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Talent in Spades

April 15, 2016

It’s not enough that Robert Cafaro and Paul Krzywicki are top musicians, proud present and former members, respectively, of The Philadelphia Orchestra, and dedicated to their craft as only the best can be. Now there’s yet another reason to admire these accomplished gentlemen: They’ve each just written a book that takes you deep inside their artistic brilliance and personal struggles. 

Paul Krzywicki was tubist with The Philadelphia Orchestra for 33 years, from 1972 to 2005. Throughout that time and to the present day, he has been on the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music, helping to train generations of leading tuba players in the world’s finest orchestras. His extensive performing, recording, and teaching experience, together with his fierce pride in his Polish heritage, have led Paul to write From Paderewski to Penderecki: The Polish Musician in Philadelphia. It tells the stories of 170 (170!) of these great artists who’ve had such an influence in Philadelphia, the country, and the world. From the two giants mentioned in the title, to Leopold Godowski, Artur Rubinstein, and many many more, these lives make inspiring reading. 

Inspiring is also the word for Bob Cafaro’s new book, entitled When the Music Stopped: My Battle and Victory against MS. It tells how Bob, an Orchestra member since 1985, dealt with the lightning-fast onset of a devastating disease; how he decided to become an expert on MS; and how his research, coupled with an iron will, led him to conquer what could have been a career- (and possibly life-) ending condition. He dedicates the book to “everyone who battles MS day-in and day-out.”

Both these volumes add another dimension to the extraordinary musical gifts routinely offered by The Philadelphia Orchestra. For more on Paul’s book, click here; information on Bob’s is available here.