NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – Distinguished concert pianist Misha Dichter, who lives in North Salem when he is not touring the world, has published a book of his own drawings and cartoons, illustrating some of his experiences and thoughts about his career.
“A Pianist’s World in Drawings” is a compilation of about six dozen pen and ink sketches, chosen by the artist from his collection of hundreds.
“Our friends of 40 or 45 years know I have drawers full of drawings. I started drawing in the fifth grade – jet fighters, just like everyone else, sitting in the back of a dull class,” Dichter said.
“Mostly, I draw from memory. It’s a release for me. I use an artist’s pad and every kind of pen, even a disposable Pilot, but never a ballpoint. It’s got to be flowing. And it’s got to have a very sharp point. I don’t do well with wider points or color.”
While practicing the piano, Dichter covers his sheets of music with scores of penciled annotations and lots of erasures. On the other hand, he does not care about correcting or revising his drawings. “In drawing, my mistakes don’t matter.”
For Dichter, drawing relates to music and to his other love, architecture, because interpreting music is a visual experience. “I see the piece as a moving structure. I go to the foundation. My goal is to create the clearest picture of the music’s architecture.”
Often he literally does not see the composer’s notes. He draws boxes and circles all over the music. “I constantly have to buy new copies to see the notes.”
Currently “A Pianist’s World in Drawings” is available as an e-book and can be purchased at Amazon, Apple and Barnes and Noble. A hard copy may follow, says the artist. “This is my first foray into a wider audience. I’m taking baby steps.”
Dichter and his wife, Cipa, have lived in North Salem since 1993.
“We adore the open land and the nice people we’ve met here,” he said. “Right now we’re in the market for a new puppy. We just had to put our last one down. I love running my heart out with my puppy.”