'Food for the spirit': French 106-year-old pianist to release sixth album
By Ardee Napolitano PARIS (Reuters) - Colette Maze says she began playing the piano when she was four years old to find in music the warmth absent in her strict upbringing. Today, at the age of 106, her playing still exudes great tenderness and sitting at the piano - one of four in her Paris apartment - her agile fingers seem to barely touch the keys as she sways to the sounds of Schumann, Debussy and Chopin. 'It's my food, my food for the spirit and for the heart', Maze, a small, vivacious woman, told Reuters
By Ardee Napolitano
PARIS (Reuters) - Colette Maze says she began playing the piano when she was four years old to find in music the warmth absent in her strict upbringing.
Today, at the age of 106, her playing still exudes great tenderness and sitting at the piano - one of four in her Paris apartment - her agile fingers seem to barely touch the keys as she sways to the sounds of Schumann, Debussy and Chopin.
"It's my food, my food for the spirit and for the heart", Maze, a small, vivacious woman, told Reuters.
Born in 1914 into a middle class family, she was homeschooled by her strict mother while her father managed a fertilizer plant.
She then went on to study at the Paris Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris, a conservatoire in the 16th arrondissement, before embarking on a long career as an accompanist at music schools in the capital.
Maze, credits yoga and finger gymnastics for keeping her nimble. If she stops playing she would need to feed her imagination somehow. "But I need something touchable. You need to taste candy, and my fingers need to feel the keys, to feel this," as her feet reach for the pedals and she begins to play once more.
Maze has just recorded her sixth album - a three volume recording of works by Debussy, slated to be released in April. Last year, she recorded pieces by Debussy and another major French composer, Erik Satie.
Her only son Fabrice Maze, born in 1949, says his mother is an inspiration for others, especially during the times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"On one hand she helps morale. That at 106 you can be on good form if you have passion and looks after yourself -- that’s good news," he says.
"And then her sense of humour, her joy, her love of life, it makes you smile."
(Fixes headline to reflect quote)
(Reporting by Ardee Napolitano; Writing by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.