Condoleezza Rice playing Dvorak's Piano Quintet

October 14, 2009 at 05:12 PM ·

Condoleezza Rice playing the piano part to Dvorak's Piano Quintet #1 taken place at Aspen!!!


Replies (34)

October 13, 2009 at 11:27 PM ·

gaah the embedding did not go through..

here's the LINK

Anyway, just thought that this was a very nice performance of Dvorak's Piano Quintet 1...

October 15, 2009 at 03:04 AM ·

 I hope she's having a good ol' time after helping the country go straight into the toilet.

If I find a video of Rummy fly fishing in Montana or GW riding his mountain bike I'll post ASAP.

October 15, 2009 at 05:47 PM ·

Isn't it fun to see with someone real accomplishments do so well in yet another area of endeavor. It is so refreshing in this age of image  and aspiration to see Ms. Rice's substance.

October 15, 2009 at 09:22 PM ·

Scott - in the spirit of your response, I hear that Reinhard Heydrich, who was in charge of the Final Solution until his assassination in 1942, was an excellent violinist.  Too bad there is no youtube of him playing.

October 15, 2009 at 10:11 PM ·


What substance? The woman helped to implement some of the most disastrous foreign policy decisions of our lifetime. Were all the other pianists busy that day?


October 15, 2009 at 10:47 PM ·

Regardless of how we all view Condolezza Rice's time in office, I think it's possible to appreciate her ability to maintain a high level of musical skill while being in a such demanding public position.

October 16, 2009 at 12:36 AM ·

I for one choose to put her politics aside for the time being.  Very nice performance!

October 16, 2009 at 03:35 AM ·

 Oh, this is WONDERFUL to hear and see. Echoing Bev, I'm happy to put politics aside and just ENJOY. Thanks for posting this link!

October 16, 2009 at 06:01 AM ·

 Ok everyone, I guess you're right. I'll send the link to all the families of dead and maimed Americans and Iraqis. They should enjoy Dvorak too!

October 16, 2009 at 02:55 PM ·

 I defer to your superior intellect Scott.

October 16, 2009 at 03:44 PM ·

I think that Scott Cole is on the verge of violating one of's Rules for Writers.

3) No hate speech or personal attacks

Please respect others on the site, avoid profanity and conduct yourself politely. Attempts to harass or intimidate others are grounds for expulsion from the site.

October 16, 2009 at 04:05 PM ·


I did not A. use profanity or B. attack or harassing anyone on this site. I am simply pointing out that I and many others feel that former members of the Bush administration should be held responsible for what could be considered crimes against humanity.

Ms. Rice may well be a gifted pianist and brilliant person, but at a time when people are still dying in Iraq and Afghanistan, and at a time when the country is reeling from economic policies set in motion by the former administration, I don't feel that being able to knock off a piano quintet should give her a bye, any more than we should be waiving aside the war crimes of Charles Taylor or Pinochet. 

I've made my point, and after today I'll remove all my posts on this thread.


October 16, 2009 at 04:24 PM ·



No need to remove your opinions. Keep them up so we can all know what you think. Editing them out is a signal that you lack conviction. Moreover it will leave our comments stranded. Don't deprive us of your incisive and thoughtful commentary. 

October 16, 2009 at 09:33 PM ·


If you insist. The original poster was probably not expecting a tirade, but I felt it too important to let it pass.

Corwin, I don't claim to have a "superior" intellect--I have simply been aware of what has happened over the past 8 years. And I am angry. What has or will become of those that constructed and carried out some of the most destructive policies? They will go on to teach at prestigious universities (John Yoo), make millions on speaking engagements, and sit on corporate boards. BW will construct his presidential library and, like his father, accomplish little else. Wolfie became president of the World Bank. Greenspan will retire to his mansion in the leafy suburbs. Cheney and Rummy will cast for trout. And the same for Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, and the rest.

That these people have not and likely will not be held accountable, but will instead go on to live wonderful and wealthy lives of is an outrage. What's most unfortunate is more are not outraged.


October 16, 2009 at 11:26 PM ·

October 17, 2009 at 03:59 AM ·


I personally hold the opinion that Ms Rice and her colleagues in the previous administration acted with great courage for the defense of freedom and liberty here and abroad. Iraq is now a young democracy and women (in particular) of Afghanistan have been liberated from an awful tyranny. It seems simple but now men and women in Afghanistan can listen to music without fear of oppression and punishment. If the art and culture we love and cherish are truly based on enduring and universal values I, for one, am happy to make sacrifices so that all can enjoy the freedom to enjoy all of these values. 

But I do respect your right to a different opinion.

October 17, 2009 at 04:24 AM ·

I didn't post this up to start trouble.

Although I did not/do not agree with what happened during GW's presidency, I was just merely trying to post a video I found inspiring.  Condoleezza Rice was able to maintain a very high level of her piano talent while in a highly stressful and time consuming job.  The point of my post was to highlight that yes, it is possible to have a full time job other than playing the violin and keep up/maintain your musical talents.

I've often asked myself...since I'm not going to become a professional musician, will I be able to keep up a high level of playing?  This shows that yes, this is possible...

I wish that we could just put politics aside and enjoy the music being played, because it is a lovely performance of the piece.

October 17, 2009 at 01:09 PM ·

Amen to what Patrick said. 

October 17, 2009 at 01:09 PM ·

Amen to what Patrick said. 

October 17, 2009 at 02:26 PM ·

Wow, I just lost a lot of respect for you, Scott. Bush isn't the president anymore, so you can stop being miserable and move on with your life under the current president.

