“Roger Drinkall and Dian Baker: Harmonious,” Ensign, Oct. 1990, 56–57
When internationally known cellist Roger Drinkall first performed with pianist Dian Baker, it was love at first measure. “It was as if we both had identical feelings about the music,” recalls Brother Drinkall. “I’d never enjoyed such oneness with another musician. Without planning or even discussing the dynamics of the pieces we played, our interpretations were totally harmonious. It was uncanny.”
Since that first performance as a musical duo, the partnership has become a marriage, and Brother and Sister Drinkall have performed in North and South America, Europe, and Asia. But “some very important things happened” before their marriage, Roger explains. “The most important thing was my conversion to the Church.” Dian had been a member of the Church ever since her brother invited the missionaries to teach her family twenty-two years ago. At her encouragement, Roger met with the missionaries.
Shortly after their first meeting, Roger left the country on a concert tour. Dian wrote him, sending excerpts from her journal. She expressed her feelings about him and about the importance of a temple marriage. “Roger wrote back with questions about temples,” remembers Dian, smiling. “That opened the door to our discussions of eternity, discussions that we continue to have.”
Their spiritual lives and their musical lives have blended together as the tones of their two instruments blend in a performance—complements with distinct sounds—each giving the other a fullness that neither alone would have. In sacrament meetings and firesides, Dian and Roger have shared their music and testimonies hundreds of times and in many different cultures.
As they perform together, the delicate sound of his bow on the cello strings, a velvet voice distinct from the sharper and clearer voice of her piano, they combine in a remarkably unified richness of tone.
Dian tends to handle the business end of their concert touring, keeping the schedule in numerous files and, Roger says, “in her computer mind.” For his part, Roger likes to cook, and they try lots of concoctions together.
After thirteen years at Florida State University in Tallahassee, the Drinkalls recently joined the music department at Brigham Young University. “Our celebration of music is one way of expressing our testimony of God’s love for us,” Roger explains. “Music is such a heavenly expression, a language that speaks directly to the heart, transcending cultural and social barriers. It is a pure means of sharing love of beauty.”