Benjamin Ward and I shared a love of music by Richard Strauss, in particular his "Lieder", among them the "Four Last Songs". We had some discussions about the work and life of Richard Strauss and I gave him a copy of the "Life of Richard Strauss" by Bryan Gilliam, our colleague in the Duke Music Department. He told me how much he appreciated that biography. When we met, we talked about whether the Orchestral part for the "Four Last Songs" could be adapted for piano. It was my great wish to have him team up with the Soprano Susan Dunn to perform these very beautiful songs at a Duke recital.