Submitted by Michele Corkery, Annenberg Conference Center
An extraordinary musical event was held at Lankenau Medical Center on Tuesday, May 6, 2014, in honor of Denis Abelson, MD, Distinguished Emeritus Member of the Division of Internal Medicine at Lankenau Medical Center. In a program titled “Beyond Disease: Illness and Creativity of the Great Composers,” concert pianist Dr. Debra Lew Harder (in photo with Dr. Abelson) demonstrated through live piano performance and conversation how some of the groundbreaking composers of Western music had to overcome debilitating disease in order to compose their music.
A physician herself, Dr. Harder discussed the various illnesses of selected composers (even showing representative pathology slides!) and discussed what compelled them to keep creating despite illness and physical limitations. She explained how illness changed the work of Beethoven, Chopin, Scott Joplin, Gershwin, and Hildegard von Bingen, Her conversation was engaging, and her performance was truly remarkable for its precision and its passion.
The concert was followed by a reception in the Annenberg Conference Center, hosted by Lankenau Department of Internal Medicine in honor of Dr. Abelson.