The very last piano recital ever given by the world-famous Peruvian virtuoso
Jose Grumpetso resulted in an unpleasant incident of which I was the cause.
Grumpetso had technique to burn and every accent, even in the most
turbulent passages, was delicate, for he had a chameleonlike ability
to subsume himself in the music.
Nevertheless, as I listened to him I became bored and thought Beethoven's
third movement stunk and was disgusted by his toying with it. I made up my mind
to do something about it. I waited until there was a momentary pause in the music
and began clapping as though it were the end of the piece and called out "Bravo!
Bravo!" A few others, unaware that the music was to continue, also began clapping
but stopped, and were embarrassed, when the rest of the audience failed to join
them in the applause.
The disturbance must have woken Grumpetso from his dreamlike state for he hit a
couple of wrong notes. He never truly regained his composure and the rest of the
performance was a disaster. Not surprisingly, at the end of the concert, I was
attacked and abused, but I showed not an atom of repentance and I still
don't. And that was the end of Grumpetso. Whatever happened to him, I wouldn't
have a clue, and what's more, I couldn't care less because I couldn't stand his