The previous articles from this series have considered the possibility that musicians are assisted in their creative moments by non-physical guides, a view supported not only by statements made by various eminent pop and classical musicians, but also by two spiritual mediums in particular, Leslie Flint and Rosemary Brown, both of whom were able to contact and ‘channel’ the spirits of composers.
Sceptics may be tempted to dismiss these claims. After all, both Leslie Flint and Rosemary Brown achieved a degree of fame as a result of their alleged contact with the spirits of composers, which would provide a possible motive for making such assertions.
That motive could not be applied to John Lill. Since 1963, he has been one of Britain’s foremost concert pianists. He shot to international stardom in 1970 when he won the most coveted piano prize in the world, the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.
In May 1973, John Lill attended a performance given by Rosemary Brown, who was playing some of the pieces that had been dictated to her. Following this performance, the audience was invited to ask questions. The following is an extract from Rosemary Brown’s book ‘Immortals at my Elbow’:
‘A young man arose in the audience and said that he had no question to ask, but that he would like to say something if permitted. He said that he thought he should announce himself first so that people would know that he knew what he is talking about with regard to my work.
“I am John Lill,” he said quietly. A gasp of surprise and delight came from the audience. I had never, until that moment, had the honour of meeting John, but had naturally heard of his reputation as a great concert pianist. I wondered what he was going to say and my joy knew no bounds when he stated without hesitation, his conviction that my work is completely authentic. This conviction, he told the audience, was upheld by the fact that he had been informed by no less a person than Beethoven that my work is completely genuine. At this, there was a stir of even greater excitement. John explained that he has a very close rapport with Beethoven and is able to converse with him.”
He has since revealed that he receives frequent guidance from Beethoven, who informed him immediately prior to the final of the Tchaikovsky competition that he would win the prize. He is admired around the world for his superb technical mastery and is also widely recognised (perhaps not surprisingly) as one of the world’s leading Beethoven interpreters.
As you can see from this and previous posts , Leslie Flint’s claims to be able to connect with Chopin were endorsed by Rosemary Brown. Her claims were in turn validated by John Lill. Now if you are still a little suspicious, just ask yourself what John Lill had to gain from his open endorsement of Rosemary Brown and his own claims to have been guided by Beethoven. At the time that he made these statements, he was already an artist of world renown. By stating his beliefs so publicly, he opened himself to some of the ridicule that Rosemary Brown had to endure, as well as possible damage to his career.