Par 1 The music season of 1946 witnessed one of those astonishing "success stories" that are generally to be found only in fiction. A blonde young Polish pianist, unheralded, unpublicized, and entirely unknown, stepped upon the stage of Carnegie Hall, played to a microscopic audience composed chiefly of ushers and second-string critics, and demonstrated a mastery of musicianship that was hailed as the greatest since Teresa Carreño. The amazing artist is Maryla Jonas and her incredible accomplishment again proves that there is always room at the top. Within a month, Miss Jonas gave a second Carnegie Hall recital and proved a second time, to an overflow audience and the chief metropolitan critics, that her art is sure, great, and entirely in the Grand Tradition. How do you pronounce her name? Alberto Jonás, born in Spain, pronounced his "Hó-nas." If he had been born in Germany it would have been "Yó-nas. But Maryla Jonas, born in Poland, pronounces her name "Mah-reé-la Joé-nas."
Par 2 Miss Jonas' story matches her success. Born in Warsaw, on May 31, 1911, the stocky, lively child gave early promise of her gifts. She cannot recall the time she did not play piano, but began her formal studies at seven, under her mother. Two years later, she was well on her way to a career as a child prodigy, playing a Mozart Concerto with the Warsaw Philharmonic. By the time she was eleven, her fame had reached the ears of Paderewski who sent her an invitation to come and play for him. Her chief concern on the occasion was her pink silk frock and pink socks. However, the audition come off very well, and thereafter, Paderewski gave her lessons whenever he was in Warsaw. At fifteen, she left home to develop a mature career.
Par 3 Maryla Jonas went to Berlin to study with a distinguished master. Full of ardor, she presented herself at his studio—only to be told that a hundred marks would have to be paid before the master would even listen to her. Since a hundred marks represented her living expenses for two months, young Maryla left without so much as seeing the pianist whose reputation had brought her to Berlin. Soon she come to the attention of Leonid Kreutzer [1884-1953], the distinguished pianist, and fearing another encounter with money problems, she solved her difficulties in advance by taking a job as pianist in a motion-picture theater, the only woman in an orchestra of men. Then, one night, Herr Kreutzer and his wife happened to go to that theater! At her next lesson, Kreutzer asked Maryla what she was doing in the orchestra. In recounting the story, Miss Jonas says, "Of course, I lied!" She told him that she had played that night for one time only, to oblige a friend by substituting for him. Kreutzer watched the girl, however, and found her growing paler and less energetic. Making an unannounced visit at her boarding house one day, he got the true story from her landlady. Also, he learned that Maryla did not pay for board at her lodgings, but made her dinner of a couple of rolls. That ended the girl's money troubles. Kreutzer took upon himself her teaching, her living expenses, and her care, and got her, her first German engagements.
Par 4 In 1929 she was working in Dresden with Emil Sauer; in 1932 she won one of the International Chopin Prizes; and, a year later, the International Beethoven Prize of Vienna. From then on, she earned a steadily increasing European reputation, and rounded out her personal life by marrying a famous Polish criminologist. And then came the War.
Par 5 When the Nazis invaded Poland, Miss Jonas and her family were caught like animals in a trap. She and her husband, her parents, her brothers and sisters were all separated, wandering about the shattered streets in search of refuge. During one of the Gestapo round-ups, Miss Jonas was caught, recognized, and offered safety and protection if she would go to Berlin to play there. She refused. For this she was put into a concentration camp for seven months. There, she was again recognized by a high officer who had heard her in Berlin years before; he smuggled her out of the camp and advised her to make for the Brazilian Embassy in the German capital. She walked to Berlin from Warsaw, keeping out of sight of officials, sleeping in fields and barns, suffering hunger and cold and, above all, spiritual desperation. But she got to the Brazilian Embassy. Given a false passport, she sailed for Rio de Janeiro in 1940, broken in body and spirit. There, she learned that her husband, her parents, and two of her brothers had perished. She refused to touch a piano for more than a year.
Par 6 A strategy of Artur Rubinstein's brought her back to fife. On the morning of the day of a concert of his, in Rio, he begged her to come over to the Teatro Municipal to help him test out the acoustics. He played on the piano, and then went down into the house, asking her to play so that he might hear how the tone carried. She put her hands to the keys at 2:30 and never took them off until Rubinstein's audience began to arrive at 7:30. From that time on she began to practice again, and within a few months, had launched on her South American career. She waited over four years to get to the United States. And then came the sensational New York concerts. Commenting on them, Miss Jonas says, "My first concert is European. Come one artist in old dress. No photogenic, no smiling. Then come complications. Criticisms are good. My second concert is American. Everyone come to see am I really so good. My hair, my dress, my looks. It is not art, it is sport!" She feels very happy about the "sport," though!      — EDITOR'S NOTE.

Par 7 "I AM HAPPY to speak to THE ETUDE, but maybe I will be a disappointment, because THE ETUDE is for teachers and students, and my own views on music teaching are not orthodox. What is teaching? Is it a series of rules—hold your hand so—hold your wrist so—do this—do that? I think no! That is killing. Teaching music means one thing—helping to give the young student such a genuine love for music, such a great, deep, personal interest in it, that he will feel a great need and a great enthusiasm to make music himself. Only that is good teaching, to my mind. Then, after this basic love has been developed, the rest will come easily. I will explain this more fully, but first let me say how I came to feel as I do.
Par 8 "My own musical training was strictly orthodox—while I was little! Scales, Hanon, Czerny, technic, rules! I think, to day, that it helped me, but at the time it did not help me. It made me want to run away. Where was music while I was playing Hanon? Later, then, I had two very significant experiences with teaching. The first was with Paderewski, when I was no more than seventeen. I played a Ballade of Chopin for him, and he said, very calmly and quietly, more pedal here—less pedal there—there, more tone—there, more speed. Such things. Also, he took my music and marked everything down in red pencil. Good! I went home and studied hard everything he had said. Like a parrot.

Not a Musical Parrot

Par 9 "Then I went for a concert to Denmark. I played this Ballade, exactly as Paderewski had said. Well, a friend of his who was there, said it was no good! He told Paderewski I had played it no good. So the next time I came to Paderewski, he asked me what I did to play so badly, and told me to sit down and play the Ballade for him. I did, exactly as he had said. And this time he too said it was no good! I said he himself had told me all this, and he said, 'No, that was impossible!' I showed him his own red writing on the music, and again he said, 'No!' At that time, I was heartbroken. But today, I see exactly what Paderewski meant! He meant that the first time, he was in a mood to want the Ballade one way, and the next time, not. That is all. But it showed me that teaching can never be a matter of do-this or do-that. Music must be understood, thought about, and felt.
Par 10 "My next experience came only a few years ago, in Brazil. Villa-Lobos had written a work for me, and I went to see it and play it. I looked, and said, 'But, Maestro, this is entirely unpianistic—very beautiful, but I cannot play the passages. I cannot turn my arm and hand that way.' To which he answered, 'I don't care how you play it—if you can't manage with your arm, play with your foot. But this is the music I wish to express. This is what I have to say.' That was a good challenge for me, so I studied the work—and played it! And he was right; it was very beautiful, though difficult. And that taught me another thing—how you work out your playing is secondary to giving back the meaning of the music.
Par 11 "Now, on such experiences I base these unorthodox views of mine. Certainly, teaching is most necessary—but we must not confuse teaching with rigorous method; we must not teach technic apart from music; we must not teach parrot imitation instead of thoughtful interpretation.