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An interview with Dr. Henri-Robert Delbeau
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By Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
November 27, 2002
Originally Published on ExploreDance.com

Dr. Henri-Robert Delbeau is an award-winning concert pianist, as well as an Administrator and Inpatient Specialist at Long Island Jewish Hospital. Dr. Delbeau joined me at Blue Lady Lounge, Shelly's New York, 104 West 57th Street, NY, 212.245.2422, where another musician, who was published in ExploreDance.com, Hilliard Greene, was performing on bass.


REZ - How did you prepare for your recent concert with such a busy schedule?

HRD - I regulate my life, when it comes to work. I try to create a balance. I don't have 8 hours/day the week before a concert, maybe 8 hours/month. But, I was able to practice 8 hrs/week.

REZ - How did you choose the pieces?

HRD - I had experienced some pieces before, but I had never felt like a real pianist, until I performed these pieces. The Liszt piece defines you as a musician and a pianist. It's such a magical and individual piece.

REZ - Where did you study piano?

HRD - I started playing around my 8th birthday. I took private lessons and then chamber music lessons and played in chamber and symphony performances. Eventually music won over sciences, as I studied as a musician initially. I finished a BA in Music at the University of Texas and a Masters in Music at the University of North Texas. At this point, I had not pursued pre-medical studies.

REZ - What happened?

HRD - I moved to New York, and to everything there is a season. My mind wasn't fertile for music at that point. I completed a Post-Baccalaureate Degree at Queens College and completed my residency at New York Hospital-Cornell in 1997. I then gave up playing the piano for 10-11 years. The longer you don't play, the worse it gets to begin again. But, I got back to piano as a result of Mary Robbins, a friend, who scheduled a 30-minute recital in 1999 for donors of a Music Festival.

REZ - What did you play at this Festival?

HRD - I played the first movement of Bach's A Minor English Suite and an adaptation of a Schumann song by Liszt, Dedication, originally sung in German, which ends with the Ave Maria.

REZ - Do you speak German? French? Are you originally from Haiti?

HRD - I spoke nothing but French at home before going to school and then became English dependent. I was born in Massachusetts.

REZ - Tell me about the choices and challenges in performing these particular pieces.

HRD - I only recently gravitated to Romantic Music. I used to play essentially classical, but this program was heavily romantic, like the pieces by Liszt and Rachmaninoff. The chemistry of this program was good, and some of the pieces I happened to be playing at the time. Mozart was melancholy, and Liszt was soul-searching. Granados was brooding, yet poignant. Rachmaninoff was very tempestuous. For me, this was one of my darkest programs. I don't know why.

REZ - How do you plan to juxtapose and coordinate your careers as a physician and as a musician?

HRD - In the long term, it's about what kind of musician I can become. In future years, I will have a repertoire and can concretize on a regular basis. I got the inspiration for this benefit for Children's Aid Society from a friend. Essentially, I learned the art of performing late, the essence of which is essentially sharing the experience of music with people.

REZ - When is your next concert?

HRD - In the Spring, I'll perform at Brookhaven Labs.

I should also give homage to my teachers, Tian Ying, in NY, Jerome Lowenthal, of the Music Academy of the West, and John Perry of University of California, at San Francisco.

November 27, 2002

Dr. Henri-Robert Delbeau, Physician and Concert Pianist, at Blue Lady Lounge, Shelly's New York, 104 West 57th Street, 212.245.2422, attending a jazz performance by Hilliard Greene and the Joan Bender Quartet (joan@joanbender.com).



Dr. Henri-Robert Delbeau



Dr. Henri-Robert Delbeau, Roberta Zlokower, Hilliard Greene



Dr. Henri-Robert Delbeau
 

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net