Israeli neurosurgeons at Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center helped former world-renowned violinist Naomi Elishuv overcome hand tremors to regain the ability to perform, in a remarkable surgery that had Elishuv playing Mozart while they operated on her brain.
“This is the first time ever that I have performed brain surgery on a person who played the violin during the operation,” said Professor Itzhak Fried, Sourasky’s director of functional neurosurgery.
According to Fried, the surgeons implanted a brain pacemaker with electrodes in the area of Elishuv’s brain that was the source of the hand tremors which prevented her from playing, and the electrodes emitted impulses to suppress the tremors.
A YouTube video of the surgery shows Elishuv, a former Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra violinist, playing the violin pre-surgery with the hand tremors. The video then skips forward to show her playing the violin during the surgery while the neurosurgeons located the spot in her brain to implant the electrode.
“When we turned on the electric current, we saw the tremor melt away,” Fried said.
“It’s a shame that I didn’t know about this operation before,” said Elishuv, who was forced to give up playing the violin nearly two decades ago. “Now I’m going to live again.”
Watch Naomi Elishuv play Mozart before and during surgery below: