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Rudolf Serkin

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NEWS
August 17, 2003
I was Rudolf Serkin's son-in-law from 1958 to 1978, and the person I knew was not the one described in David Patrick Stearns' book review of July 20: Rudolf Serkin: A Life. I was with Serkin several times a year and also attended his concerts and recitals and was with him and the family at Marlboro. The review is unclear whether it was meant to be a distillation of the biography or, as often happens, a matter of the reviewer's interpretation. It is erudite and provocative - and a much-needed - review.
NEWS
December 3, 1998 | By Daniel Webster, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Irene Serkin, 81, a violinist and widow of pianist Rudolf Serkin, died Tuesday at her home in Guilford, Vt., after shopping for a Christmas tree. Her daughter Marguerite said she had suffered from severe heart problems for many years. Born in Vienna and raised in Berlin, Mrs. Serkin was the daughter of violinist Adolf Busch. She studied violin with her father and, like her husband, had almost no formal schooling. She was 3 when Rudolf Serkin met her father by accident at a train station in Berlin.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 20, 1996 | By Peter Dobrin, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Make no mistake: Richard Goode is a first-rate pianist whose ability to get beneath the printed note is rare, and his talents have only deepened with time. Goode, in recital Thursday night in a single performance at the Haverford School's Centennial Hall, brought eloquence to Bach, polish to Mozart and a genteel, understated passion to Brahms and Chopin. You can take exception to some of Goode's interpretative decisions; it's easy, for instance, to call to mind pianists who think of Chopin's Nocturne in E flat major (Op. 55, No. 2)
NEWS
November 17, 2012 | By David Patrick Stearns, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
NEW YORK - The sitting room is meticulously appointed, with the last two issues of the New York Review of Books neatly folded on the end table. In the kitchen, not a stray crumb is to be seen. But Seymour Lipkin's piano room looks like the aftermath of an earthquake. Fallen stacks of scores, no doubt containing a large slice of western classical music, are still almost as tall as the diminutive pianst. At the top of a pile sits Bach's mighty Well Tempered Clavier Book II , on which he's working in his 85th year.
NEWS
January 29, 1991 | By Lesley Valdes, Inquirer Music Critic
Radu Lupu's intensity of vision was laser-keen last night at the Port of History Museum, where he appeared on the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society's piano series. Lupu, in his mid-40s, has the interpretative gravity that brings to mind the wisdoms of Svyatoslav Richter and Rudolf Serkin. But his gravity of bearing suggests neither man. As formidably as a headstone, Lupu sits straight and well back into his chair, moving not a millimeter more than necessary. Even during fiercesome triple fortes and staggering sforzando attacks, you do not see this artist lift a shoulder; the most he will allow himself during moments of high stress is a shaking, very swift, of the head, from which of course comes a series of awesomely controlled and penetrating visions.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 6, 1993 | By Peter Dobrin, FOR THE INQUIRER
A Mozart piano concerto at an Orchestra 2001 concert? When musical director James Freeman realized that the group's November concerts would come on the heels of a Russian tour, he thought he'd program something more traditional than their usual new-music fare - something his musicians would likely already know. He was thinking ahead, too, when he asked Philadelphia pianist Cynthia Raim to be the soloist in the Concerto No. 19 in F major (K. 459). The former Curtis Institute student of Rudolf Serkin and Mieczyslaw Horszowski was a thoughtful interpreter of Mozart.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 21, 1992 | By Lesley Valdes, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Pay attention to the voice this weekend and to the wonderful song books written for it. It is worth the drive - or ride on the Paoli Local - to the Haverford School's Centennial Hall, where William Sharp, a most intelligent and personable singer, is giving a recital Sunday afternoon. Sharp, a baritone, will sing a lot of American music, including Ives, Bernstein, Gershwin, Marc Blitzstein and Paul Bowles, and this is repertoire that is not only vibrant and distinguished but immediately comprehensible.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 14, 1995 | By Peter Dobrin, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
In classical music, where a strong-willed personality is an asset, students don't always resemble their teachers in any discernible way. But in the case of Cecile Licad, the apple didn't fall very far from the tree. Licad's recital Sunday clearly revealed the influence of one of her three teachers at the Curtis Institute of Music, Rudolf Serkin. (Mieczyslaw Horszowski and Seymour Lipkin were the other two). Serkin's presence was especially apparent in Mozart's Fantasia (K. 475)
NEWS
May 13, 1991 | By Daniel Webster, Inquirer Music Critic
Riccardo Muti told graduating musicians at Curtis Institute yesterday that they were undertaking a mission in a country "that finds it difficult to recognize the proper position and value of music and the other arts. " Muti received an honorary doctor of music degree and was the speaker as Curtis Institute awarded degrees and diplomas to 48 young musicians. The 67- year-old school had changed its traditional Saturday commencement to accommodate Muti's schedule as music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
NEWS
February 24, 1992 | By Lesley Valdes, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Cynthia Raim's recital at the Free Library's Montgomery Auditorium Friday night - part of the Musical Fund Society series - had much to recommend it in the way of fine piano playing. The Haydn Sonata in C major, No. 50 was a model of clarity and poise, and of the sort of conversational esprit and argument that Haydn delights in. Schumann's Humoreske (Op. 20) - multifaceted in its alternations of the tender with the more mercurial passions - was rendered with facility and that attention to nuance of tone and phrase that Raim learned from her teachers, Rudolf Serkin and Mieczyslaw Horszowski, some time ago at the Curtis Institute.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
November 21, 2014 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
In the lofty trilogy that is Beethoven's last three piano sonatas - Opus 109, 110, and 111 - each feels like a continuation of the last, into ever more uncharted musical realms. They'll never feel like home: Their strangeness is so specific to the inner world of a composer who had withdrawn into deafness and, in any case, was among history's most singular human beings. So it's understandable that at Wednesday's performance of all three sonatas in one program, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society audience was puzzling over pianist Beth Levin.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 20, 2012 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
NEW YORK - The sitting room is meticulously appointed, with the last two issues of the New York Review of Books neatly folded on the end table. In the kitchen, not a stray crumb is to be seen. But Seymour Lipkin's piano room looks like the aftermath of an earthquake. Fallen stacks of scores, no doubt containing a large slice of Western classical music, are still almost as tall as the diminutive pianist. At the top of a pile sits Bach's mighty Well-Tempered Clavier Book II , on which he's working in his 85th year.
