I had the great honor and pleasure of recording Elliott Carter’s Cello Concerto in September 2012 with Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin. I have always admired Elliott from afar as one of the iconic figures of our time, but had very little contact with his music before my own learning process of the concerto began. Then in July 2012, shortly before the recording took place, I had what was to be my only meeting with Elliott himself in his Greenwich Village apartment in New York City. I was to conduct an interview and possibly play for him, and was in fact rather nervous to be doing so. When I arrived I found him in a delightful mood; affable, kind, brilliant, and hilarious! After I’d asked him a few questions about the piece, I shyly asked if I might play some of the concerto for him. He said yes, but that he wouldn’t be able to give me comments because his hearing was poor. I began to play, and about seven seconds later he – while staring at the score with a gigantic magnifying glass – stopped me and began to make extremely in-depth, detailed comments on my playing. We worked through the piece, and he continued to give me suggestions with wonderful clarity and grace. I came away from the meeting feeling that I now had a roadmap of the concerto, at last recognizing the drama and humor in the music that had eluded me before. Perhaps more importantly however, my greatest impression of Elliott Carter was as a man who always made everyone around him feel good, loved, and important. I am eternally grateful for my all-too-brief encounter with him, and I know that his immensely generous spirit lives on through his incredible music.