Thank You Antonia
One of my favorite musicians of all time is George Winston. I've been playing piano since I was a little kid and I would by lying if I told you his music wasn't one of the reasons I have been playing the piano for so long. George Winston plays solo piano and he has been releasing piano albums for a long time (his debut album was in 1972).
I've seen George Winston in concert twice, most recently here in Florida in November of 2015. What I didn't know at the time was that George Winston was able to play that concert for me and for everyone in that theater because of the kindness of a stranger...Antonia. George had just finished playing at a concert in September of 2012 when he collapsed in his dressing room. George was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), which is a form of blood cell cancer. George needed a bone-marrow transplant if he wanted to live and thanks to a 21 year old woman from Germany named Antonia, he got the bone marrow that was needed to save his life.
Below is a quote from an article by the New York Post:
“Her name is Antonia,” he tells The Post, of the then-21-year-old woman from Germany. The hospital flew her in so Winston could meet her. “I gave her my 17 CDs and said, ‘Thanks for helping me make the next 15!’ ”
Not only did George give his entire music anthology to Antonia but he is also donating all of the proceeds from his latest album, "Spring Carousel", to the City of Hope hospital where he was treated (which is a private not-for-profit research center).
George Winston is not your average celebrity musician. If you see him in concert he is very soft spoken and when he does speak it is generally short and to the point. He is also a very private person, which is why I didn't know any of this had even happened to him. So this post isn't about George Winston and his illness but rather the hero that didn't know George and his amazing music but still donated her bone-marrow and saved his life. We have her to thank for all the music George can now continue to share with us.