Monday, November 24, 2014

A reason for thanksgiving

How thankful would you be if you left $4,000,000 in a taxi, and the driver returned it to you? Grammy nominee classical violinist Philippe Quint accidentally left a Stradivarius violin on the back seat of a cab he took from Newark Liberty International Airport to his home in Manhattan. A few hours later, Newark police called to say the instrument had been found and was at the airport taxi stand with the cab driver who took him home. The two connected and the violin was returned. "Anybody out here would have done the same thing," said the driver, Mohammed Khalil, a devout Muslim. Quint was so thankful he gave Khalil all the money in his wallet, but afterwards realized that was not nearly enough. "I had to share part of myself, my music," he said. "These drivers work so hard. I doubt they get a chance to go to Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center.

So Quint arranged to give a 30-minute mini-concert on a makeshift stage in the airport taxicab holding area. Under a weathered vinyl canopy he played five pieces including the theme from the movie "The Red Violin" and the Meditation from Massenet's opera "Thais." The cabbies clapped and whistled and danced in the aisles. Afterwards the virtuoso was mobbed by drivers seeking his autograph. "I was so pleased to see them dancing," he said. "That never happens."

Afterwards Quint posed for pictures with Khalil, whom he invited to a concert at Carnegie Hall. As it happened, Khalil had been planning for months to retire, and driving Quint to Manhattan was his final fare. To meet Quint and Khalil, visit

No comments:

Post a Comment