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Full text of "Dean of Tanglewood (1946-1964), piano soloist, accompanist and teacher, administrator and lecturer, 1910- : oral history transcript / 1991"


University of California Berkeley 



Western Jewish History Center 

Judah Magnes Museum 

Berkeley, California 



RALPH BERKOWITZ 

DEAN OF TANGLEWOOD (1946 - 1964) 

PIANO SOLOIST, ACCOMPANIST AND TEACHER 

ADMINISTRATOR AND LECTURER 

1910- 



An Interview Conducted by 

Carolyn Erbele 

1989 - 1991 



Copyright 1991 by the Western Jewish History Center 
Judah Magnes Museum 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



INTRODUCTION 

GENEALOGICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION SHEET 

INTERVIEW HISTORY 

INTERVIEWER'S INTRODUCTION 1 

EDUCATION 1 

The Curtis Institute 1 

Student Years 1 

Faculty Years 3 

The Visual Arts 4 

The Barnes Foundation 5 

Influences and Mediums 5 

PIATIGORSKY 6 

His Early Years 6 

Touring Together 7 

TANGLEWOOD 8 

Executive Assistant to Koussevitzky 8 

Becoming Dean of Tanglewood 1 

The Departments 11 

Background of the General Area 1 2 

Eleanor Roosevelt 13 

On the Faculty 1 3 

Song Repertoire Department 13 

The Faculty Board 14 

Duties as Dean 1 5 

Friendships 15 

RECORDING 16 

The Artists 16 

Making the Recordings 17 

LIVE PERFORMANCE 18 

ORCHESTRATION 18 

"A TELEPHONE CALL" 1 9 

ONLY GOOD MUSIC 20 

ALBUQUERQUE 21 

The Albuquerque Symphony Orchestra 22 

The June Music Festival 23 

TEACHING PIANO 24 

LOOKING BACK 25 

"Would You Do It Again?" 25 

Artistic Temperment 26 

WORLD WAR II 27 

Working in a War Factory 27 

Touring Difficulties 28 

Plight of the Jewish People 28 



PHOTOS, PAINTINGS AND OTHER WORKS 29 

PROGRAM FROM EIGHTIETH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION 

TEN YEARS AT TANGLEWOOD 

WHAT EVERY ACCOMPANIST KNOWS 

LETTER FROM LOS ANGELES 

ORIGINAL MUSIC FOR FOUR HANDS 

RALPH BERKOWITZ-HE'S WORN MANY HATS 

INTERVIEWER'S BRIEF BIOGRAPHY 

INDEX 




ST JOHN'S COLLEGE 

SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO 87501-4599 (505) 982-3691 
ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND 21404 (301) 263-2371 



FAX (505) 989-9269 



SANTA FE 



January 10, 1991 



Ralph Berkowitz is an extraordinary musician and teacher who has, over 
the years, championed musical interpretations which are direct and 
unaffected. He has shown me--and many other musicianswhat such 
unidiosyncratic readings of masterworks might reveal. He has urged us to 
reconsider our quirky rubatos in favor of a noble straightforwardness, 
to moderate our immoderate tempi, to soften the prolonged and deadening 
loudness that tempts the enthusiastic pianist. Paites simplelike 
Escoffier, Mr. Berkowitz knows that simplicity is the mark of highest 
art . 

His bearing is equally rare and fine. By his warmth, generosity, and 
largeness of spirit he shows himself to be not of the current world of 
musicians, who are too often rather narrow and not possessed of the 
depth of soul needed to bring the great masterworks to life again. In 
his teaching, particularly, he combines keen criticality with the 
support iveness and sympathy that encourages and enables. Both through 
his present example and his marvellous recordings he shows forth the 
soul of musical art and of warm humanity. 




Peter D. Pesic 
Mus ician-in-Residence 

St. John's College 
Santa Fe, New Mexico 



, 



GENEALOGICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION SHEET 



Name of interviewee: Ralph Berkowitz 
Place of birth: Brooklyn, New York 
Date of birth: September 5, 1 91 

Mother's father: Kalman 
Place of birth: Romania 

Name of mother: Matilda 

Place of birth: Bucarest, Romania 
Date of birth: 1886 

Name of father: William 

Place of birth: Roman, Romania 

Date of birth: 1883 

Date of first marriage: 1 932 
Place of marriage: Philadelphia 
Name of spouse: Freda 
Place of birth: New Jersey 
Date of birth: 1910 
Children: Ellen and Joan 
Dates of birth: 1 935 and 1 941 

Date of second marriage: June 1 7, 1 965 
Place of marriage: Albuquerque 
Name of spouse: Beth 

When did the first member of your family come to this country? 
My father's brother came first in 1907 from Romania. My 
father joined him in 1908 in New York City where he met my 
mother. 

Why did that person come? To look for a better life. 



INTERVIEW HISTORY 



My high school chorus teacher in Albuquerque, George Collear, had 
mentioned Ralph Berkowitz to me several times and always with high 
praise. However, it was only after attending college for a couple of 
years in California and returning to Albuquerque that my curiosity 
about him was piqued by observing the tremendous progress of one 
of his students who was an acquaintance of mine. At that time (about 
1973), I contacted Mr. Berkowitz about lessons. I studied with him 
approximately three months and then returned to northern California. 

During that summer I felt I had learned more about piano than I had in 
the previous fifteen years. Mr. Berkowitz's encouraging, positive 
approach as well as his emphasis on technique and unaffected 
interpretation quickly improved my playing and made me want to 
teacn piano which I have enjoyed doing since that time. I continue to 
take lessons from him whenever I visit Albuquerque. 

After studying oral history for a semester with Elaine Dorfman at Vista 
College in Berkeley, I decided Mr. Berkowitz was an ideal subject to 
interview. We began work in his lovely home in July of 1989. The 
interview took place in his spacious hvingroom near his beautiful 
grand piano. The lid is kept down and is covered with inscribed 
photographs of musicians that Mr. Berkowitz has worked with and 
come to know over the years. The walls are covered with oil paintings, 
mostly his own work. It is a room that I had been in many times before, 
but always at the piano. It seemed odd to be sitting in an easy chair 
across from my teacher. My inexperience as an interviewer made me 
nervous, but I soon became totally engrossed in Mr. Berkowitz's 
narration. His experience as a lecturer was evident in his delivery and 
made my subsequent editing job very easy. 

Several months later I persuaded him to allow me to photograph his 
art work and photos to use along with the material gathered in the 
interview. All the photos were under glass which made them difficult to 
photograph. I also tried to take pictures and record his comments at 
the same time. This resulted in the tape not being turned soon 
enough and so some commentary was missed. Consequently, I was 
delighted when my friend Julia Eastberg, a painter and photographer, 
was able to visit Mr. Berkowitz with me in May of 1 991 . She reshot 
some of the photos and pictures for me while I recorded the narration 
that had been lost during our previous session. 

When I first began this project I had only a vague idea of Mr. 
Berkowitz's career. It has been a privilege to find out about his many 



and diverse accomplishments which he related to me with genuine 
modesty. I am honored that we have become friends through this 
process and that I have come to know him more fully not only as a 
marvelous musician, but as an engaging conversationalist whose 
depth of thought is counterbalanced by his lively sense of humor. 

Copies of this transcript are available for examination at the Judah 
Magnes Museum in Berkeley and at the Regional Oral History Office 
at U.C. Berkeley. The tapes are housed at the Judah Magnes 
Museum including a tape of Mr. Berkowitz's transcription of "Carnival 
of the Animals" for two pianos as performed at a concert given in 
honor of his eightieth birthday. Preceding each movement Mr. 
Berkowitz narrated the delightful verses that were composed for the 
piece some years ago by Ogden Nash. 







INTRODUCTION 



C.E.: 



My name is Carolyn Erbele. It is the 7th of July 1989. I 
am in the home of Ralph Berkowitz in Albuquerque, 
New Mexico. We will be talking about his long career 
as a classical musician. 



EDUCATION 

The Curtis Institute 

Student Years 



C.E.: 
Berkowitz: 

C.E.: 

Berkowitz: 



C.E.: 



Would you tell me how you got started in music as a 
boy? 

I started like most children at the age of six or seven 
and had the usual piano lessons, didn't like to 
practice, and that's the end of it. 

Did you have any teachers that you think were 
particularly helpful to you? 

Yes, I had a number of piano teachers, but when I 
was about fifteen, I studied with Emil J. Polak, who 
had been a student of Dvorak's in New York City, and 
it was he who really made me feel that I should 
pursue music. And it was because of him I went to an 
audition at the Curtis Institute in 1928 when I was 
eighteen. It was the first year that the Curtis 
announced it would be an all-scholarship school. 
That's why I tried out for it. They accepted me and I 
graduated in '32, I believe, and then stayed on the 
staff 'til 1940. 

It must have been very helpful to have a scholarship 
during the Depression years. 



Berkowitz: Yes, as a matter of fact, the school had so much 
money because of their endowment that many 
students received a monthly stipend of eighty dollars, 
which in those days was colossal. I became a staff 
accompanist, so that paid also. And as I say, I stayed 
thereuntil 1940. 

In that year, Piatigorsky invited me to play with him 
because his pianist, Valentine Pavlovsky, was a very 
sick man. And so in 1940 that began a relationship of 
thirty years. 

C.E.: When you were at the Curtis Institute as a student, 

were there other students there that were a big 
influence on you? 

