Pianist Mitsuko Uchida Cheers on Andy Murray at Wimbledon Final

Sunday, July 07, 2013 - 04:00 PM

Mitsuko Uchida and Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, at the Wimbledon Final on July 7, 2013 A bespectacled Mitsuko Uchida and Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, at the Wimbledon Final (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Sunday's Wimbledon final attracted a host of high-profile faces, including at least one from the world of classical music: bespectacled pianist Mitsuko Uchida was seen cheering in the royal box beside Prince Edward, Duke of Kent.

Classical music fans on Twitter began taking note of Uchida during the second set of the match, in which Andy Murray beat Novak Djokovic of Serbia (6-4, 7-5, 6-4) to become the first British man to win Wimbledon in 77 years.

Uchida, a naturalized British citizen (and lover of distinctive eyewear), was seen standing up and cheering for Murray at several points during the match. More photos were posted Sunday on the website Buzzfeed.

There was another classical subplot to Sunday’s match. Djokovic is a noted fan of classical music, occasionally attending the opera and having once told 60 Minutes that the music helps him relax before tournaments. He was first introduced to the classics through his boyhood coach, Jelena Gencic, who died last month at age 76. She reportedly taught him to find inspiration in Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and to think of its rousing climaxes at the height of competition.

More recently, Djokovic told The Spectator magazine how he and Gencic "spent most of our time together listening to classical music from Bach and Mozart to Beethoven." He added: "We spent so many hours in her house, in that legendary living-room filled with hundreds of tennis trophies she had on display. I dreamt that one day I would be winning them too. We were listening to this wonderful music and doing visualization exercises."

The mutual admiration between classical musicians and tennis players is longstanding, involving composers such as Schoenberg, Britten and Prokofiev to contemporary performers like Yannick Nezet-Seguin and Emanuel Ax.

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Comments [4]

The very serious-faced guy in the row behind her, the one wearing the dark red tie at the extreme right in the photo, is Ed Miliband, the leader of Her Majesty's Official Opposition. He's a member of the UK Labour Party and hopes to be the Prime Minister after the next general election in Britain. As for Ms. Uchida's appearance there, good to see classical folk out and about.

Jul. 09 2013 01:50 PM
Barry Owen Furrer

To paraphrase Rodney Dangerfield - "you buy glasses like that you should get a free bowl of soup."

Jul. 08 2013 09:16 PM
Bernie from UWS

Well, they gave her an honorary title ("Dame") so I guess she feels obliged to toe the party line. Deep down she's cheering for the Djoker.

Jul. 07 2013 08:28 PM
PeterK from New York City

Andy Murray, oh no, she is cheering this whiny dude..

Jul. 07 2013 06:33 PM

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