married twice. His first wife, Else, died in 1992. He married Hanna in 1998 (and she was also at the concert). He got several laughs in the course of his brief remarks. The biggest came when he spoke of his friend the archbishop of Salzburg. The archbishop asked, “Tell me, how can I live as long and as well as you?” Feingold said, “First, I suggest you find a nice wife.”

The archbishop refers to Feingold as his “elder brother”; Feingold calls the archbishop his “younger brother.”

In other news: I feature Lisa Batiashvili, the starry Georgian violinist, in my journal today. (She and her husband, the French oboist François Leleux, were guests in a Q&A series I host.) As a public service, I now give you a link to Batiashvili in the Brahms Concerto with Christian Thielemann, the whole kit ’n’ caboodle: here. For when you have time.

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