Berkowitz: Well, we made very good friends, of course, over the 
years. There were pianists iike Jorge Bolet, Abbey 
Simon and Eugene Istomin, Leonard Bernstein, other 
students, like Gian-Carlo Menotti and Samuel Barber, 
many singers, conductors, composers. The school 
attracted enormously gifted people. Since I was there 
from '28 til '40, I had many friends and colleagues 
who were lifelong friends. 

C.E.: Who was your greatest teacher at the Curtis Institute? 

Berkowitz: My piano teacher was Isabella Vengerova, and I was 
much influenced by the English cellist, Felix Salmond. 
He was one of the great musicians of this century. His 
pupils, like Leonard Rose, Frank Miller, Samuel 
Mayes, and Orlando Cole, became teachers and 
influenced cellists right down to today, so that a great 
cellist, like Yo Yo Ma, was a student of Leonard Rose 
who was a student of Felix Salmond. The great 
teacher produces great students who become great 
teachers. 

C.E.: I notice that you've done a lot of accompanying in 

your career. At what point did you decide you wanted 
to spend time doing that? 

Berkowitz: It was in my early years at the Curtis when I felt that 
only practicing solo music wasn't what I really wanted. 
I shifted over to the chamber music and to the 
accompanying departments so that I played a greater 
variety of music and, of course, met many faculty 



Berkowitz: members such as Sembrich, de Gogorza and 

Zimbalist. All together, it was a much more vivid and 
energetic life than just practicing solo music, and I 
never regretted that. 

C.E.: Do you have a favorite instrument that you like to 

accompany? 

Berkowitz: It's not the instrument so much; it's the music. There's 
an enormous repertoire for violin and for cello, and of 
course, for wind instruments, not to speak of the great 
song repertoire which is endless. All of those 
experiences for any young musician are extremely 
important. They color your life as a professional. 
That's what they did for me so that when I began 
playing for Piatigorsky in 1 940, I had a large 
background of chamber music and ensemble playing. 



Faculty Years 



C.E.: 



Berkowitz: 



C.E.: 



I notice that when you were on the faculty at the Curtis 
Institute that you did vocal coaching, taught form and 
analysis, and also directed a historical series of 
concerts. 

The Historical Series was an interesting thing which I 
inaugerated at the Curtis with my colleagues Joseph 
Levine and Vladimir Sokoloff. We decided to make a 
kind of living history of music each season so that in 
ten or twelve concerts we could go from Corelli, 
Vivaldi, Purcell and John Dowland right up to the 
present times: Stravinsky, Hindemith and Bartok. 
Students were organized to form ensembles or to 
play solo works. It was an important thing, not only in 
the school, but in Philadephia. As I said, there were 
ten, maybe twelve concerts over the season. I also 
wrote the program notes for it. It became an actual 
demonstration of the history of music. 

It sounds very exciting. 



Berkowitz: It's good. Many schools probably do things like that. 

C.E.: I notice you've done a number of lecture series during 

your career. 

Berkowitz: Yes, later on in Albuquerque I did a series on 

television which went around the nation called "The 
Arts." I think there were forty-five weeks of programs. 
Each was an hour and dealt with some aspect of 
painting or music, sometimes literature. 

It also included interviews with artists who might be in 
Albuquerque at the time. These were important things 
for me because I had to prepare each one and speak 
about paintings or etchings or lithographs or piano 
music or whatever, quite knowingly. It's different than 
reading a lecture on the radio where nobody sees 
you, but on television you have to look as if you know 
what you're talking about. 

C.E.: What year did you make that series? 

Berkowitz: Those must have been in the early sixties; they were 
shown for a couple of seasons. I know they went to 
Georgia, Minnesota, other states. It was before what 
was known as public television. They were in black 
and white. 

I did other radio series, talks on this and that, and also 
lectured in different places over the years. I like to do 
that very much. 



The Visual Arts 



C.E.: In 1940 I see that you began painting. 

Berkowitz: Yes. 

C.E.: What stimulated that interest? 

Berkowitz: Well, I loved painting as far back as I remember. 
Living in New York City, of course, there are so 



Berkowitz: many great museums and galleries. I went to them 

just because I seemed to enjoy it, and then I began to 
try drawing myself and painting. I just stuck to it so 
that over the years I have produced more than 600 
works in my catalog. 



The Barnes Foundation 



C.E.: Are you self-trained or did you . . . 

Berkowitz: I'm self-trained, but I did go to one of the great 
schools of America-of the world-the Barnes 
Foundation. It was a collection made by Dr. Barnes, 
and today it's simply one of the great places of the 
world. Their collection of Renoir and Cezanne and 
Matisse and Picasso, and many works from the past, 
makes it wonderful. 

I went there for three years, I believe-they had 
classes and lectures. There was no school in the 
sense that they taught anybody how to paint; nobody 
worked there. But the contact with those pictures and 
with the great lecturers was, for anybody who could 
get in, very important. You couldn't just get in; you had 
to go for an interview. They had to feel you were 
serious about studying, and you had to stick with it. 



Influences and Mediums 



C.E.: What painter do you feel influenced you the most? 

Berkowitz: Well, that's hard to say because I'm not a professional 
painter, but nobody today can avoid the influence of 
Picasso, and then Matisse and Cezanne, not to speak 



Berkowitz: of the older great men like Manet, Monet and 

Rembrandt and Velasquez and so on. In being a 
painter or having any contact with art you have to 
realize that you are in the shad9w of these immense 
geniuses, and you work accordingly. 

C.E.: I see on your wall a great variety of styles and 

mediums. What's your favorite medium to work in? 

Berkowitz: Well, I've worked in many mediums such as oil 

painting and watercplors and pastels and woodcuts 
and wood construction. It's more the kind of thing that 
a person who's not in the profession can do because 
you're not trying to prove anything except to yourself 
so you do what you enjoy and what you want to 
experiment with. That I've done for many years. 



PIATIGORSKY 
His Early Years 



C.E.: I see you started touring with Mr. Piatigorsky the 

same year that you started painting. Would you tell us 
a little bit about him? 

Berkowitz: Piatigorsky was a Russian cellist. He came out of 
Russia when he was about eighteen, in Russia, he 
was considered one of the most phenomenal talents, 
and as a teenager, was the first cellist in the Bolshqi 
Opera. He was enormously successful as an artist in 
Russia, but he wanted to get out, as many Russians 
did in those years, and he went--or escaped actually- 
to Poland, and then later, to Berlin. Of course, he was 
penniless, a simple, poor, penniless, Russian cellist. 
He made his living playing in cafes. 

One day, a musician who knew him very well went to 
the conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, Mr. 
Furtwangler, and said, "You know that in Berlin right 



Berkowitz: now, there's one of the greatest cellists you'll ever 
hear." 

And Furtwangler said, "Well, find him! Bring him to 
me. I want to meet him." 

So this man went to all the cafes he could think of, and 
finally found Piatigorsky. "Come on. I want somebody 
to hear you play."" 

He played for Furtwangler. He was then nineteen or 
twenty. On the spot. Furtwangler made him the first 
cellist of the Berlin Philharmonic, and became like a 
father to him. He had him play concertos with the 
orchestra and let him travel giving concerts, and so 
forth. That's how Piatigorsky made a tremendous 
reputation in Europe. * 

He came to America first in 1928, and by odd chance, 
I heard his first American concert with the 
Philadelphia Orchestra. I didn't know him until many 
years later, but I remember the impression that this 
giant of a man made then. 



Touring Together 



C.E.: How did you come to work with him? 

Berkowitz: Well, I had met him at the Curtis. He was invited to be 
on the faculty about 1 938. We had shaken hands and 
had a word now and then, but his telephone call to me 
in 1 940 came put of the blue. It was because his 
pianist at the time was a sick man. He needed 
someone to travel with so he invited me. We were 
very close for many, many years. 

C.E.: How much of the year did you spend touring with 

him? 

Berkowitz: It varied. It varied much. Some years, we might play 
from October through March-that would be a 



8 



Berkowitz: season. Some years much less because he didn't like 
to travel, but over the years we played hundreds of 
concerts. We made a tour to the Orient once which 
included a month in Japan and we played in Korea 
and the Philippine Islands, Saigon, Singapore, and 
the Malaysian peninsula. We also travelled a lot in 
Europe. We made a South American tour in 
Venezuela and Columbia. We used to play in Mexico 
a great deal. We were in Cuba almost every 
year... Also Guatamala and Panama. We surely 
played in every state in this country, lots in Canada. 
We also made many records for Colombia and RCA 
Victor. Many recordings. 

C.E.: Were these tours exhausting or enjoyable or a 

mixture? 

Berkowitz: In those days it wasn't as tiring, more or less, as it 

would be today when travel is a very tough thing to do. 
A lot of the time before airplanes were used we 
travelled by train... It was just normal work. We'd 
arrive in a city, usually where we had friends, and 
spend a day or two that way, and then play, then go 
on to another city. Altogether, as I look back on it, it 
was very wonderful... Nothing not to like. 



TANGLEWOOD 
Executive Assistant to Koussevitzkv 



C.E.: In 1 946 you became the executive assistant to the 

famous conductor Koussevitzky of the Boston 
Symphony Orchestra. How did you meet him? 

Berkowitz: Well, he was like a father to Piatigorsky. Whenever we 
played in Boston, of course, we were with 
Koussevitzky. Koussevitzky was a legend. He 
conducted the Boston Symphony for twenty-five 
years. He made it one of the great orchestras of the 
world and he formed what we know now as 



Berkowitz: Tanglewood. Tanglewood was a summer festival of 
the Boston Symphony, and along side of it was a 
music school. It was Koussevitzky's idea to combine a 
great school with a great festival. 

