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第2719章 六百六十三章:它曾经是个王者

As a boy growing up in Shenyang, China, I practiced the piano six hours a day. I Loved the instrument. At first I played on clunky Chinese keyboards — cheap, but the best we could afford. Later my parents bought me a Swedish piano, but I broke half the strings on it playing Tchaikovsky. That’s when my parents and my teacher decided I was too much for such an instrument — and for our hometown. To be a serious musician, I would have to move to Beijing, our cultural capital. I was just eight years old.
  My father, who played the erhu, a two-stringed instrument, made a great sacrifice. To relocate to Beijing with me, he quit his concertmaster’s job, which he loved, and my mother stayed behind in Shenyang to keep working at her job at the science institute to support us.
  Suddenly my father and I were newcomers— outsiders. To the others around us, we spoke with funny northern accents. The only apartment we could find for the money we had was in an unheated building, with five families sharing one bathroom. My father cooked, cleaned and looked after me. He became a housewife, basically.
  We lived far from my school, and since the bus was too expensive, my father would“drive”me on his bicycle every day. It was an hour-and-a-half trip each way, and I was a heavy boy, much heavier than I am as an adult. He did this in winter too. Imagine! During the coldest nights, while I practiced piano, my father lay in my bed so it would be warm when I was tired.
  I was miserable, but not from the poverty or pressure. My new teacher in Beijing didn’t like me.“You have no talent,”she often told me,“You will never be a pianist.”And one day, she“fired”me.
  I was just nine years old. I was devastated. I didn’t want to be a pianist anymore, I decided. I wanted to go home to my mother. For the next two weeks I didn’t touch the piano. Wisely, my father didn’t push. He just waited.
  Sure enough, the day came at school when my teacher asked me to play some holiday songs. I didn’t want to, but as I placed my fingers on the piano’s keys, I realized I could show other people that I had talent after all.
  That day I told my father what he’d been waiting to hear — that I wanted to study with a new teacher. From that point on, everything turned around.
  I started winning competitions. It was soon clear I couldn’t stay in China forever. To become a world-class musician, I had to play on the world’s big stages. So in 1997, my father and I moved again, this time to Philadelphia, so I could attend The Curtis Institute of Music. Finally our money worries were easing. The school paid for an apartment and even lent me a Steinway. At night, I would sneak into the living room just to touch the keys.
  Now that I was in America, I wanted to become famous, but my new teachers reminded me that I had a lot to learn. I spent two years practicing, and by 1999 I had worked hard enough for fortune to take over. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra heard me play and liked me, but orchestra schedules were set far in advance. I thought I might join them in a few years.
  The next morning, I got a call. The great pianist Andre Watts, who was to play the“Gala Benefit Evening”at Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, had become ill. I was asked to substitute. That performance was, for me, the moment. After violinist Isaac Stern introduced me, I played Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1. My father’s mouth hung open throughout the entire song.
  Afterward, people celebrated — maybe they were a bit drunk — and asked me to play Bach’s Goldberg Variations. So I played until 3:30 a.m. I felt something happening. Sure enough, gigs started pouring in. Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall. Still, my father kept telling me,“You’d better practice!”
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  string [striN] n. 线;细绳;带子
  instrument [5instrumEnt] n.仪器;器具,器械
  basically [5beisikEli] adv. 在根本上
  poverty [5pCvEti] n.贫穷,贫困
  talent [5tAlEnt] n. 天才,天资
  touch [tQtF] v. 接触,碰到
  schedule [5Fedju:l] n. 表;清单;目录
  entire [in5taiE] adj. 全部的,整个的
  I have to go right now. ( 必须,不得不)
  Dodge is waiting to have a word with you. ( 等待)
  She took me wrong. ( 领会)
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