Arthur Rubinstein and the Lady next door

How often have we interpreted events only to find it wasn’t exactly the way we initially saw it? Have you  often seen a ‘disaster’ only to find out later that it was a blessing in disguise? Experiencing something similar these days I remembered this story…

A very wealthy woman lived in the penthouse of a very famous hotel in Manhattan. Late one night, after midnight,  she heard somebody playing the piano in the suite next to her.  She came down angrily to the hotel reception screaming  “Someone is playing the PIANO in the suite next door to me! I can’t sleep with all that NOISE going on!”

The Concierge of the hotel apologized and said, “I am so sorry!” But it is the famous pianist Arthur Rubinsteinwho is staying the night in the suite next to you. He must be practicing. I am so sorry. Shall I go upstairs and ask him to stop?”

Hearing this, she  apparently suddenly changed completely. She said, “Thank you. That won’t be necessary.” and went back upstairs to her suite.

Mr. Rubinstein had made a small mistake that evening in his concert at Carnegie Hall that no one but him would notice. But he felt he needed to come back to his suite play the entire concert again from start to finish, this time perfectly.

When the  entered her apartment, she pulled up a chair next to the wall, sat back and joyfully listened to Arthur Rubinstein play. Her heart delighted now that she knew who it was playing next door,  she didn’t miss another note of the entire piano concert and was as happy as she could be for the next three hours!

So next time something seems like a “disaster” to you, try to change your perspective as it might be a ‘blessing in disguise’!

Leave a comment


  1. eli77025

     /  October 16, 2011

    Nice story but, when did pianists play 3-hour concerts?


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