He needed someone to make the school work on a 
day to day basis. The members of the Boston 
Symphony, the first desk men, were faculty members 
of the school along with other faculty members who 
were invited. My job, among other things, was to see 
that the teaching schedule of the faculty worked in 
relation to their obligations to the Boston Symphony. 
Also the students who came--and they came from 
around the world-were given chamber music 
assignments and other work with faculty members, all 
of which I organized. 

So when you say, "How did it come about?", the then 
assistant manager of the Boston Symphony, Thomas 
Perry, had been a piano student of mine in 
Philadelphia. We were very close friends. 

Once in Boston he said, "You know, there's an 
opening in Tanglewood. Would you like to work 
there?" 

I said, "No, no, no. I never sat behind a desk and I 
have no way of knowing what to do in that 
department." 

He said, "I didn't think you would, but I wanted you to 
know." 

Months later, Piatigorsky and I were in Bogata in 
South America. A telegram came from Mr. Perry 
saying, "The opening is still available. Would you like 
to take it?" Something of that sort. 

I went to Piatigorsky's room and said, "Look, they 
want me to work in Tanglewood. What do you think?" 

He said, "Well, take it! You have nothing to lose. Your 
family will have a nice vacation there. It's a beautiful 
place." 



10 



Becoming Dean of Tanalewood 



Berkowitz: So I accepted. That was the beginning of eighteen 
years of work there. That was in 1946 that I started. 
Dr. Koussevitzky died in '51 . While he was living, I was 
his executive assistant. When he died, they named 
me dean. The work was the same, but the title was 
different. 

For me it was a full year of work; it was full-time 
employment in the sense that we had to prepare 
Tanglewood during the winter months. An audition 
committee of three or four men along with myself 
went to the major cities, Montreal, Chicago, Detroit, 
so forth, listening to applicants for Tanglewood. We 
would listen to dozens of clarinets and trombones and 
horns and all that. 

We chose students and gave scholarships so that in 
the spring we had formed an orchestra of about a 
hundred which immediately, within a week, was one 
of the great orchestras of the nation! And it was that 
orchestra which was trained by Koussevitzky, and 
later by Bernstein and by Munch and Ozawa, 
Leinsdorf, and many younger students, like Maazel, 
Mehta and Claudio Abbado. 

C.E.: That's very exciting. 

Berkowitz: It's still a most exciting place. As I say, I worked there 
for eighteen years. Then as I was getting older, I felt 
all that was too much because at the same time, as 
you know, I was managing the symphony orchestra 
here in Albuquerque. I was running the June Music 
Festival and playing about... I don't know... twenty, 
twenty-five chamber music works each season and 
teaching and travelling. It all became too much, and I 
slowly resigned from all those posts. 

I had played in the June Music Festival for twenty-five 
years. I resigned from that. Then I resigned from 
eleven years of managing the symphony orchestra 
here, and as I say, eighteen years of Tanglewood. 



1 1 



The Departments 



C.E.: I'd like to find out more about Tanglewood. How many 

students were accepted? 

Berkowitz: Relatively few. There was a symphony orchestra of 
about a hundred students. What does that 
mean... about three flutes and three clarinets and six 
horns. Just an adequate number of students to make 
a symphony orchestra. 

Then there was a composition department headed by 
Aaron Copland. Every year he invited some well- 
known composer like Jacques Ibert, Messiaen, Toch, 
Honegger, Darius Milhaud, Carlos Chavez, Luigi 
Dallapicolla, Petrassi, Sessions-important 
composers of the day all taught in Tanglewood. So 
there was a group of maybe twelve, fifteen young 
composers working under the general leadership of 
Copland and these guests. 

Then there was a full opera department headed by 
Boris Goldovsky. The opera department not only had 
singers, but electricians and costume designers and 
choral teachers and coaches, and of course, 
wonderful singers, many of whom are famous today, 
like Sherrill Milnes, Evelyn Lear, Leontyne Price... 

What else? There was a choral department headed 
by Hugh Ross the conductor of the Schola Cantorum 
in New York. The chorus numbered about a hundred 
fifty students, and it would sing in the festival concerts 
with the Boston Symphony. 

Then there was a department, and I think it still exists, 
for people who just wanted to go to Tanglewood and 
attend rehearsals, listen to classes, listen to concerts, 
but they were not active people. They didn't do 
anything in the school except audit and observe and 
listen. 



12 



C.E.: So even if you aren't a topflight, professional 

musician, you can experience tanglewood. 

Berkowitz: Absolutely. That was one of the important aspects of 
Tanglewood. These were people who came from 
small towns or from abroad... numerous. Mature 
people, teachers, scientists, doctors, all who wanted 
to have a summer of living in an atmosphere where 
music never stopped, lectures never stopped, 
concerts never stopped. It was the most stimulating 
spot on the planet. And it was the first. You realize all 
the great places like Aspen were patterned on what 
Tanglewood was doing. 

C.E.: How many weeks did it last each summer? 

Berkowitz: It was eight or ten weeks. A long time! With that 
pressure it was a tremendously long time. The 
students were exhausted at the end, but nobody 
wanted to leave. They just couldn't believe that they 
had to leave that glorious place. 



Background of the General Area 



Berkowitz: Tanglewood is an extraordinarily beautiful spot in the 
Berkshire hills of Massachusetts. It's at the western 
edge of Massachusetts. The estate overlooks a 
beautiful lake. It has a wonderful old mansion on it. 

You know, the great American author, Hawthorne, 
lived on that estate. He wrote Tanglewood Tales a 
hundred fifty years ago or so. Melville lived nearby 
and he knew Tanglewood very well, too. It was an 
area of Massachusetts which later became the 
playground of millionaries. Numerous mansions were 
built. The great writer Edith Wharton had her home 
there. President Theodore Roosevelt used to spend 
summers there. There was a Carnegie mansion; the 
Rockefellers lived there. It was one of those wonderful 
playgrounds for the very wealthy. 



13 



Eleanor Roosevelt 



C.E.: As I recall, you told me that you coached Eleanor 

Roosevelt for her performance at Tanglewood as the 
narrator in "Peter and the Wolf." 



Berkowitz: Dr. Koussevitzky invited Eleanor Roosevelt to perform 
Prokofieff's "Peter and the Wolf" with the Boston 
Symphony. As she knew nothing about it, he asked 
me to go to Hyde Park and coach her, show her how 
the piece went. I had a wonderful day there with 
Eleanor Roosevelt. As you know, she was one of the 
great human beings of our time. She was utterly 
simple and generous and friendly. 

She was fearful about appearing with the Boston 
Symphony Orchestra, having never done anything 
like that before. But I had prepared the score for her 
with colored pencils which would show her when to 
speak and when not to. I played the orchestra part, of 
course; and she went through it and read it very 
charmingly. She later recorded it with the Boston 
Symphony, and I think one can still get those records. 

At any rate, she performed it on a Saturday night, and 
there were a good fifteen thousand people who were 
themselves with enthusiasm. She was most 



impressed by the ovation. She said, "Do you really 
think that applause is for me?!" (pause) I assured her 
it was. 



On the Faculty 
Song Repertoire Department 



C.E.: I see that not only were you the dean of Tanglewood, 

but you also were on the faculty. 



14 



Berkowitz: When I had time I did some chamber music teaching 
and also organized a song repertoire department. 
The school had all the things I described before, 
composition and opera and orchestra and chamber 
music, but it didn't nave a department in which 
singers could work on songs, on the great lieder of 
Brahms and Schubert, Debussy, and so forth. I asked 
Dr. Koussevitzky about forming such a department. 
He, of course, liked it, and so we did. In recent years- 
and when I say recent years that means twenty-five 
years ago-it was taken over by the great singer, 
Phyllis Curtin. She's doing it to this day, as far as I 
know. 



The Faculty Board 



C.E.: On the faculty board you were surrounded with 

luminaries such as Leonard Bernstein, Aaron 
Copland... 

Berkowitz: These people were the heads of their departments. 
After Koussevitzky's death in 1951, Charles Munch, 
who succeeded him as conductor of the Boston 
Symphony, didn't want to devote time to Tanglewood 
the way Koussevitzky had, so we proposed that a 
faculty board be formed. This board, as I say, had the 
heads of each department: Bernstein for conducting, 
Copland with composition, Hugh Ross for chorus, 
Fritz Kroll for chamber music, Gpldovsky for opera. It 
was an amicable group. We all liked each other and 
worked well together. 



15 



Duties as Dean 



C.E.: Were there any difficulties in running such an 

organization? 

Berkowitz: Enormous. Enormous difficulties, for the simple 

reason that a faculty of about fifty people and a school 
of about three hundred students would have all kinds 
of ideas which were brought to my desk. Everybody 
busy, everybody active, everybody trying to go their 
own road in some way. 



Friendships 



C.E.: 



Berkowitz: 



C.E.: 
Berkowitz: 



imagine that in working with these musicians for so 
many years you probably became quite close to a 
)er of them. 



many 
numb* 



Oh, yes, we were really friends. Boris Goldovsky, who 
is a great opera man-as you know, for many years 
he had the intermission feature of the Metropolitan 
Opera broadcasts-he and I were friends in the Curtis 
Institute from about 1929. 

