Stanley “Stan,” 86, has been a musician since he was a child. At 5 years old, Stanley was learning how to play the piano for the first time. By the time he was 7 he was learning intricate pieces of music, and later he went on to become a, “baby prodigy.” After only 7 months of practice, he placed on his first public recital. Stan played a performance with the San Diego Symphony when he was just 12 years old. Newspapers were raving about his ability at such a young age, and he intended to continue on to study music at Juilliard in New York City.
Long hours of practicing at the piano and growing up working on an avocado farm lead to issues with his back, so Stan was forced to quit playing the piano professionally when he was just 15 years old. Currently residing at Brookdale Bay City in Michigan, Stan continues to dream about music and symphonies. Since the time he was 10 years old, Stan’s wish of a lifetime has been to see the Philharmonic perform live.
Stan served in the United States Army for 2 years from 1946 to 1948, and was honorably discharged at the rank of a Sergeant. He was stationed in Busan, Korea with an engineering group and stated that being in Korea was almost like being, “stuck in time,” due to the lack of advancements in technology and economic growth. Upon returning home, Stan married and had two daughters. He continued to play the piano as a hobby for many years after he gave up the instrument professionally.
Today, he is unable to play but longs to immerse himself in music. Wish of a Lifetime and Brookdale made Stan’s wish a reality and sent him to California from December 16-20 to see the Los Angeles Philharmonic with his daughter, Cindy. Stan finally had the opportunity to see the Philharmonic play live and renew his passion for music once more. Stan said the Los Angeles Philharmonic was marvelous and the trip to California was beautiful. Not only did Stan have the opportunity to listen to All-Rachmaninoff piano music, but he also was able to visit some of his family’s favorite restaurants and see the Pacific Ocean once again.
Photography by: Cindy Katz (Stan’s daughter)