Today, Lilah and journalist Nadia Beard listen to two musicians play the same piece of music: one at 41 years old, and the other at 97. Nadia recently wrote about musicians who are debuting on major stages in their 80s and 90s. She came to this story after deciding to take up piano seriously in her 30s herself. She tells Lilah about the value of amateurism in adulthood: why it’s good to do hard things, and get better at them, even if it’s just for you.


We love hearing from you. Lilah is on Instagram @lilahrap and we’re on X @lifeandartpod. You can email the show at


Links (all FT links get you past the paywall):

– Nadia has written two pieces about this for the FT Weekend magazine. Here’s her piece about the wunderalten:

– Here’s her piece about returning to the piano in her 30s:

– Alexandre Tharaud’s rendition of Chopin’s Fantaisie in F Minor, Opus 49:

– Ruth Slenczynska’s rendition of Chopin’s Fantasie in F Minor, Opus 49:


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Original music by Metaphor Music. Mixing and sound design by Breen Turner and Sam Giovinco

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