Mr. Copland and I were close friends, indeed. 
Bernstein I had been friendly with before he came to 
Tanglewood. That was at the Curtis Institute when he 
was a student from '38 on. He came to the Curtis as a 
graduate of Harvard University. But even then as a 
poor, young musician, one knew immediately that this 
was going to be a great career. It turned out that way. 

You could just see it in the eyes? 
Yes, yes. 



1 6 



RECORDING 
The Artists 



C.E.: I notice that you've recorded for a number of 

companies. 

Berkowitz: Piatigorsky and I recorded a great deal for Columbia 
Records, and later for RCA Victor, but I've made 
records with other artists as well, primarily with a 
wonderful violinist, Eudice Shapiro. She is a professor 
at DSC, has been for many years, and also was one 
of the group of high professional players in the movie 
studios. She was the first violinist of Twentieth 
Century Fox so when you see or hear old films and 
there's any solo violin going on, you can be pretty 
sure it's Eudice Shapiro. She and I had a tour in ' 
Europe many years ago. She also was a Curtis 
student. We recorded maybe seven, eight years ago 
for Crystal Records, and before that recorded the " 
three Brahms sonatas for Vanguard Records. 

I also made records with three artists from the Boston 
area: Ruth Posellt, a wonderful violinist, and Samuel 
Mayes, the first cellist of the Boston Symphony at the 
time, and Joseph Pasquale, the first viola player. We 
made the Brahms First Piano Quartet, and also the 
Clarinet Trio with the first clarinet of the Boston 
Symphony, Gino Cioffi. With him I also recorded a 
Brahms clarinet and piano sonata. 

Records are strange in the sense that they don't live 
very long. AN the Piatigorsky records are out of the 
catalog. I haven't seen any listed for years. The 
present Schwann catalog has a listing of more than 
75,000 titles of classical music so you can imagine 
that if you can today obtain any one out of 75,000, 
there must be twice or three times that which don't 
exist, that are out of print. 



17 



Making the Recordings 



C.E.: What was the difference for you between live 

performance and recording experiences? 

Berkowitz: Recording is a very difficult thing to do. When we first 
started to record in '41 or '42, there was no such thing 
as tape. You recorded on a disc and the disc played 
four minutes and twenty seconds. You couldn't stop it 
and you couldn't correct it. You had to play the 
amount of music-at most four minutes and twenty 
seconds. If you recorded a sonata, you had to divide it 
by timing carefully so that it would work out that way. 
When you were playing you were always thinking, "Is 
this going to last properly for these four minutes?" A 
little slip or so and then you stopped. "OK. Kill it. We'll 
do another one." You had to do the side all over again. 

When tape came in, it appeared to be much easier 
because you could insert one note if you wanted to. 
You could patch it from dozens of takes and that's 
how recordings largely are done today, although 
many artists or orchestras play a full movement or a 
full symphony. If they make mistakes, they correct 
that area. Anything can be patched up and taped 
together, as you know, and as I say, even one note 
can be added or taken out. They can do wonderful 
things. In a way that makes recording easier. Still, 
when you're playing for no public and you know a 
microphone is taking it all in, it's a kind of feeling which 
is not very pleasant. 



1 8 



LIVE PERFORMANCE 



C.E.: Have you always enjoyed playing for audiences or do 

you get excessively nervous before performances? 

Berkowitz: No, no. I am lucky to have the kind of nature that 
doesn't get nervous. One gets excited: you're 
anticipating playing, but if you feel that you know what 
you're doing and you feel that there's a knowing 
audience, then it's a gratifying thing and very pleasant 
and quite wonderful. 

C.E.: I understand this is rather different from Mr. 

Horowitz's experiences of pre-concert jitters. 

Berkowitz: Well, Horowitz is a very special man. What he says we 
don't necessarily have to believe. He's such an 
experienced, old artist that if he says he gets very 
excited or very frightened, he may g_r may not. 

But every artist who's played and who has a 
reputation to uphold can't take performing lightly. He 
knows he has something on his shoulders that he has 
to keep upholding. To that extent the Horowitzes and 
Rubinsteins and Heifetzes and Piatigorskys and 
many others have an emotion on their minds, on their 
hearts, on their feelings, knowing that their 
reputation, in a sense, is at stake. 



ORCHESTRATION 



C.E.: I see that in 1954 you were doing some orchestration. 

Was that an interest all along? 

Berkowitz: Yes, I studied orchestration at the Curtis Institute. 

When Piatigorsky and I travelled, I used to carry along 
manuscript paper and a bottle of ink and pens and 
would orchestrate some great work, usually a work of 
Bach. It was a good pastime in hotel rooms while 



19 



Berkowitz: waiting for concerts to take place. I did a number of 
those and some of them are played. 

I noticed the other day that in the Santa Fe Chamber 
Music Concerts which take place right now [July], 
they're going to play a version of mine of Saint Saens 1 
"Carnival of the Animals" for two pianos. You know, I 
made many transcriptions for four hands, for two 
pianos. Saint Saens 1 "Carnival of the Animals" was 
written for two pianos with orchestra and I arranged it 
for two pianos without the orchestra. That is a very 
effective piece and it's played. I have records of its 
being done in Japan not long ago and in Copenhagen 
so I was happy to see that they chose to play it here in 
Santa Fe. 

I played the "Carnival" with Arthur Fiedler in 
Tanglewood once. The other pianist was my dear 
friend Seymour Lipkin. Ogden Nash came to read his 
own verses at that concert. 

C.E.: How exciting! 

Berkowitz: He did it. 



"A TELEPHONE CALL" 



C.E.: In 1957 you had a composition of yours performed in 

Brazil. 

Berkowitz: It was in Brazil, yes. There's a short story by Dorothy 
Parker called "A Telephone Call" and it deals with a 
young lady waiting at a telephone for her boyfriend to 
call. Of course, the phone never rings. She keeps 
thinking, "Maybe he's sick," or "Maybe he forgot," or 
"He doesn't love me." I asked Dorothy Parker for 
permission to set that to music and she said, "Surely, 
do it." 

So I did it for voice with orchestra. I showed it to my 
friend Eleazar de Carvalho who was conductor of 



20 



Berkowitz: the Orquestra Sinfonica Brasileira, and he went back 
there and got somebody to learn it and sing it. I never 
heard it, but it was done there. 

C.E.: Do you have a recording? 

Berkowitz: No. 

C.E.: Has a recording been made of it? 

Berkowitz: No, I doubt it. 

C.E.: Have you done any other compositions? 

Berkowitz: Not to speak of, no, nothing important at all. 

C.E.: This just seized your imagination? 

Berkowitz: Yes. 



ONLY GOOD MUSIC 



C.E.: I see here that you worked with Jan Peerce. 

Berkowitz: Yes. I played concerts with a number of my friends 
such as Jan Peerce, Raya Garbousoya, Zara 
Nelsova, Leonid Kogan, Eudice Shapiro. I became 
friendly with Jan Peerce and when he was in this area 
he asked me to play with him. Houston, Albuquerque, 
Denver, I believe, and Kansas City. Not many 
concerts, but over a period of four or five years I did 
play with him. He was a great gentleman, a very great 
artist. 

C.E.: Do you prefer opera repertoire or lieder when you 

play for singers? 

Berkowitz: Only good music. 

C.E.: Who are your favorite composers? 

Berkowitz: Everybody (laughter - Erbele). Well, Mozart, 

Schubert, Haydn, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Brahms. 



21 



Berkowitz: The great, great, great classics. Stravinsky, 

Hindemith, Tschaikovsky, Shostakowich, Prokofiev. 

Any professional artist who says, "I like him, but I don't 
like him," is making a mistake. You can have some 
affinity for somebody more than for somebody else, 
but to say, "I don't like Tschaikovsky," "I don't like 
Hindemith," or "I don't like Brahms." that's 
preposterous. You have to know you're facing great 
mentalities if you face Tschaikovsky or Brahms. You 
meet these people halfway and learn from them and 
make yourself know that you must appreciate them. 

C.E. Do you find that because you taught form and 

analysis that this gave you a greater appreciation of 
these works? 

Berkowitz: Well, yes. Any contact with the work of a composer's 
mind, which means the form of the thing they're 
working on, has to enhance your appreciation and 
your understanding of music. Nobody can play music 
if they don't know what the form of it is, what the 
harmonic structure, what the skeletal idea is. The 
composer isn't interested in writing a lot of notes and 
very nice tunes. He has to make a structure like an 
architect makes a blueprint for a building. 



ALBUQUERQUE 



C.E.: What first brought you to Albuquerque? 

Berkowitz: Well, I came here in 1958 to manage the symphony 
orchestra and because I had made friends here since 
1946, when I first played in the June Music Festival [in 
Albuquerque]. I wanted to get away from the East 
Coast and this was an opportunity to do so since 
managing the orchestra would fit in with my work in 
Tanglewood, the June Music Festival and with my 
travels with Piatigorsky. It was a move that I never 
regretted. 



22 



C.E.: What drew you to this part of the country? 

Berkowitz: As I say, I had known it since '46. It was a nice place to 
come to! When I first came here in 1946 Albuquerque 
was a very small town. Central Avenue, as you know, 
the main thoroughfare, didn't exist with any buildings 
on it beyond the university campus. From there going 
east it was just fields with a few little huts. It was the 
war [WWII], of course, that brought many people here 
to work at Sandia [Airforce Base]. It developed into a 
much bigger city then. Now it's about 350,000, isn't it? 
Or more. 

