Review by Tina Gaisin
I was not planning on attending another concert but something told me I should go! I dragged my special someone and off we went! The concert was held at Chabad Romano located on Bathurst St. in Maple. Instead of a lectern on the Bimah (elevated altar area) was a beautiful piano! Acting as Master of Ceremonies, and guest soloist/ speaker was pianist Gershon Wachtel.
Wachtel has a lengthy bio which includes the accompaniment of the 1976 and 1980 USA women’s Gymnastic Teams. He has toured extensively around the world, and yet he started with very humble beginnings in Buffalo, New York then came to Toronto. He has appeared on NBC TV, CBS Radio and CBC Radio. He also appeared in Canada’s Parliament to perform our National Anthem! The maestro’s magical story starts from his introduction through to his conclusion, by showing us his life via painting his life’s story and playing for us as any virtuoso pianist does, but Gershon shows us his differences and peels away his layers.
He was not always an observant Jew but became one even though he had a troubled childhood. When one of his 12 children died at the age of 4, he exposed to the audience, his heart both in words, his music, and the misery he and his family went through.
Gershon said he did not want to talk about what the music was called because it was at too high a level and I agreed. He took us on an emotional journey going up high and down low with him yet leaving happy. It does not take a genius to know that this wonderful man can help all of us with problems. He has 4 secrets to life, I heard what they are and I cannot spoil the secrets but suggest our readers hear him speak & play… and you will learn the 3 givens too.
This reviewer has one final comment. Wachtel wants to go to Broadway and for those out there that can help he has the show that has not yet been heard! I am rarely moved by any pianist as much as I was tonight by him. I needed to stand for the entire show and was deeply moved. We both felt transported by his imagery from his spoken story to his amazing playing. For all of you – Jewish or Gentile; everyone has had adversity and can appreciate this story; the Gershon onion who peels back his life with his honesty his words and his playing. The entire evening was entertaining; inspiring; and presented from his heart!