Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

Wow!...Must Read


Recommended Posts

I was just watching Canada A.M.

Liona Boyd was one of the guests...For those who dont know her shes Canadas first lady of Classical guitar.

She was taught by Segovia among others.


I was wondering why we havent heard much from her these days....It turns out she has a neurological disorder that was caused by the guitar!!

Looked up her web site, copied and pasted this....read on.


Liona Boyd's life had always been a whirlwind of composing, recording and touring, but in 2003 she was diagnosed with the "incurable neurological disease" of Task Specific Focal Dystonia. She was devastated to discover that her beloved guitar was the cause. Years of repetitive guitar movements had caused her brain maps for the right hand fingers to lose their clarity and the neuroreceptors to smudge. Even a simple arpeggio had become uncoordinated. This was the condition that derailed the careers of many performers such as renowned pianists Leon Fleisher and Gary Graffman.


For many years Liona had tried to determine what was going wrong with her fingers until doctors at the The National Institute of Health in Washington, D.C. told her that nothing could ever restore her playing. They claimed the damage was irreversible. She was determined to find a solution and consulted specialists around the world while witnessing her playing deteriorate. In 2003, realising she could no longer perform to her own high standards, she left the concert stage.


Ok..im back.

Can you guys imagine?...not being able to play anymore?

Granted, shes a highly trained classical guitarist 5+ hours a day practising but still.

She said in the tv interview it happens more than you think....and she said, and was serious...."Stop practising so much"


She must have been crushed beyond belief to lose that gift.

Makes you think fellas.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

About 20+ years ago I saw her in Guitar Player magazine and around that time she appeared on a tv show; can't recall what it was but it wasn't a variety or music show, it was something out of place, the Today Show or similar. I was surprised at how many times she messed up. She seemed to be having a real tough time of it. I just attributed it to her having a bad day, but maybe that was something to do with the early stages of her problem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A guy I played music with back in the 60's has diabetes now. He's virtually blind, and continues to have a lot of health issues, (thank God for his wife). He said the single thing he misses most is not being able to play his guitar anymore. My dad also lost his hearing before he died, he said losing his hearing is worse than being blind, (and he was always the life of any party).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Poor, poor lady :(

I do really feel for her. I have always enjoyed her music and also her attitude towards the guitar.


I suppose this is why it is important to play the guitar, focusing on the here and now; and being grateful for that too. Nothing lasts forever.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Leona Boyd's playing was right up there with Eliot Fisk,John Williams,Pepe Romero etc. it's a crying shame.I can certainly empathize with her,I've developed arthritis in my hands,it's painful and certainly affects your playing in every way.I take my inspiration from Les Paul,God Bless him,and play everyday refusing to let it beat me.My speed has greatly diminished and I can't bend a note half as far as I used tobut I persevere and have tried to adapt my playing as this condition progresses.Leona is now releasing a collection of her own vocal compositions and I heard one cut on the radio,she has a beautiful voice.I wish her well.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...