C.E.: Half a million, I hear. 

Berkowitz: Yes. It's a wonderful place to live. It doesn't have the 
great defects of big cities with traffic and smog and 
crowds and all the other perils of big city life. Although 
I'm a New Yorker, I don't miss New York, except for 
great museums, great theaters, great concerts, which 
we do not have. 



The Albuquerque Symphony Orchestra 



C.E.: What were your responsibilities in managing the 

Albuquerque Symphony Orchestra [now the New 
Mexico Symphony]? 

Berkowitz: Well, there is the matter of the personnel, the 
rehearsal schedules, the contacts with the 
conductor.--At that time, it was Maurice Bonney, a 
very talented young conductor. He was here for 
eleven years. He came the same season I did. --And 
the choice of soloists to go within the budget of the 
orchestra. At that time it was a very modest budget. 
Now the orchestra's gone to about a three million 
dollar budget. 

But every orchestra in every city has to start from 
something and develop. It can't start full-blown like 



23 



Berkowitz: the Boston Symphony with a budget of forty million 
dollars a year. 

It was made up of amateurs and housewives, 
students and doctors and others who could give their 
time. They got very, very little money for it, but of 
course relatively, they still do. An orchestra is one of 
the most expensive beasts that you can think of, 
along with opera companies. They have to be 
subsidized; they have to be supported by donations. 
No matter where it is, if it's Washington or Chicago or 
Albuquerque, the problems are the same: raising 
money, getting good players, getting a conductor who 
can lead it and develop it. 

C.E.: Was Maurice Bonney conductor the whole time you 

were manager? 

Berkowitz: Yes, yes. We came together and left together. 



The June Music Festival 



C.E.: What was the June Music Festival all about and what 

year did it begin? 

Berkowitz: It started before the war, about 1 938 or so. There was 
a wealthy man in this city named Albert Simms and he 
and his wife loved chamber music. They invited a 
group of musicians to give concerts which were free 
to the public. One had only to write to Mr. Simms and 
he sent tickets. That went on for... five years or so with 
a group of artists of which I was not a member. The 
person who arranged the concerts was the cellist 
George Miquelle whom I knew very well. 

He once called me and asked if I would like to come to 
Albuquerque to play chamber music. Well, I jumped at 
that. Josef Gingold, one of the great teachers of this 
nation right now, and George Miquelle, who died a 
few years ago-he was a wonderful cellist-and 



24 



Berkowitz: other men were invited. There were Ferenc Molnar 
and Frank Houser from San Francisco. We arranged 
programs of sonatas, trios, quartets, quintets. 

After awhile Mr. Simms said he couldn't afford to 
subsidize it anymore. Miquelle and Gingold and I 
talked it over and decided we would run it because 
there had been a nucleus of four or five hundred 
people we thought might be willing to pay ten dollars 
for a series of concerts. We got a nucleus of 
subscribers, backers, donors, and to this day, that's 
what the June Music Festival is. 

In recent years, it's been the Guarneri String Quartet, 
one of the great quartets of the world. Previous to 
that, there had been the Fine Arts Quartet for eight, 
ten years. In all of the twenty-five years that I played, 
the pianist did the bulk of the repertoire because the 
public seemed to want piano music so on every 
program I played at least two works. If there were 
eight concerts, that's sixteen works every season. 
That's a lot. 



TEACHING PIANO 



C.E.: I guess all this time since you taught at the Curtis 

Institute you've had piano students as well. 

Berkowitz: Well, I taught much before I went to the Curtis. I 
started teaching when I was fifteen or sixteen and 
never stopped. Anybody who wants to be a teacher 
should teach from his youngest years. It's very hard to 
become a teacher when you're thirty or forty and 
actually, it's not fair to students. Teaching is 
something you learn to do by teaching and you 
cannot learn unless you do it. But of course, if you're a 
writer you can only write by writing, etcetera. If you're 
a baseball player you really only play baseball by 
playing baseball. 



25 



Berkowitz: In the matter of teaching it's important to have 

patience, to know what you're talking about, to try to 
be articulate and to be consistent. You cannot one 
week say one thing and then contradict it the next. Or 
on the other hand, you can't show indifference to 
people who are not as gifted as they might be from 
God. You have to do the utmost to make everyone 
appreciate music, love music and devote their 
interest to music unless they don't like jj in which case 
they shouldn't study at all. 

C.E.: So to some degree it's a task in the psychology of 

each student. * 

Berkowitz: Sure. You have to know who you're teaching and you 
have to want them to like the art of music, not only to 
jike it, but to love it and to devote themselves with 
integrity. It's easy to say and very hard to do. A 
teacher who works eight hours a day all week long is 
not likely to have that lovely, noble spirit. He can lose 
his temper and so forth; but I don't teach that much 
and never have, so that I can really feel, in a sense, 
fresh with each student at each session. 



LOOKING BACK 
"Would You Do It Again?" 



C.E.: 



Berkowitz: 



Many of the positions you've held in your lifetime have 
involved all sorts of scheduling problems and other 
organizational matters. Looking back, would you do it 
again? 

Oh, yes. I would gladly go to the Curtis Institute again. 
I would gladly go to work in Tanglewood again, if I 
were young, of course, or gladly begin a career 
travelling with Piatigorsky again. I don't know about 
managing the symphony. That was gratifying in a 
way, but that I could have lived without even though I 



26 



Berkowitz: enjoyed doing it and I think I contributed something to 
the job. It's always an interesting thing to say, "Would I 
do all that again?"-"Would I lead my life the same 
way?" In the professional part of it, I would pretty 
much say, "Yes, I would do it again." 

C.E.: So you liked having a variety of activities? 

Berkowitz: That certainly, yes. Playing and teaching and studying 
and managing and being a dean, all of that I liked very 
much. 



Artistic Temperment 



C.E.: People often think of artists and musicians as 

tempermental. Did you experience that in your 
dealings? 

Berkowitz: Well, the greater the person the less tempermental. 
That's for sure. In any field, if you meet a great 
executive of General Motors for instance, you're 
going to find a refined gentleman. The tempermental 
in the arts is for the fourth raters and the amateurs 
and those people who just want to show off. I've never 
known an important artist who wasn't a great lady or a 
great gentleman. The more important they were, the 
more one noticed their sense of humanity and dignity 
and integrity-anything farthest removed from what 
people usually think of as artistic temperment. That 
doesn't exist. 



WORLD WAR II 
Working in a War Factory 



27 



C.E.: How did World War II affect your career? 

Berkowitz: In the early forties there was, as you know, the draft 
for all men of age for the army. I was eligible for quite 
awhile, but they changed rules every few weeks 
according to the needs of the army and navy. At one 
time they said that a man with children who had a war 
job would not be drafted into the army. 

Berkowitz: I knew an important industrialist in Philadelphia. He 
took me to a factory where they made war equipment 
and introduced me to the owners. They gave me a job 
as an inspector so that for about two and a half years 
during the war, I actually did work in a war factory. 

They were nice enough to let me go off on tour now 
and again with Piatigorsky. All of that was legitimate 
with my draft board. I had already had what you call 
an induction test. 

I very much enjoyed that work in a war factory and 
made many good friends there... as much as I was 
frightened of a factory when I first entered it. The 
noise, the clanging, metal machines. It seemed 
impossible. How could one live with that eight hours a 
day! But you acclimate yourself very well, and of 
course, it was a very good lesson. I did it with 
pleasure. 



28 



Touring Difficulties 



C.E.: Was it difficult to travel during the war years? 

Berkowitz: Oh, yes. During the war everything was difficult. The 
answer that anyone gave you anytime at all to cover 
up anything was to say, "Don't you know there's a war 
on!" Anything! Bad meals, no service, lost 
reservations, anything you want, they would cover up 
simply by saying, "Don't you know there's a war on!" 
Trains were enormously crowded. Soldiers and 
sailors were travelling all the time. They had to. Life in 
America was no picnic even though we didn't have 
the horrors of war in the way Europe did. Still, the war 
years in America were not pleasant. 



Plight of the Jewish People 



C.E.: Did you know what was happening to the Jewish 

people in Germany? 

Berkowitz: No, people had no. idea of the severity of that horror. 
We knew, of course, the whole world knew, what 
Hitler said! He wasn't ashamed to say he wanted to 
exterminate the Jewish race. We knew that the Nazi's 
policy was that, but there wasn't that knowledge 
whicn came later on. But it didn't save six million Jews 
from being exterminated. The world will never live that 
down. 

C.E.: Did you have any relatives. . . ? 

Berkowitz: No! Fortunately, no one I knew was in that situation in 
Europe. 

C.E.: Well, thank you for this interview and for giving me 

your time. Thank you very much. 



29 



PHOTOS, PAINTINGS AND OTHER WORKS 



C.E.: When did you start painting? 

Berkowitz: It must have been about 1 940. (pause) Why? 

Because I was travelling so much with Piatigorsky. In 
hotel rooms and even on trains I would draw. It was a 
good way to spend time. 

It was Piatigorsky who said to me, "Why don't you get 
some canvas and make bigger paintings?" The usual 
thing. I mean everyone goes through the same thing. 

Well, I went into it enthusiastically for many years. My 
catalog, which I kept methodically, has more than 600 
items/ 



C.E.: (reads) "Chinese Twins, Sea Captain and a Lamp 

Post." Oh, I like that. 

