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Rudolf Serkin

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Rudolf Serkin

Source: Freebase

Rudolf Serkin (Hebrew: רודולף סרקין‎, Russian: Рудольф Сёркин, March 28, 1903 – May 8, 1991, Guilford, Vermont) was a Bohemian-born pianist.

Shortly after the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the Serkins and Busches emigrated to the United States, where Serkin taught several generations of pianists at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. From 1968 to 1976 he served as the Institute's Director. He lived with his growing family first in New York, then in Philadelphia, as well as on a dairy farm in rural Guilford, Vermont. In 1951, Serkin and Adolf Busch founded the Marlboro Music School and Festival near Brattleboro, Vermont with the goal of stimulating interest in and performance of chamber music in the United States. He made many recordings (primarily with Columbia) from the 1940s into the 1980s, including one at RCA Victor of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 in 1944, with the NBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Toscanini. Serkin admired the music of Max Reger, which he discovered while working with Adolf Busch. In 1959, he became the first pianist in the United States to record Reger's Piano Concerto, Op. 114, with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Serkin was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963 and in March 1972 celebrated his 100th appearance with the New York Philharmonic by playing Johannes Brahms's Piano Concerto No. 1. The orchestra and board of directors also named Serkin an honorary member of the New York Philharmonic-Symphony Society, a distinction also conferred on Aaron Copland, Igor Stravinsky, and Paul Hindemith. In 1986, he celebrated his 50th anniversary as a guest artist with the orchestra. He is also regarded as one of the primary interpreters of the music of Beethoven in the 20th century.

Revered as a musician's musician, a father figure to a legion of younger players who came to the Marlboro School and Festival, and a pianist of enormous musical integrity, he toured all over the world and continued his solo career and recording activities until illness prevented further work in 1989

Fact file

  • Born: March 28, 1903
  • Died: May 8, 1991 (Aged 88)
  • Occupation: Pianist

Read more about Rudolf Serkin at Wikipedia or at the Internet Movie Database

In the news

Critic's Pick: Peter Serkin
LA Times Entertainme, 2014-02-28 18:42:00
In the 1960s, Rudolf Serkin, one the world’s most revered pianists, used to fret about his hippie son, Peter. There was little question that Peter Serkin, a piano prodigy, had the capacity to follow in his father’s famous footsteps. At 19, the younger Serkin already had won a Grammy. But ...

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