For 54 years, Anastasia played the notes originally written by Beethoven, Mozart, and Rachmaninov. She understood the changes in Tchaikovsky’s 1st Piano Concerto as if she had written the piece herself. All of her adult life was invested in touring as the sole pianist in the percussion section of the Trans-Siberian Classical Symphony Orchestra and perfecting her art. Her life was dedicated to rehearsing, traveling, and performing. The orchestra was her family and each piano she acquired subsequently became her children.
Her hands glided over the keys of the motifs in Chopin’s opuses. The passion and drama of Mozart’s 20th Piano Concerto poured from her soul through those fingers and entranced worldwide audiences along with other talents in the orchestra.
She never missed a note, never made and error, never missed a performance. In her head, her playing was always flawless and so it must always remain.
And so, in her 55th year with the symphony, during a fierce combination of brass and percussion as the orchestra ran with Bartók Piano Concerto number 2, and Anastasia inexplicably started playing Rachmaninov Piano Concerto number 2, she knew it was time to pack it in. She retired to a cottage in the Shetland Islands where she teaches piano to small children.