Berkowitz: That was one of the earliest ones of its kind. . . 1 978, 
twelve years ago. 

C.E.: So you started the wood construction ones. . . 

Berkowitz: About then. I started because a student of mine who 
makes violins has millions of pieces of wood. I didn't 
do anything except pick them up and put them 
together. 

C.E.: Her name is Anne Cole? 

Berkowitz: Yes. She plays the piano and she's a fine cellist, but 
she makes fiddles professionally. 



30 



Berkowitz: This is one of a series I call "Oracles." They all are 
seated women. Purely abstract. I must have about 
twenty of them. 



Berkowitz: That's a collage. 
C.E.: Does it have a title? 

Berkowitz: ISto. It's just a lot of pasted... stuff. There's a lot of nice 
things in it. Railway tickets. It really has to do with 
travel. 

C.E.: So it has railway tickets? 

Berkowitz: Some little bit there in pink from a sleeper-car ticket, 
isn't it? 

C.E.: Oh yes. 

Berkowitz: And fragments of a music program. 



Berkowitz: This is an artist bowing. 

C.E.: Do you remember when you did this? 

Berkowitz: ...a date. There, in the corner. 

C.E.: Yes. '58. 

Berkowitz: The artist is bowing; here are the footlights and the 
curtain above the stage. 

C.E.: Would it be a lot of trouble to move that plant? 

Berkowitz: I could move the wall (laughter - C.E.). Just take it with 
the plant; it will be lovely. " 



31 



C.E: 
Berkowitz: 

C.E.: 

Berkowitz: 

C.E: 

Berkowitz: 



C.E.: 
Berkowitz: 



Did you do this wooden construction? 

Yes! This is supposedly a Japanese teahouse. A 
model for one. 

I'd like to photograph you holding that. 
You can see part of a fiddle that is cut there. 

Oh yes. So it looks like you had a lot of fun doing 
these. 

Tremendous fun. The thing about doing artwork is 
that when you've done it, it's there. If you give a 
concert in Kansas City, after it's over, so what. It's 
gone! The next day a travelling artist goes to 
Wyoming. He's got the money, of course. He earns a 
living, but the difference in being a creative artist is 
immense. That why everybody paints... If you think 
how many things are created that didn't exist the day 
before-pictures, poetry, compositions, construction, 
every day-it's amazing. Isn't it? 

Yes! 

And it's always a source of joy to the creator at the 
time. Later on I say, "The hell with it!" No interest at all, 
but the act of doing it, and the fact that it's there... 



Berkowitz: These boxes have different figures. This woman was 
a very great painter. Her name was Sofonisba 
Anguissola. I put an earring on her. This is a key from 
a piano. There are various objects. The main point of 
it is that it's a collection of boxes pasted together. 
Basically cigar boxes. See here's a name. 

C.E.: Did you smoke cigars? 

Berkowitz: Present tense. Emerson once said, "Tell me the music 
he likes and the cigars he smokes and I'll tell you who 
he is." 

C.E.: What was the woman's name in this box? I forget. 



32 



Berkowitz: Sofonisba Anguissola. 
C.E.: What a beautiful name! 

Berkowitz: You know the writer, of course, Germaine Greer. She 
wrote a big book about women artists. You can't 
imagine how many there were in the seventeenth, 
eighteenth, nineteenth centuries. Their work is in 
museums around the world and yet they are 
completely unknown. It's a most fascinating book! 

C.E.: My friend, Julia, is an artist. She said that when she 

was in art school she was told several times by her 
male professors that there were no important women 
artists. 

Berkowitz: I would say the same, honestly, about women 
composers. There's Fanny Mendelssohn, Clara 
Schumann. Nobody the stature of a Beethoven, but in 
paintings there were. They weren't Rembrandt or 
Titian, but they were great painters and they are 
absolutely unknown now. Sofonisba who died in 1635 
was one of six sisters, all of whom were fine painters. 
She was for twenty years court painter in Spain. 



Berkowitz: See this box? It's a construction within a given space 
and I put things here made by children. That back 
there is a relief made by Michaelangelo. He made that 
when he was a child. 



C.E.: And what's this one called? 

Berkowitz: "Don Quixote." That's a collage. It's all pasted paper. 

C.E.: The texture is lovely. It looks so smooth. 

Berkowitz: You see, that's Don Quixote riding a horse. See the 
reins he's holding? See his face? And this is his 



33 



Berkowitz: Dulcinea who he thinks is a princess. Actually she's a 
scullery maid. She is on the back of the horse. There's 
the horse's mane. 



Berkowitz: (holds up a wood construction) This is the Biblical 
figure of Job. Doesn't he look like a Job? 

C.E.: Yes. Those eyebrows. 

Berkowitz: You know, all that's natural wood. I didn't do anything 
to it but paste it together. Driftwood. 

(He holds up another wood construction.) The hair 
goes with this character, too. It's Stravinsky. 



Berkowitz: This is a nice box. Inside you see a pussycat. 

C.E.: (laughs and looks inside) Oh yes. And a map, some 

glasses, seashells... 



C.E.: What's the name of this painting? 

Berkowitz: It is a woman's head. No special name. 

C.E.: It's beautiful. Do you remember when you did it? 

Berkowitz: I would say about twenty-five years ago. 



34 



Berkowitz: 



C.E.: 



What else is here? This is in the program book. 
Piatigorsky, Franz Waxman, Isaac Stern and myself. 
This photo was taken about 1946 or '47. It's at the 
Russian Tearoom in New York, a famous little 
restaurant near Carnegie Hall. Why we were all 
together I couldn't tell you. The name Waxman 
means nothing to you. He was a very important movie 
composer in the thirties and forties and was very 
highly regarded. He died young. 

Did your friend, Eudice Shapiro, ever play in his 
orchestras? Didn't you say she did a lot of movie 
work? 



Berkowitz: Sure. She played everything! 



Berkowitz: Here's a very touching picture (looking at 
Koussevitzky). 

C.E.: It is. How old was he when he died? 

Berkowitz: He was in his seventies I would estimate, but he had 
worked so hard. He conducted the Boston Symphony 
for twenty-five years. 



C.E.: 



This is your wife, Beth. 



Berkowitz: This is Perry, manager (on the right), and Erich 
Leinsdorf when he was conductor of the Boston 
Symphony (center). Read what he says. It's very cute. 
"To smiling Ralph from prayerful Erich." And Perry 
writes, "From wary Perry." 



35 



Berkowitz: This is in the Curtis Institute. It must be about 1935. 
Here is Rosario Scalero who was the teacher of 
Samuel Barber and of Gian Carlo Menotti. I also 
studied with him. This photo seems to show us 
listening to something. We're sort of looking down at a 
piece of music. 

C.E.: And the one next to you is. . . 

Berkowitz: That's Barber. Then Menotti and that's Rosario 
Scalero. 



Berkowitz: This is the Metropolitan Opera Intermission narrator 
Boris Goldovsky. He's a great opera man. 



Berkowitz: This is a cute picture. This was taken on 

Koussevitzky's birthday. Here's me, Copland, 
Koussevitzky and Eleazar de Carvalho, the Brazilian 
conductor. And above are men of the Boston 
Symphony: first trumpet, first clarinet, bassoon, 
flute... 

C.E.: This man from Brazil performed a piece you wrote, 

didn't he? 

Berkowitz: That's the one. 

C.E.: What was the name of it? 

Berkowitz: "The Telephone Call." Eleazar de Carvalho was 

conductor of the St. Louis Symphony at one time, and 
of the orchestra in Brussels. He's an international 
conductor. 



36 



Berkowitz: Below me is Frederick Fennel!. He made many 
recordings with the Eastman Symphonic Band. 



Berkowitz: That's Jascha Heifetz. 

C.E.: "To Ralph Berkowitz with warm greetings and best 

wishes. Heifetz." 

Berkowitz: Heifetz wrote a very formal inscription. He didn't go in 
for flowery phrases. 

C.E.: When did you meet him? 

Berkowitz: Oh, I met him first in 1 940, '41 . He was a close friend 
of Piatigorsky, of course, so we were together on 
many occasions. We were together in Israel in 1970. 
The last time Piatigorsky and I sat on a stage was in 
Tel Aviv in 1 970. That was the last concert we played 
together. Mr. Heifetz was there, too. We played one 
night and he played the next. After he played I went 
backstage and said to him, "Mr. Heifetz, you play like 
a god!" 

He said, "Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Did you ever 
hear God play?" 

That was his sense of humor. I said, "Never mind. You 
play really like a god." 

He was an old man then. He was well in his sixties. He 
was born in 1903 and this was 1970. He really played 
fantastically. He was such a master. He looked like an 
Adonis on the stage; the way he held the fiddle. 



Berkowitz: This is Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. 
C.E.: Oh, right. When was this taken? 



37 



Berkowitz: Not long ago. That was in L.A., maybe five, six years 
ago [1985]. He's an old, dear friend. His father was 
Efrem Zimbalist, one of the great fiddlers of the world. 
When Heifetz was a student of Leopold Auer in 
Russia, Auer had three students who were to become 
the greatest of the world: Heifetz, Zimbalist and 
Mischa Elman. 



C.E. 
Berkowitz: 



C.E.: 
Berkowitz: 



C.E.: 
Berkowitz: 



C.E.: 
Berkowitz: 



C.E.: 



Would you tell us about this photo? 

