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.
December 3, 1998 |
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.
January 20, 1996 |
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)
November 21, 2014 |
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 They'll never feel like home: Their strangeness is so specific to the inner world of a composer who had withdrawn into deafness and, in any case, was among history's most singular human beings.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.
January 29, 1991 |
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.
November 6, 1993 |
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.
February 21, 1992 |
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.
February 14, 1995 |
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)
May 13, 1991 |
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.
February 24, 1992 |
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.