Forgive this message out of the blue, but today I started a petition.
I’ve never done anything like it before but I would like to persuade
you sign, and if possible, to pass it on to other music lovers.
For the past few months I’ve immersed myself in researching the life
of one of the world’s greatest pianists, Dinu Lipatti (1917-1950) to
write a feature in celebration of the centenary of his birth next March.
It has turned into quite an adventure, spanning several countries, and
may one day blossom into a biography. Highlights have included
unearthing Lipatti’s files in the archives of the Romanian secret
police, tracing the grim destinies of family and friends under Communism
– and discovering a recital Lipatti gave at King’s Lynn in Norfolk in
I _enormously_ admire this guy: his talent, his charisma, his courage.
His life – cut short at 33 from Hodgkins Lymphoma – was marked by
suffering, melodrama and tragedy. Maybe you know the story of his last
recital at Besançon in 1950? In the last stages of his illness, he
staggered on stage (pumped up with cortisone, administered by his doctor
in the wings) to give a recital of God-given perfection. It was his last
gift to the world, and you can hear it here  on Youtube.
WHY THIS PETITION?
My investigations took me last week to Bucharest. I had heard the
Lipatti house (where Dinu lived in his formative years, from 1930 to
1943) was for sale, smack in the centre of town, and went to see it (I
took the picture below – it’s me that was crooked, not the house).
It would make a great museum as a permanent memorial to this remarkable
musician. But it is under imminent threat. As you will see on the
campaign page here  it managed to survive earthquakes and Ceausecu,
but may now be torn down because the Romanian Ministry of Culture turns
a blind eye – even though the house is a designated historical monument.
The petition will be presented to the Ministry, to persuade it of the
high regard in which Lipatti is held internationally (frankly, I don’t
think it has any idea) and to shame it into doing its job and protecting
this fine and historically important building.
The next step will be to get the museum off the ground – but tomorrow is
… for reading this far. If this isn’t your sort of thing, I’m
sorry to have taken up your time. If it is, it should take less than 30
seconds to read and sign ( here  it is again) and maybe 30 seconds
more to forward it on to a warm-hearted, music-loving friend (or two)?
Finally, please do give yourself a treat and listen to that recital.
All the best, Orlando