From the Vault: Brett Busby's Violin Concerto for Justice O'Connor

J._Busby.jpgIn 1999 appellate lawyer Brett Busby got a call that would change his life.

"[Retired Supreme Court] Justice Byron White invited me in for an interview for a clerkship," the partner at Bracewell & Giuliani in Houston told us in 2009, when he was featured in our Texas Rising Stars magazine. (He's since made our Super Lawyers list the past three years.) He got the job and discovered a passion for appellate law. He already knew he had a passion for something else: the violin. Those two interests converged in a most memorable way back then.

After discovering that Busby played at a high level (he was in the Duke Symphony Orchestra for two years), Justice Sandra Day O'Connor invited him to meet a friend of hers, a doctor who collected rare violins. During that meeting, Justice O'Connor asked Busby to play at the dress rehearsal for her husband's birthday party, which was taking place the next day. It was there that Busby not only played for the Justice and her husband, but the friend allowed Busby to play both his Stradivarius and Guaraneri del Gesu violins, which, as Busby puts it, "is just about the greatest experience any violinist could have."

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