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Going Amateur: a pianist chooses retirement

I’m 53 years old and for the first time in my life I’m practicing without a performance goal.  No upcoming concerts.  No recordings.  I'm retiring as a pianist to further embrace my writing career where, on No Dead Guys and other sites, I can continue to champion composers and their music.  Leaving performing is just the final step on a six-year departure from a lifelong music career, a journey I first wrote about in Pianists and the Art of the Graceful Exit.  

The process of choosing to retire has been a deeply introspective one.  Like most musicians, my relationship with the piano goes much deeper than a job description and has been embedded in my identity since I was a child.  One of the phases I had to pass through as I started my LONG retirement process was letting go of youthful dreams. Part of me felt I never did enough.  Looking back (of course) I can see that I did quite a lot with my level of skill and training and the opportunities I was given. I also answered the most i…

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