Fathers can make a real difference in the musical lives of their families. Tomoko knows this as a daughter as well as a mother and wife.
Her own father played the violin as a hobby, and he bought a piano from the family’s neighbors, who needed the money to survive during World War II. Tomoko’s brother started piano lessons, and Tomoko followed her brother’s need. Tomoko’s brother went on to become a composer, and, of course, Tomoko is a wonderful piano performer and teacher.
Tomoko’s husband, Desy, is not a musician himself, but he has been very supportive of his talented family.
Tomoko remembers meeting Desy at a Hungarian Ball at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. Desy escaped from Communist Hungary, where he grew up and studied medicine. “He was a good dancer,” Tomoko recalls. “I didn’t dance myself, and he didn’t play any musical instruments,” she says, “but I invited him to my piano recital.” A few years later they married. He continues to support Tomoko’s passion, “even though he doesn’t know the difference between Mozart and Chopin, he likes music.” Tomoko continues, “To him, everything sounds good. I like that. It makes it easy for me. No presssure.”
Tomoko’s daughter Beata inherited her father’s love of dancing and her mother’s love of music. Beata combined those loves into her own unique career of ice dancing. And her parents supported that love. Desy was concerned about Beata’s life choice because of the difficulty of competition, and wanted her to be successful. Beata told him, “Daddy, how many people are happy doing what they do for a living? Just like you, I want to do the best in my life. May I do it? Please let me try, and if I fail I will go back to college.” Desy was impressed with Beata’s conviction, and agreed to support her dream.
As we celebrate Father’s Day, it is good to remember how fathers can support their families. It makes for a harmonious life.