Condoleezza plays it again

WASHINGTON: Condoleezza Rice, who took her first piano lesson at the age of three and was a would-be concert pianist in her teens, played in front of a packed theatre at the weekend to raise awareness of a rare and life-threatening disease. The US Secretary of State accompanied a 21-year-old soprano who had pulmonary hypertension, a lung disease, diagnosed a little more than a year ago. Charity Sunshine Tillemann-Dick sang as Dr Rice played selections by Verdi, Mozart and Jerome Kern. Ms Tillemann-Dick, who uses Charity Sunshine as her stage name, is the granddaughter of Tom Lantos, a veteran Californian

congressman, the only Holocaust survivor on Capitol Hill and an old friend of Dr Rice. The concert, at Washington’s Kennedy Centre, was Dr Rice’s idea. Kofi Annan, secretary-general of the United Nations, was among the political and diplomatic members of the audience. —Agencies