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Last on

Tue 15 Oct 2013 03:45 BBC Radio 4 Extra

Duration:
15 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 09 December 2007

Physicist Brian Foster explores the role of music in the life of Albert Einstein.

Although best known for his towering scientific achievements, Einstein was a fine amateur violinist and occasionally played in public. Indeed, he once said that he got the most joy in his life from playing the violin. When he was due to receive his Nobel Prize in 1922, he was in Japan, not only meeting other physicists but also giving performancesof the Kreuzer Sonata, one of the most challenging pieces in the repertoire.

Music also played a role in his work as a physicist. He would often break off from a particularly difficult piece of work to play his violin in the hope of seeking inspiration. And he found parallels between the beauty and harmony he saw in scientific laws and the music of composers such as Mozart, which he felt reflected the inner beauty of the universe itself.

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