Personalities of the musicians

It’s my apartment and I’ll play if I want to

Prokofiev and his family moved into a small top floor-apartments in Paris.  Prokofiev spent much time practicing a revised version of his second piano concerto (which was to be premiered 8 May 1924).  The apartment manager demanded that Prokofiev cease playing.  His wife Lina recalled Prokofiev’s response:

All right then, you don’t want to hear my music, but I have the right to do whatever I like in my own apartment.  Instead of playing music I’ll start hammering boxes together.”  Placing a box on the floor, he started banging on it with a hammer.  That’s how it ended – apparently the neighbours threw up their hands and gave in.

Cited in: Jaffé, Daniel (1998) Sergey Prokofiev.  London: Phaidon Press Limited, p.93.

By Greg

Australian composer and pianist