March 17, 2010

Couple collaborate for Valentine's Day


— By . KIM

click image to enlarge

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer; Thursday, January,31,2008. Caroline Worthington and her husband Alan Lapidus practice in their Naples home for a musical performance together for a Valentine's Day concert at the Bridgton Public Library to benefit the library.

Staff Writer

Caroline Worthington is a concert cellist who's played the likes of Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. Her husband, Alan Lapidus, is known as Donald Trump's architect but had a past life as a Greenwich Village coffeehouse folk singer.

On Valentine's Day, the couple will make their debut joint musical performance at the Bridgton Public Library. The concert will include classical pieces performed by Worthington and love songs performed by Lapidus, who sings and plays the guitar. They will then perform pieces together, including ''Greensleeves.''

The evening begins with a wine and cheese reception in the library's reading room at 5 p.m. The hourlong concert starts at 6 p.m. in another area of the library.

The event is a fundraiser organized by the Friends of the Bridgton Public Library, which helps the trustees raise about $100,000 a year for the library's budget of $150,000, according to George Bradt, president of the friends group. The town contributes about $50,000 a year to the library, he said.

The couple, who have lived in Naples since 2003, say they've been inseparable since their whirlwind courtship in 2001. But this is their first musical collaboration.

The musical melding has worked out, with the cello turning out to be a perfect accompaniment to the old lyric ballads favored by Lapidus. He said Worthington's skill as a teacher -- James Taylor is among her students -- is also key.

''We just started working on it, and this is how it sort of evolved,'' Lapidus said. ''Of course, I'm one of these folkies and she's an extraordinarily accomplished musician, which is humbling.''

Worthington was a child musical prodigy who started on the cello when she was 9 and was one of the last students of the legendary Pablo Casals. She toured the world with the Montagnana Trio, named after her 1733 cello, under Columbia Artists Management and Wilhelm Hensen. She started the Martha's Vineyard Chamber Music Society in 1971.

Lapidus' client list is filled with notables like Disney, Aristotle Onassis and Sophia Loren. He is also the author of ''Everything By Design: My Life as an Architect,'' which came out last year. His father is the famed architect Morris Lapidus, who is best known for his Miami resort hotels.

The couple, now retired, plan to add to their joint repertoire and plan to perform more benefit events.

''That's what's been in my heart since I was 9,'' Worthington said.

Their story is certainly worthy of a Valentine's Day celebration.

While working for Trump, Lapidus became friends with his in-house counsel, Susan Goldman. She and her husband, Andy, got to know Worthington's brother and sister-in-law, Jules and Judi Worthington, on Martha's Vineyard.

Those two couples saw a possible match in Lapidus, who was single after splitting with his wife, and Worthington, a widow. The architect was instructed to call the cellist, and the romance took off in August 2001.

Lapidus, who specialized in resorts and hotels, was still traveling extensively at the time. But he called Worthington at her home on Martha's Vineyard while he was on the road.

The two, who had each been married twice before, spoke for two hours on the phone every day. They discovered a common background of heavy travel and high-pressure careers. He loved that she was ''so real.'' She was immediately taken with his voice and found him ''so interesting and caring and so dear.''

After the second phone call, Worthington went to her mother to tell her Lapidus was the one.

Within two weeks, Lapidus had proposed and Worthington had accepted -- all without having ever met in person.

''One of the things about courting on the telephone -- there's no room for anything extraneous,'' Lapidus said. ''You have to get down to it.''

The events of Sept. 11 interrupted their idyllic romance. Lapidus, who had already planned to sublet his apartment and close his office, was an auxiliary police officer who was activated after the attacks. He moved to Martha's Vineyard in October, and the couple married July 4.

They now enjoy life together on 40 acres on Peabody Pond, where there's a dock in the summer and quiet year round.

Worthington said they've each had enough travel and are happy to stay at home with each other.

''It's just really wonderful,'' she said. ''We're together all the time.''

Staff Writer Ann S. Kim can be contacted at 791-6383 or at:

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