Friendship brings noted pianist to town

BLACKFOOT — A longtime friendship with a Blackfoot woman is one thing that will bring noted pianist Marvin Goldstein to the Blackfoot Performing Arts Center on Saturday. All tickets to the free concert are gone.
Kim Olsen laughs when she tells the story of her meeting with Goldstein, who lives in Tallahassee, Fla.
"I met Marvin when I went to BYU-Provo's Education Week in 1996," Olsen said. "I had gone with a friend and she kept telling me she had heard this wonderful piano player, he would be doing a class that week, and she wanted me to hear him."
Olsen wasn't especially interested since she was doing research on a book about LDS Church prophet Joseph Smith and one lecturer was going to be covering that subject.
"I was alte to the class and there was no place to sit so I ended up having to go and sit in Brother Goldstein's class," she said. "I grumbled all the way there, thinking, 'I don't want to listen to a stupid piano player.'"
But once she heard Goldstein, she was hooked. She met him at the end of his class and he insisted he knew her although they had never met. She and her friend and Goldstein and his friend went to lunch and spent three hours talking and laughing.
"We decided we were spirit siblings," Olsen said. Since then their families have become close and her children call him Uncle Marvin.
He came to Blackfoot in 1998, playing at the South Stake Center.
"We've been to book signings and other events together," Olsen said.
Goldstein performed at BYU-Idaho's Education Week Thursday through Saturday.
He will spend time in Blackfoot this weekend, performing at the BPAC, then playing for the Primary in a local ward on Sunday. He will eventually travel to Utah for another BYU Education Week.
"He was set apart by Marvin J. Ashton to be a lifetime missionary through his music," Olsen said. "He brings a fresh way to look at the Gospel because he is a convert, and he appeals to those who are not members of the church by not taking everything so seriously."