That's Aaron Copland in the sixties, I think. In 1961 . 
By then he was already an old friend because we 
started working together in 1946 in Tanglewood. Next 
to it is a picture you haven't seen [not shown here]. 
This was from the memorial concert a few weeks ago, 
after his death. 

He was ninety years old. 

It is amazing that he should die just a few months 
after Bernstein because they were great friends. 
Copland was a large influence on Bernstein's life. 
There was eighteen years difference in their lives- 
and they died so close together. 

Did they work together for many decades? 

Well, work together isn't quite it. They were close 
friends. Bernstein played and conducted all of 
Copland's music. After all when Bernstein was a 
teenager, Copland was a world famous figure. 

Do you know when they met? 

Bernstein wrote about their meeting at a concert. He 
went to a performance in Town Hall in New York. Next 
to him was a man he didn't know and somehow or 
other he was introduced-"Here's Aaron Copland." It 
was by mere chance. I don't know that Copland knew 
of Bernstein at that time. 

I take it they worked together at Tanglewood for quite 
a long time. 



38 



Berkowitz: Well, Copland, Bernstein and myself were together 
hundreds of times in those eighteen years that I 
worked in Tanglewood, at meetings and so forth. 

C.E.: The inscription on this one says, "For Ralph with the 

affection of his friend. Aaron. 1961." 



C.E.: 

Berkowitz: 
C.E.: 
Berkowitz: 



C.E.: 

Berkowitz: 
C.E.: 
Berkowitz: 



C.E.: 
Berkowitz: 



C.E.: 



Here we come to one of your old friends. 

That's Bernstein. 

What's the inscription on it? 

He sent this to me on my seventieth birthday so he 
says, "Affectionate congratulations to my dear old 
friend Ralph B. who's 70 from Lenny B. who's only 62. 
More power to you." 

That's a lovely photograph of him. 
Oh, it's a great picture. 
And he lived to be how old? 

Seventy-two. Of course, he lived so many lives at the 
same time, he was probably 28p. He lived the life of a 
great conductor, the life of a writer, a composer, world 
traveller, great teacher. The thing he was most proud 
of was his teaching. 

Really! 

Oh yes. The Children's Concerts with the 
Philharmonic are historic documents. The many 
books he wrote are all based on the teaching he did. 
He felt most at home as a teacher. In Europe he's 
considered much more of a composer than in 
America, although now we're coming to see that he 
was an important composer. 

I've always been very impressed by his compositions. 
I think he wrote the best orchestral score of any 
musical ever written. 



39 



Berkowitz: West Side Story. Certainly. Candide and On the Town. 
Colossal output. That's why I say he lived at least 
three lives because all of this was going at the same 
time. 

C.E.: I remember seeing his children's concerts on TV at 

school. They were electrifying. He made the music 
come alive. 

Berkowitz: Absolutely. It was memorable. 



C.E.: Here we are in front of your lovely house in 

Albuquerque, New Mexico. 



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music festival 

C/ OF ALBUQUERQUE. INC. 



Ralph Berkowitz 

An 80th 

Birthday 

Celebration 



September 5, 1990 at 8:15 
Keller Hall, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque 



Ralph Berkowitz born New York 
City 1910 

Graduate of Curtis Institute of Music 
1935 - Staff until 1940 

Joins Gregor Piatigorsky 1940 for 30 
years of association Tours in many 
parts of the world recordings for 
RCA Victor and Columbia Records 

Pianist in June Music Festival, Albu 
querque 1946-1972 appeared 250 
times in 123 works 

Executive Assistant to Serge 
Koussevitzky 1946, and later Dean 
of Boston Symphony Orchestra's 
Tanglewood Music Center until 1965 

Manager of Albuquerque (now New 
Mexico) Symphony Orchestra 
1958-1969 

Pianist with Felix Salmond, Janos 
Starker, Raya Garbousova, Jan Peerce, 
Josef Gingold, Leonid Kogan, Joseph 
Silverstein, Phyllis Curtin, Zara Nelsova 
and Eudice Shapiro in various 
performances 1930-1970 

Summer 1950 - coaches Eleanor 
Roosevelt for her narration of 'Peter 
and the Wolf with Serge Koussevitzky 
and the Boston Symphony Orchestra 

Transcriptions and arrangements 
published by G Schirmer, Elkan-Vogel, 
Associated and Galaxy in USA; in 
Europe, Universal Editions, Austria; 
Durand et Cie, France; B Schott 
Sohne, Germany. 

Articles published by Penguin Books 
(London), Etude Magazine and The 
Juilliard Review. 

Television programs: "The Arts" 63 
half-hour talks on Channel 5 

Lectures at Columbia University, 
University of Southern California, 
Albright Museum, Buffalo; Franklin 
Institute, Philadelphia; Tanglewood 

One-man shows of paintings: 
Philadelphia; Berkshire Museum, 
Pittsfield, Mass; Jonson Gallery, 

UNM 




Norman Rockwell and Ralph Berkowitz 




Ralph Berkowitz and Erich Leinsdorf 



Ralph Berkowitz and Witold Lutoslawski 




Ralph Berkmvitz addressing students at Tanglewood. 
At Right: Mrs. Serge Koussevitzky and Aaron Copland 





Left to Right: Cregor Piatigorsky, Franz Waxman, Isaac Stern and Ralph Berkowitz 



Ralph Berkountz and Eugene Ormandy 



Left to Right: Lutes 
fbss, Ralph Berkowitz, 
Felicia Bernstein, 
Leonard Bernstein and 
Hugh Ross 



Ralph Berkmvitz and Gregor Piatigorsky in Tokyo 




Serge Koussmitzky, Cregor Piatigorsky and Ralph Berkowitz 



Eleanor Roosevelt and Ralph Berkowitz 



Letters , 



KURT FmOMICK 
70 AWl VINU 



" 



ISAAC STERN 



January 12. 1990 



Sfng r ^ ich e" r1ch us *" 

" 



DEAR Ralph: 

Congratulations 
many of you wit 
I could be W i th you on this sisniri, 



c n your aothll There . not too 

of ou with your brmiint background .y 

' 




> Stern 



/ 
yfc 



fc*-^4 



/ 



Tangleivood ivos my musical alma mater, and Ralph Berkowitz one of 
my maestri there. I do not remember meeting Ralph, I simply see us 
right now in a corner room of the main house, I singing away and 
Ralph leading me into the unexplored wonders of Hindemith's Das 
Marienleben just as though we had known one another for a long time. 
I learned an enormous amount and Ralph fortunately had great 
patience and humor. The humor made the great things in the music 
we studied together available and vital. Certainly Ralph then, later and 
throughout my singing years was there in the humanity of music, 
loving it and smiling over all those years. What a delight! 

from Phyllis Curtin, Dean, School for the Arts, Boston University 



LEONARD BERNSTE 



December 1, 1989 



NEW YORK. NEW YORK IOI2B 



Ralph Berkowitz 
523 14th street NW 
Albuquerque, NM 87104 



Dear old friend Ralph 



musical giftedness 
Long life, 



INDIANA UNIVERSITY 



Oil 0i US- * 



j 




Berkowitz is a wa o/ impeccable man 
ners and taste, awesome erudition, unflap 
pable temperament, and a pixieish sense of 
humor that combine to make him a true 
Superman of our time. Long may he enrich 
the lives of all who know and love him. 

from Martin Bookspan, New York City 
Radio and TV commentator 



I can't believe its 80! Felicitations, love 
and greetings. A toast to our togetherness 
of so many years! 

from Eudice Shapiro 
University of Southern California 



Honorary Patrons & Friends 



Mr. and Mrs. Clinton Adams 

Martin and Phyllis Atkin 

Beth Hodgson Berkowitz 

Leonard Bernstein 

Jorge Bolet 

Mr. and Mrs. Martin Bookspan 

Frank Bowen 

Nancy Briggs 

Dr. and Mrs. Albert Carlin 

David and Anne Cole 

Mr. and Mrs. Maynard Cowan 

Phyllis Curtin 

Mr. and Mrs. John Dalley 

Joanna de Keyser 

Mr. and Mrs. William H. Dolde 

Mrs. Rudolf Dreyer 

Maurice Dubonnet 

Mr. and Mrs. Artemus Edwards 

Carolyn Erbele 

Mr. and Mrs. James Esenwein 

Leonard and Arlette Felberg 

Mrs. Stanley Fletcher 

Dr. and Mrs. Kurt Frederick 

Mr. and Mrs. Morris Gerber 

Josef Gingold 

Mr. and Mrs. Gary Graffman 

Jeanne Grealish 

Ronald F. Grinage 

Bennett A. Hammer 

Nancy Lee Harper 

Helen Heath 

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hooton 

Anthony B. Jeffries and 
Susan Stockstill 

Joye Johnson 

Mr. and Mrs. Dale Kempter 
Drs. Mario and Asja Kornfeld 
Mr. and Mrs. Kurt Kubie 



Dr. and Mrs. Ulrich Luft 

Beverly Marfut 

Mr. and Mrs. Rosario Mazzeo 

Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Monte 

Dr. and Mrs. Federico Mora 

Mr. and Mrs. Juan R. Mora 

Mr. and Mrs. Martin S. Morrison 

Mr. and Mrs. Edward Myers 

Dr. and Mrs. Avrum Organick 

Mr. and Mrs. Peter Parnegg 

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas D. Perry 

Mr. and Mrs. Peter Pesic 

Mrs. Gregor Piatigorsky 

Mr. and Mrs. Mark Pike 

Mr. and Mrs. John Randall 

Mrs. Helen Reiser 

Mr. and Mrs. John Robb, Jr. 

