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American reporter and pianist performs for Benedict XVI's brother

2014-01-17

She is best known for her work in front of the cameras, as a reporter for Fox News Channel. But unbeknownst to many, Lauren Green is also a distinguished pianist. 

And there's not bigger distinction than playing for the piano for Benedict XVI. The invitation arrived months ago.

LAUREN GREEN
Reporter and Pianist
"It was amazing. Just to get that I... are you really? Are you certain? This is really going to happen right? This is... really?”

Sworn to secrecy, Green practiced when she wasn't at work. She was one of three musicians, and along with a tenor, they would perform for the 90th birthday celebration for Georg Ratzinger, the Pope emeritus' brother.

When the day finally came, Green can only describe it as "nerve-wracking.” Benedict XVI is well-known for his love of music. And he too plays the piano.

LAUREN GREEN
Reporter and Pianist
"I'm a pianist and so are they, and that was a lot of stress, to play as beautifully as I could possibly play.”

Needless to say, the performance flowed smoothly. Once finished, both Georg and Benedict greeted the performers. But for this journalist, who's usually so composed in front of the cameras, that moment did not play out as planned.

LAUREN GREEN
Reporter and Pianist
"I had my piano hat on, and I was a performer and nervous about how he was going to react to my performance. And he was the Pope, and I was not, for those few minutes a journalist. I was just a performance who had just performed.”

The one-of-a-kind opportunity ended with an equally rare photo opp. And Green had the chance to sit next to Benedict XVI. 

It wasn't until the concert ended, that the journalist in her kicked in. And though she lost her chance to ask her questions, there was one observation she couldn't miss.

LAUREN GREEN
Reporter and Pianist
"One of the things I noticed about him was that he seemed less frail, that before he resigned. It's almost as if weight of the Catholic Church was finally off his shoulders, although he constantly prays for the Church.”
 

The birthday celebration for Georg Ratzinger started a few hours earlier. An orchestra played a few songs, as the two brothers look on side by side. Once they finished playing, they even presented Georg with a chocolate cake to celebrate.


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