An Appreciation of Anthony Casario

by Ajodah ”Steve” Seenarine II

There is a line in the Stallone movie ”First Blood” that happens when Brian Dennehy's character remarks of Rambo ”What kind of people in the army could make a man like this?” And a smart snappy voice answers ”The army didn't’ make Rambo...I did”. Richard Crenna as Troutman stands and delivers his retort.

Although many factors go into creating me the individual, the individual who created me and ”made” me was none other than Anthony Casario. He started teaching me at age 6 and his inspiration and effect on what I’ve become as a musical artist and educator is so profound it’s lasted until this very day. And I owe my artistic life to him without question and as a protégé, advocate and a son of his beyond question.

Perhaps what many of you don’t know is first and foremost he is one of the most incredible pianists I’ve ever heard, I mean a real virtuoso and I know and have heard every virtuoso pianist of note. I mean Horowitz to Hoffman, Watts to Godowsky, I mean of that caliber. I was blessed when I was taught by ”him” to hear him play on that Steinway in Haddonfield, ”out of practice” things like the back end of the Chopin G minor Ballade or his revised coda of the Liszt Valle d’Oberman or the Mazeppa, or the Schuman Toccata.

Those of you who know realize the true genius he is and that gold he carefully sprinkled over hundreds and probably 1000’s of lives and talents. What he inspired in me and given me is moments of gold in my life money could never buy and he knows what I am is not easy. In me he created a true artist, which is almost knowing what it’s like to be God. His approach is not based on some method, but he has incredible insight into what develops a true musician and he even knows how to treat the temperament of the talents he shapes.

He ”gave” me Liszt and Scriabin because it fit my personality and he also knew I would find Scarlatti and Barber too. Anthony Casario is a virtuoso, protégé of the great virtuoso Leo Ornstein, producing virtuosos himself. In my life there is only one major person I ever have and ever will hang my star on because he gave it to me…my most beloved teacher, Anthony Casario. Your Lisztian Pupil in highest esteem and deep love,

Ajodah ”Steve” Seenarine II

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