October 17, 2009 at 04:30 PM ·

Hope this is the last post we have on political subjects. Do you want to end like Classical Music Guide forums, where everybody insult and atack everybody else? Politics and religion post should be forbbiden, so poena of banning.IMO.There are hundreds of sites where it can be discussed, but not here.

October 17, 2009 at 09:28 PM ·

Objection! As much as I support the idea of keeping this forum clean from politics, morale is a different story. Musics without ethics? I am not sure classical music would benefit from such abstract approach.

And being a politician is no excuse for unethical behaviour independent on the politicians nationality, religion etc. And therefore I would appreciate not be confronted with "artists" whose morale is more than questionable even and especially when they are public figures in politics.



October 18, 2009 at 12:07 AM ·

I believe there is always a time and place for discussions of those sorts, but this post was not intended to be a vessel for different political agendas.

I'm 19 years old, and although I do not agree with most things about GW and his presidency, I know how to be respectful and mindful of others' opinions and thoughts on a forum such as  Therefore, I know not to push my own political agendas or comment so brashly on them.

This post was CLEARLY not an attempt to praise/condemn Ms. Rice, but if you couldn't tell (because it was obvious), it was to show the Vcom community a lovely performance put on by members of the Aspen Festival.  It was also to show (as I have stated previously), that hopefully one day, when other musicians are working in a non-musical field, they can keep up their musical talents and maybe even successfully perform a piece in an ensemble like this.

FMF, if you found out that a musician was somehow "unethical" or committed "unethical" acts in a certain time period of their life, are you instantly going to stop listening to their music and judge them for it?

Maybe I'm just being naive then...because for me, I can listen to this performance and not become so rash and riled up fueled by extracurricular events...maybe you should close your eyes and listen?  Yes...Maybe that would help.

October 18, 2009 at 02:27 AM ·

I stand with Scott Cole.

If you don't want to inject politics into music then why mention Condeleeza Rice in the first place? She is know to all of us only through her political work so bringing her up is really bringing up politics.

Try to image how an Iraqi (who has experienced a Tomahawk missile kill his/her family) would feel about her piano playing. Despite 9/11, most of us here in the US don't know much about having our family members killed by foreign militaries.  I realize you didn't want to start a political discussion when you mentioned her, but then again, why do we all know her?

October 18, 2009 at 04:31 AM ·

John, I think it's highly likely that the post was introduced simply because the topic is interesting - it's about a performance with a famous person whose musical talent isn't often discussed.

And Frank, I think it's unfortunate that you or others were offended by the mention of her name, but it's certainly not a universal norm not to discuss Condoleezza Rice, nor do I think it should be.

October 18, 2009 at 06:40 AM ·

October 18, 2009 at 12:22 PM ·

 I disagree that Rice's musical talent and accomplishments aren't often discussed.  Perhaps as a musician I notice it more than the general public would.  But my impression is that it is written about in news articles fairly frequently and that most Americans know that she is a high-achieving classically trained pianist. 

What I would be interested in hearing more about from someone knowledgeable about the piano, is how her musicianship stacks up against that of people who do it for a living.  There are many gifted, high-achieving, classical pianists out there who have difficulty finding audiences, and who do not play at Aspen.  

My opinion (as someone who has not studied piano) is that she is better at the piano than she was at her day job.  In my mind, this raises a question that is not completely an idle one.  Many of us try to balance music and a separate professional career, at various levels.  How much can or should achievement and fame in one arena spill over into another, separate arena?  

October 18, 2009 at 12:39 PM ·

 I played this clip (and its companion) last night for a dear friend who studied piano at Eastman. He was quite impressed with her pianism and musical maturity. He felt that she held her own nicely with the other members of the ensemble. We both agreed that professionalism requires a broad repertory and the ability to learn music fairly rapidly and that could not be known from the clips we saw. His conclusion based on the evidence was that she is a very accomplished amateur musician.

October 18, 2009 at 02:00 PM ·

I'm sure that Dr. Rice wouldn't pretend to be anything other than a keen amateur and I recall reading several articles where she says how making and listening to music was a really relaxing yet challenging activity for her to do in her spare time.  Apparently she has loved classical music since her childhood.

Personally, I feel strongly that her music-making doesn't have anything whatsoever to do with whether the government she was part of acted rightly or wrongly.   Even politicians should be allowed to switch off from their job and have a hobby.

October 18, 2009 at 04:41 PM ·

I read somewhere that becoming a professional pianist was something she seriously considered, and that she had the talent to make it happen if she had wanted to.

October 19, 2009 at 12:45 AM ·

Scott, your outbursts are completely uncalled for in this forum.

OP did not invite a political discussion simply because he identified the pianist as Condoleezza Rice.  You could just as easily mention Jack Benny or Ansel Adams.  Every performer has a name, whether a high-ranking government official or some Japanese teenager you have never heard of.  (And -- gasp! -- not all of them are someone you would want to go have a beer with.)

October 19, 2009 at 02:01 AM ·

Does anyone know the other musicians?  They sound professional to me.  I guess when you reach a certain level of politics or celebrity, you get to play with pros, even if you are just a proficient amateur.  Not to take away from her performance, because they really did a nice job; I listened to the whole thing.  But I guess that is one of the perks of being famous.


October 19, 2009 at 02:31 AM ·

I know the violist, Lydia Bunn, who has played in our Orchestra of St. Johns, and is/was studying at Peabody in Baltimore.

October 19, 2009 at 03:26 AM ·

Smiley, Does anyone play at Aspen other than professionals, putative or otherwise? (Ms. Rice excepted of course)

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