Those who have visited The Old Dairy will have seen our Einstein equation for the number of guitars you can have. But, all joking aside, Einstein did have a love of music.
In fact, Einstein developed an appreciation for music at an early age. He recorded, in his later journals, that “If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music… I get most joy in life out of music.” So much so that he named his violin Lina
It’s not that surprising that he took to music as his mother was a pianist and started Einstein on the violin when he was 5 years old. However, it wasn’t until he was 13 and discovered Mozart’s violin concerti that he grew to love music. He is later recorded as saying “love is a better teacher than a sense of duty.
Although Einstein never considered becoming a professional musician it didn’t stop music becoming a major part of his life and he performed for private audiences and friends; including Max Planck and his son.
In the early 30s, whilst at the California Institute of Technology, he visited the Zoellner family conservatory in Los Angeles where he played some of Beethoven and Mozart’s works with members of the Zoellner Quartet. And when he was nearing the end of his life, the (then young) Juilliard Quartet visited him in Princeton, he played his violin with them, and the quartet was “impressed by Einstein’s level of coordination and intonation”.
So why are we talking about this today. Well, it was #OnThisDay in 1923 Einstein was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize for Physics.