In the heart of SoHo lives a young man who could be said to have hands like Beethoven and brains like Einstein. Known by some as the first American ever invited to play cello with the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, this New York native dodges arrows in the tribal war region of New Guinea, surfs 12 foot cyclones with sharks in Western Galapagos, owns a multi-million dollar company and officially retired at the age of 33.
Meet Edward Scott Brady, a real life “most interesting man in the world” who completes a solo around-the-world solo expedition every year and is currently going on his seventh year.
“His expeditions are simply mind-blowing. The guy is a legend in our office,” says Sara Gamber of Air Trek, the company who has been booking Brady’s flights for years.
And we are not just talking about any type of traveling. What could a man who mountaineers the summits of the Himalayas, plays polo in Abu Dhabi, saves baby seals off a reef in the Galapagos and hot air balloons across Namibia possibly carry in his suitcase?
“My must have items include crampons, ginseng, Tolstoy, wetsuit, humility and my global rescue card,” says Brady who has traversed 103 countries on five continents, trekking through the most isolated and extreme destinations imaginable.
This modern-day Renaissance man gained national recognition at the age of 25 when he was honored with the Panasonic National Young Performers prize. He then made international headlines playing for the Moscow Symphony Orchestra in the year 2000.
But all this acclaim didn’t stop Brady from challenging himself even further. In 2001, he turned his passion for music and his desire to give back to young musicians into a multi-million dollar empire, creating the nation’s premiere music lesson organization: the Musika Teacher Group. The company offers over 2,000,000 music lessons to students across the United States.
Brady has spent his entire life defying conventions and creating his own life philosophy.
“By and large, the vast majority of people watch life pass them by from the sidelines. Truly living is a rare thing,” says Brady, who is expected back in the city from his world expedition on May 9th.
For an individual who knows exactly what he wants, thriving on extreme risk and the fact that he could play Beethoven backwards is never enough.
“Most people seem to just exist and live vicariously through others. Take action and push yourself to the limits. I don’t think mediocrity has ever been in fashion,” he concludes.