Phil Howie is involved in several Cambridge orchestras, but during the day he’s a materials scientist who just finished his PhD. This is a fragment of a conversation we had, in which he talks about the various instruments he plays, and how he combines music and science in his life.
Ed Fischer won the 1992 Nobel Prize for the biochemically important discovery of protein regulation by phosphorylation. He also plays piano, and here are two quotes from a recent interview with him on the Lindau Nobel site:
“I was happy to retire, because I played the piano and I would have like to spend two hours a day on the piano. I simply can’t do that because I am too busy: I give talks, I come to meetings, I am on juries that give prizes, etc. These are very nice things, but they take time.”
“I never had the virtuosity that you need to be a real pianist. Piano is like tennis, you have to be a Boris Becker at age 15 or 16, I never had the capabilities of becoming a pianist. I like music, but the idea of making a living out of music seemed funny to me. I loved to be at the conservatory, I was what you call in French class libre – free class, which was not on the professional track where you have to play the piano five hours a day. I couldn’t do that.”
Read the rest of the interview here.