A Inspirational Life : Joao Carlos Martins

João Carlos Martins was enjoying a brilliant career as a concert pianist, with performances at prestigious venues such as New York’s 2,800-seater Carnegie Hall, when disaster struck. Asports injury damaged a nerve in his right hand and, at the age of 28, he had to accept that he had lost the ability to play perfectly – even though at an emotional level he still longed to play. He sold all his pianos and reinvented himself, somewhat bizarrely, as a boxing entrepreneur.

While watching the boxers, he was inspired by how they kept fighting despite adversity and hard knocks. He told himself: ‘I am a coward; I gave up too easily and now I’m no longer giving the best of myself’. So he quietly bought back his pianos and began practising again. He found that, by adapting hisstyle of play, he could still produce mesmerising music. After five years, he called his former agent and suggested a comeback. With a feeling of fear and hope, Carnegie Hall was again booked. On the day of the comeback performance, he took a taxi to Carnegie Hall.

The traffic was much worse than usual and the taxi driver said: ‘I have no idea who is playing tonight but he’s surepacking out the whole place!’. That night was the greatest of Martins’ life, as the New York audiences welcomed him back with ovation after ovation. Martins received a recording contract to play all the works of J. S. Bach. But while working on this, disaster struck again. Street thieves mugged him for the sake of his wallet; they hit him over the head with an iron bar. The brain damage affected his playing and forced him to quit.

During a dream he felt that he was told to become a conductor. So, at the age of 64, he took his first lesson in how to conduct an orchestra. His musical talent allowed him to make rapid progress – and he forged yet another career out of adversity. Today, as well as conducting top orchestras, he reaches out to others who are struggling against adversity – to the poor of Brazil who live in slums. Through a Foundation, Martins is aiming to create 1,000 string orchestras throughout the favelas. Martins told at a gathering recently: “Before everything, I love life!”

 

He then showed his love of life and music by playing a wonderfully emotionally piece of music, with the few fingers that still obey the commands of his brain. And as so often before, he received a standing ovation.

31 thoughts on “A Inspirational Life : Joao Carlos Martins

  1. Was feeling low just before you posted this. Thanks for the inspiration! People who want to get things done, will search for and follow any and every (legitimate) way to do it.

  2. Hello Shekhar,

    here is a wonderful example of the indomitability of the human spirit. The world is so full of such stories and yet, the darker side of the equation shows a streak of diffidence, dread and indifference that runs through the narrative of human endeavor.

    On one hand there is a man who would conceivably have tried to play with his toes had all else failed him, a man who was willing to move mountains to follow the call of his superior talents. On the other hand there are those who have all the tools to knock at the gate of immortality and yet with dispassion and inertia they let their gifts slip away.

    I suspect that the insidious influences of drug addiction play a decisive role in keeping those brilliant few at the foothills of the Mount Olympus of their aspirations while others can only longingly glimpse its unattainable summit from a great distance. Seymour Hoffman was one of the rare ones whose talents would have carried him to the upper reaches of that elusive peak.

    Our admiration should rightfully be with the ones who have risen from the ashes as our compassion should belong in equal measure to those who have stumbled and fallen. There is often so heartbreakingly little that separates the two.

    Kind regards.

    Horst

  3. Hello Shekhar,

    here is a wonderful example of the indomitability of the human spirit. The world is so full of such stories and yet, the darker side of the equation shows a streak of diffidence, dread and indifference that runs through the narrative of human endeavor.

    On one hand there is a man who would conceivably have tried to play with his toes had all else failed him, a man who was willing to move mountains to follow the call of his superior talents. On the other hand there are those who have all the tools to knock at the gate of immortality and yet with dispassion and inertia they let their gifts slip away.

    I suspect that the insidious influences of drug addiction play a decisive role in keeping those brilliant few at the foothills of the Mount Olympus of their aspirations while others can only longingly glimpse its unattainable summit from a great distance. Seymour Hoffman was one of the rare ones whose talents would have carried him to the upper reaches of that elusive peak.

    Our admiration should be with the ones who have risen from the ashes as our compassion should belong in equal measure to those who have stumbled and fallen. There is often so heartbreakingly little that separates the two.

    Kind regards.

    Horst

  4. Dear Shekharji,

    Thank you for posting this story! And if this is about creative artists then I have something to say.

    I am terribly disappointed with what’s happened to us at Qyuki. How is it that our work does not matter to you anymore at Qyuki just because you have the new team on board and a new avatar of Qyuki in place?

    I tried saving my content but the archives link does not work and I cannot log in.There is a 30 day time limit before we lose all content. So I’d appreciate if you could tell the team how to resolve this issue for us,me.

