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Since 2003 WXXI and the Al Sigl Community of Agencies have worked together with the Herman and Margaret Schwartz Community to help break the ingrained stereotypes about individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities. The year-round project called MOVE TO INCLUDE, is designed to motivate individuals to take action and include more people with disabilities in the workplace, in schools, neighborhoods and in all aspects of society. Dialogue on Disability, a week-long spotlight initiative takes place every January, and is supported by the Fred L. Emerson Foundation with additional support from The Golisano Foundation.

British pianist Nick van Bloss

British pianist Nick van Bloss
British pianist Nick van Bloss

Acclaimed British pianist Nick van Bloss, is one of only a few concert pianists in the world diagnosed with severe, non-swearing Tourette Syndrome, a condition that causes severe motor and vocal tics. However, his diagnosis has proved to be both a curse and a gift, enhancing his musical ability. Once he touches the piano, the tics dissipate and his disease and creativity work in partnership, giving him a sense of control over his erratic energy.

However, the road to success has not always been smooth. The motor and vocal tics first appeared at age seven, when he began his music training as a chorister at Westminster Abbey. At 11, Nick began studying piano and entered the Royal College of Music, and before long, was winning multiple competitions. Nick was finally diagnosed with Tourette syndrome in 1988, when he was twenty-one. While he was relieved to finally know his condition, he was frustrated that it took 14 years for the medical profession to recognize it.

Watch Films Media presentation of Touched by Genius: A Neurological Look at Creativity.

Nick continued to perform throughout the UK and Europe until 1994, when he basically retired from performing for 15 years. During this hiatus he wrote and published his autobiography, "Busy Body" which lead to great interest in his piano playing, and his comeback concert in London in April 2009. Nick's story of triumph over loss, along with the life-changing power of music, has made him highly in demand as a speaker, carrying the message of persistence and self-acceptance, for people with differing neurological conditions.

MUSIC: J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variation No. 18, Nick van Bloss, piano

We'd love to get your feedback on these Move to Include musical vignettes? You can provide your comment here. Simply choose "Other" to question #1 and specify "Music to Include on Classical."

WXXI Classical promotes and supports inclusion for musicians of all abilities through programming and special events. WXXI’s Move to Include Initiative is made possible by a generous grant from the Golisano Foundation.