I was listening to a CD of Virgil Fox in the car today and am moved to share the little bit I know about him. I was so impressed the one time I saw him in performance at the Kennedy Center years ago. Well, who wouldn’t be. He was quite the showman, leaping up from the bench at the conclusion of a particularly dramatic piece, and doing a subdued version of the little victory dance pro football players do in the end zone after scoring a touchdown. And the jewels! He had diamonds or rubies or maybe both around the heels of his shoes, and, my, did they flash and glitter as he moved his feet over the pedals. He was also a daring interpreter of Bach, for which he got no end of criticism from various purists.

But none of that impressed me as much as hearing later how he reacted on learning that he had incurable cancer and had only six months to live. He doubled his concert schedule.

The wikipedia entry on him is so fascinating, that I commend it to your further reading. Here’s the link.

Ron Hicks, Parish Verger, St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, Washington DC

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One Response to Virgil

  1. says:

    I actually met the great Virgil Fox on the occasion of his playing the dedicatedly concert of my college’s new fine arts building and organ. He wore a flashy red cape and was everything you described. He was also a colleague of my uncle, Claude Murphree, and was kind enough to express sympathy for Claude’s recent death. I played the spots off his recordings!

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