    I’ve enjoyed being on the old Qyuki and it’s by far one of the bravest things I have done in my life and I thank you for that great opportunity to share something of me there.It isn’t like I cease to exist/be only because the old Qyuki is in “going going gone” mode..unless we sign up at the new Qyuki.I am sorry but I can’t shake off this feeling that you just don’t care anymore about our work.

    Well it is important to me -both the poems and the photographs I have taken.I have already emailed the team about this.Hope to hear from them and you on this.

    Thanks in advance

    Love
    sheelanandini

  5. This post came at the right time. I had not logged on to our blog for a while. Time, work and lack of focus. But then again, how could I not click on this, when I have been called again to ‘love life, above all’ despite all the seeming issues right now. Thanks!! and I love the idea of science and art in ancient India. I have a whole book on natyashastra and its reflections in bollywood on me. Sir, it would be kind of you –and I would be so honored if you allowed me to assist you in that TV……best, BlueSkey

  6. sir i have a idea on new television show just like pradhanmantri. its based on law, institute, religion
    facts . i think its great success if you will hosted .
    may be i am over excited on my idea
    i want to send you a thinking proposal so please give me E-mail address.

    thanx 2 seeing……………………………………………………..?

  7. Shekharji,

    Indian actors n writers dont need Hollywood money nor a Rob Cohen to make good films. I believe, we can do it with Indian Directors n also Indian money.

    But perhaps, Paani needs all our sincere efforts at this moment to take its imp premise to widest possible audience.

    We can work out other films later. Your fan has a lot of ideas including children films for u.

    Regards,
    ~Anupam

  8. Shekharji,

    Please forgive me for having been stupidly presumptuous. My head is down with shame.
    Grant me another chance, will not disappoint you.

    V Sorry! 🙁

    Best Regards,
    ~Anupam

  9. Dear Shekharji,

    Thank you for your kindness.

    Learning, comprehending and realizing new Lessons of Life opens new windows for the mind.
    Thank you again.

    Best Regards,
    ~Anupam

  10. Shekharji,

    A real fan of yours will Never ever approach you with any idea that is beneath your sensibilities. Otherwise he cant possibly be your fan (even if he claims to be!).

    Your younger set of fans may be too young at this point to dictate any shots. They probably need some time (at least they hope so).

    And as you said, ‘Hope’ can bring ‘Change’. I choose to live with that hope, to see what change it can possibly herald.

    This note is also from my own set of beliefs. I want give these beliefs a fair chance. Bless us, please. We need both your blessings and advice.

    Best Regards,
    ~Anupam

  11. Shekharji,

    Lord Shiva had two interesting followers – Nandi & Bhringi. Consequently, he also had the privilege to kick their ass whenever they drank too much ‘Bhaang’!

    History repeats itself. 🙂

    Best Regards,
    ~Anupam

  12. Sekharji,

    Due to an unexpected rogue hacking & infiltration attempt, I had to change the domain of my blog. It is now @ http://behecampaign.blogspot.com

    Rakesh Roshan ji is genuinely interested in taking Indian cinema forward. I am hopeful that we can work out some film in near future, which is will be to everyone’s liking. Let us see.

    Always seeking your blessings,
    ~Anupam

  13. Shekarji,

    A son’s Love for his father is always unconditional, constant & implicit. No exceptions at any point of time.

    The Ant needs a bit of time right now. My Lab Notes have been ‘hacked’ by some Apes yesterday … I am very wary of such infiltration, specially before I get a fair chance to take my ideas into production.

    Please Grant me some time to take care of this unwanted situation.

    Best Regards,
    ~Anupam

  14. Shekharji,

    Did I ever claim that I am a Good son? U just have a Bad son (I like to fight, and not to be humiliated by by goodness) – But I Am still your son.

    Water Will Flow. That is a Promise.

    Best Regards,
    ~Anupam

  15. Shekharji,

    Thank your for the second chance. I am blessed. And will do my best.
    Please dont call me unsolicited, that bit still hurts. 🙁

    Best regards,
    ~Anupam

  16. Shekharji,

    Lord Shiva only needed a single shout-out to get Nandi physically on his side whenever needed.

    Love You,
    ~Anupam

  17. Shekharji,

    Its done. Plz check my last twitter tagline – it is going to remain like that. Will emphasize it further in the post-credit scene on sunday morning.

    I never hv any issue with any particular face. Hopefully we can celebrate soon.

    With Love,
    ~Anupam

  18. Shekharji,

    Wud like to sip coffee with u sunday morning 6 am … n create some war heroes.
    See You Then!

    Love,
    ~Anupam

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