Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli has always been one of my favorite 20th-century concert pianists. He left the world with a repertoire that was built around the music of Bach, Scarlatti, Chopin, Beethoven, and Rachmaninoff and his playing is unmistakably unique in its exquisite understanding of tone color, and refinement. He was known for hardly acknowledging an audience’s ovations, once explaining: “Applause goes to Beethoven, to Chopin, to Debussy, not to me.” He was a remarkable teacher and composer as well, yet his Italian flair passed beyond his exquisite playing to his love for sports cars as well, especially Ferraris.
Benedetti Michelangeli was a personal friend of Enzo Ferrari and actually competed two times in the famous 1000 mile "Mille Miglia" road race from Brescia to Rome and back, passing through some of the most beautiful cities of Italy. His insistence on perfection in all his endeavors frequently surfaced in his keen appreciation of Italian cars and also of the mechanics of the piano frequently refusing to perform on an instrument that was not in his judgment in absolutely perfect condition.