Katy Bergen

“P.S. I Love Music”

Katy Bergen
Composer and pianist Paul Sullivan found himself drawn to music from an early age. He said his first gig was playing the march to and from recess in kindergarten. Now, Sullivan is a Grammy-winning artist with 13 CDs and a host of awards to his name. “It’s been quite a road,” Sullivan said.

BROOKLIN — Paul Sullivan likes to tell a story.

The acclaimed composer and pianist from Brooklin laughs as he explains the sorry state of his Grammy Award — pieced together with Scotch tape after a dramatic fall onto concrete. He jumps out of his seat to tell the story of the time he played the “Blue Danube Waltz” at a party in Leonard Bernstein’s living room in New York City years ago.

With an imaginary cigarette in one hand and an imaginary drink in the other, he imitates Bernstein, who dashed over to the piano and commanded him to play the song at the proper tempo — Sullivan had sped the dance up.

“How many people have been yelled at by Lenny Bernstein?” Sullivan said breathlessly last week, the experience still bringing a happy smile to his face.

It’s these reflections on a diverse and successful career, as well as the reflections of the talented artists he’s grown to call friends, that Sullivan hopes to share with Maine audiences at the Stonington Opera House’s “P.S. I Love Music” series.

The June 19 concert aims to combine performance, story-telling and conversation in the style of “A Prairie Home Companion” or Marian McPartland’s WICN show “Piano Jazz” in front of a live audience. Another performance is scheduled for October.

“I want the listeners to feel like they are backstage with this variety of musicians,” Sullivan said. “It’s access to a world that you wouldn’t have access to.”

For more arts & entertainment news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.

Fenceviewer Staff

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