Jan 7, 2022 - Things to Do

"For the Left Hand" plays it again tonight

Man at a piano.
Norman Malone in concert as featured in the documentary "For the Left Hand." Photo: Zbigniew Bzdak

At the age of 10, Norman Malone was attacked by his dad, leaving his right hand paralyzed and his piano future shattered.

  • But over the next seven decades, the former Chicago Public School chorus teacher practiced using his left hand until he was good enough to perform with an orchestra.

Why it matters: A documentary about Malone called "For the Left Hand" airs Friday and Sunday on WTTW, featuring the 78-year-old's orchestral concert debut playing Ravel's Piano Concerto for Left Hand.

What they're saying: "If I take the time and patience, I can do it. Whether or not anybody hears it, it's mine," Malone says in the film.

  • On what viewers should take away: "That music can help you survive unimaginable events; that the arts are central to being an educated person; that a disability does not define an individual," the film's writer and co-producer, Howard Reich, tells Axios.
  • "His perseverance can be a model for all of us."
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