NEWS
November 17, 2012 | By David Patrick Stearns, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
NEW YORK - The sitting room is meticulously appointed, with the last two issues of the New York Review of Books neatly folded on the end table. In the kitchen, not a stray crumb is to be seen. But Seymour Lipkin's piano room looks like the aftermath of an earthquake. Fallen stacks of scores, no doubt containing a large slice of western classical music, are still almost as tall as the diminutive pianst. At the top of a pile sits Bach's mighty Well Tempered Clavier Book II , on which he's working in his 85th year.
NEWS
February 7, 2011 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Having made a significant splash in her early career, pianist Cecile Licad has evolved into such a singular personality in her field that her Friday recital, presented by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, had to inspire polarized reactions. Clearly, she has embodied the music-before-personality ethos of her Curtis Institute mentors, Rudolf Serkin, Seymour Lipkin, and Mieczyslaw Horszowski. She has gone further than perhaps any of them, arriving at performances so thoughtfully analytical but emotionally neutral that you're likely to either love the refreshing purity of her conception or find them as unsatisfying as some low-fat meal.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 3, 2010 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
Never has a composer's anniversary been celebrated so widely but with so little new repertoire to discover. Frederic Chopin, arguably the piano's greatest lyric poet, the man who forever changed what it can do and say, is enjoying an avalanche of discs and downloads in his 200th-birthday year as pianists take his never-out-of-style pieces for a spin. Some return in glory, others not so much. For all its meticulous craftsmanship, improvisational inspiration and matchless charm, Chopin's music asks - but never demands - a degree of self-revelation not all performers are willing (or able)
NEWS
February 2, 2009 | By Peter Dobrin INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
By the time you reach the minuet near the end of Beethoven's 33 Variations in C major on a Waltz of Anton Diabelli (Op. 120), you feel as if you've met a series of knotty, enigmatic challenges. Beethoven has morphed the theme into Bachian fugues, pressed it into a series of pearly arpeggios, elongated it into the language of the minimalists, shredded it up into slithering harmonic fragments, marched, dithered, and generally expanded your consciousness. He's also managed to convince you that music might have had no more prescient seer.
NEWS
May 28, 2005 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
As a teenage music student, pianist Ruth Laredo was notorious for being able to play any finger-busting repertoire that was put in front of her. As a 67-year-old veteran of thousands of concerts and one of America's best-known native-trained pianists, she played a recital at the Metropolitan Museum of Art less than three weeks before succumbing to ovarian cancer Wednesday at her home in New York City. "That doesn't surprise me," said Philadelphia Chamber Music Society founder Anthony P. Checchia.
NEWS
August 19, 2004 | By David Patrick Stearns INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Even a few decades ago, this technology was as sci-fi as brain transplants. But here it is: all 32 Beethoven piano sonatas plus scores compressed into a single CD-ROM selling for $29.98, newly released by Newport Classic. Watch your DVD player or computer swallow it up, and you're good for 10 hours of music. Buying the recordings on compact disc (on which they're also available) and the scores as hard copies would cost around $150. Too good to be truly distinguished? More on that later.
NEWS
August 17, 2003
I was Rudolf Serkin's son-in-law from 1958 to 1978, and the person I knew was not the one described in David Patrick Stearns' book review of July 20: Rudolf Serkin: A Life. I was with Serkin several times a year and also attended his concerts and recitals and was with him and the family at Marlboro. The review is unclear whether it was meant to be a distillation of the biography or, as often happens, a matter of the reviewer's interpretation. It is erudite and provocative - and a much-needed - review.
NEWS
January 14, 2002 | By Peter Dobrin INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
One of the great intangible benefits of the Philadelphia Orchestra's new home is its potential to create a sense of community for music. I hesitate to use that bit of academic and foundation jargon - "community" - since the word has become one of the most overused and misapplied social concepts of recent times. But this past weekend, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts felt like something we haven't felt here much recently. It's not exactly Vienna coffee-house society yet. But after Friday night's concert, small clutches of listeners formed under the glass vault to talk about Beethoven and Steinways, and late Saturday afternoon the plaza started gathering energy with hopefuls trying to get cheap rush tickets.
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