Organist's life: Trash collection to concert hall

Mon Nov 10, 2008 7:05am EST
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By Ori Lewis

KARMIEL, Israel (Reuters Life!) - Organist Roman Krasnovsky barely had time to acknowledge the applause at the end of his recital at a Tel Aviv church last month before he had to rush back home to start his day job -- collecting rubbish.

Picking up the trash in Karmiel, a town in northern Israel, is steady work, allowing the Ukrainian-born Krasnovsky, 53, time for playing, teaching and composing.

But his job, riding a rattling garbage truck can strike an odd note at his performances in Israel and abroad.

"At some concerts when I have been introduced, the announcer said: 'Today Roman Krasnovsky will be playing, he is a famous organist but in Israel he has to work as a rubbish collector'," Krasnovsky said.

"Moments like those made me feel really bad because the audience felt sorry for me."

Krasnovsky began playing the piano at age 5. He studied at various musical academies in the former Soviet Union and among his teachers counted famed composer Aram Khachaturian.

Before immigrating to Israel in 1990 at age 35, Krasnovsky

was the principal keyboard player at the Kharkov Symphony Orchestra. He was drawn to the organ after the city installed a new one at its main concert hall.   Continued...