Mr. and Mrs. George Robert 

Dr. and Mrs. Arthur Rosenberg 

Dr. and Mrs. Sol Schoenbach 

Joan Schuman 

Eudice Shapiro 

Robert Sherman 

W. H. Shultz 

Mrs. Sherman E. Smith 

Jane Snow 

Mr. and Mrs. David Soyer 

Mr. and Mrs. Arthur H. Spiegel 

Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Steinhardt 

Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Stern 

Dr. and Mrs. Peter D. Stern 

Mr. and Mrs. Neal Stulberg 

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Taichert 

Mr. and Mrs. Yoshimi Takeda 

Mr. and Mrs. Michael Tree 

Ray Twohig and Rebecca Sitterly 

Mr. and Mrs. William Weinrod 

Faine Wright 



Artists 

Frank Bowen 

Flute 

Joanna de Keyser 

Cello 

Artemus Edwards 

Bassoon 

Arlette Felberg 

Piano 

Leonard Felberg 

Violin 

Shirley Gerber 

Piano 

George Robert 

Piano 



Leonard Felberg 

Program Coordinator 



The June Music Festival wishes to 
issue a special thank you to tonight 
artists for their donation of time an 
talent and to Virginia Mora for her 
fund raising efforts for this concert. 



Program 



Beethoven Trio for Flute, Bassoon and Piano 
Thema andante con variazioni 

Debussy "Syrinx" for Solo Flute 

Faure Sonata in A Major for Violin and Piano, Opus 13 

Allegro molto 
Allegro quasi presto 

Corelli Adagio for Bassoon and Piano 

Arensky Trio in D Minor for Violin, Cello and Piano, Opus 32 
Allegro moderate 



INTERMISSION 



Saint-Saens Carnival of the Animals: Grand Zoological Fantasia 

Introduction & Royal March of the Lions 

Roosters and Hens 

Fleet Animals 

Tortoises 

The Elephant 

Kangaroos 

Aquarium 

Personages with Long Ears 

The Cuckoo 

Birds 

Pianists 

Fossils 

The Swan 

Finale 

Version for Two Pianos 
by Ralph Berkowitz 

Rhymed Commentaries by Ogden Nash 
Narrated by Mr. Berkowitz 



BOARD OF DIRECTORS 

James K. Walton, President 
Michael Langner, Vice President 
Lillian Dolde, Secretary 
Bruce Howden, Treasurer 

Mrs. James Conrad 
Arlette Felberg 
Douglas Fuller 
Col. Stacy Gooch 
Jeanne Grealish 
Lyn Hagaman 
Tom Holley 
Mary Keeling 
Dale Kempter 
Carol N. Kinney 
Dr. Michael Linver 
Arthur Loy 
Don Robertson 
Ruth Ronan 
Alison Schuler 
Libby Spiegel 
Susan Stern 
Col. F. E. Timlin 
Marva Vollmar 
Barbara Wasylenki 
Harold Van Winkle 

HONORARY BOARD MEMBERS 

Robert L. Bovinette 
Mr. and Mrs. Robert E. Clark 
George Hinson-Rider 
Arthur H. Spiegel 

THE JUNE MUSIC FESTIVAL 
50TH ANNIVERSARY COMMITTEE 

Arlette Felberg, Chairman 
Mrs. James Conrad 
Lillian Dolde 
Leonard Felberg 
Jeanne Grealish 
Dale Kempter 
Carol N. Kinney 
Michael Langner 
Arthur Loy 
Virginia Mora 
Ruth Ronan 
Libby Spiegel 
Susan Stern 
Diane Teare 
Col. F. E. Timlin 
James K. Walton 
Barbara Wasylenki 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

Department of Music, 
University of New Mexico 

College of Fine Arts, 
University of New Mexico 

Artists on tonight's concert 




This Concert Inaugurates 
the 50th Season 

of 
The June Music Festival 

of Albuquerque 



For more information about the June Music Festival, write: 
June Music Festival, P.O. Box 35081, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87176 

or call 505 888-1842 




Thr Dean of the Berkshire Music Center gives a highly 

ter eating behind-the-scene vieiv of the details involved 

in getting 400 students lined up for their 

summer musical experiences. 



by RALPH BERKOWITZ 








N 7 INE O'CLOCK on a Monday morning last July, some 400 
music students from all corners of the earth began a six 
session of study at Tanglewood a place-name which has 
ved more fame than any other musical center in our country, 
lewood, with its literarj associations going back for a century, 
low become a source of vital interest to students of music in 
ra. Rio de Janeiro, Tel-Aviv, and Los Angeles. At no time in 
:ica s musical growing-up has a school accomplished so much 
lickK , nor have influences made themselves so apparent as 
emanating from Tanglewood's Berkshire Music Center, 
e Berkshire Music Center, Serge Koussevitzky's name for 
nusic school he founded in association with the Berkshire 
val, which had begun the Boston S\ mphony Orchestra summer 
:rts in the Berkshire Hills a few years earlier, has recently 
'leted its tenth anniversary session. 

may be interesting to share a behind-the-sccne view of what 
ens in order to get 400 students to begin their summer of 
;il experience on that Monday in early July. Work on the 
session began directly after the last concert of the Berkshire 
lal more than a year ago. Soon after the 10.000 listeners' 
use had stopped reverberating in the great Shed, while the 
in Symphony musicians were slowly packing their travel 
5 and crews began their usual after-concert cleaning-up of 
lewood's vast rolling lawns, the school's Faculty Board met 
e Library for the last time that summer. This meeting of 
les Munch who was to become the Music Center's director, 
Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Boris Goldovsky, William 
, Hugh Ross, Richard Burgin, Thomas Perry, the executive 
tary, and myself, consisted of a critical estimate of the school's 
and a man by man platform of what ought to be done for 
allowing summer's musical planning, 
is necessary to understand that music study at Tanglewood 



does not consist of getting lessons in voice or on one's instrument. 
It was Koussevilzky's view that qualified young musicians should 
come together for ensemble work of a type which no private 
teacher or consenatory could offer. So that from the numerous 
chamber-music groups up through the larger choruses, the opera 
productions and the student symphony orchestra, the young musi 
cian at Tanglewood is constantly in a milieu which his winter 
study is not likely to afford him. The summer's work is, therefore, 
in no sense a form of competition with private or conservatory 
stud\, but rather a pendant which broadens the future musician's 
horizon. 

The Berkshire Music Center's five departments each in their 
way offer this type of music-making. Department One is the 
chamber music and orchestral division of the school. 

An oboe student in Cleveland, let us say, has heard of Tangle- 
wood and wants to come there to play in the orchestra. He wntes 
to Symphony Hall in Boston, where each mail from Noveniber 
,on brings queries and requests for acceptance. Application forms 
are sent along with word that an audition committee from the 
Berkshire Music Center will be in Cleveland's Severance Hall 
on April 17th from 1 to 4 o'clock. As the weeks go by oboists 
in Chicago, New York. Tulsa and Dallas also apply. With one 
of the letters will come a recommendation from a 1946 conduct 
ing student at Tanglewood that this boy in Kansas City is a 
terrific talent and looks like a coming first oboe for any major 
orchestra. Several former oboe students' applications also roll in 
toward spring and a few European students apply as well. 

Guileless in spirit and armed with forms, audition reports and 
lots of orchestral music, a committee leaves Boston in April for 
a few weeks of auditions in an area bounded by Toronto, St. Louis 
and Baltimore. Duly on April 17th at 1 o'clock they are in 
Severance Hall in Cleveland and among violinists, sopranos, trum- 



ETIJDEFERRVARY 








n Copland \\ith inembrr* t hi- composition rla-- al ljni:lr 



Taniilcwood stml.-iil- relaxing during lunch hour in front of Concert Hall 



und tubas the oboe applicant appears. He plays a increment 
adandel Coneerto in which the warmth and steadiness of his 
are apparent. The stylistic treatment of the music shows a 
ml refinement. The quick movement is dashing and spirited, 
:rtirulation of some passages is rather lacking in control. He 
Ifed to read some music at sight. Has he had orchestral ex- 
ik-e? No. He has only been studying three and a half years, 
boe part of a Mendelssohn Symphony is placed before him. 
j*mically weak but tonally a good result. Another try at it. 
itime much better rhythmically but as the passage goes along 
eadiness of tone is lost. How about a try at some Brahms? 
eirst reading is poor. A few moments to look at it and then 
a shines through again. A grasp of the style, good tone, some 
It rhythms well achieved. 

about ten minutes the auditors know whether this young 
lian is likely to hold his own in a first-rate student orchestra. 
he have the solid make-up for the first desk? Is he flexible 
^h? Is his mastery of the instrument up to following a can- 
w'* stick in an unfamiliar work? Can he learn quickly? Is 
ftveak talent well-taught or a fine talent poorly-taught? Will 
I able to take part in a woodwind quintet working on Hinde- 
:lin the afternoon following a morning of orchestral rehearsal 
fcthoven and Stravinsky? 

lew weeks later in Boston, having listened to several hundred 
iants in more than a dozen cities, their audition reports bear- 
tile tale of talents high and low, the auditors begin to weed 
:ke unprepared as well as the too professional. When the -oboe 
on is considered, it is done in collaboration with Louis 
lr, the faculty member from the Boston Symphony Orchestra 
'tenting that instrument. It is necessary to choose five oboists 
of whom shall also pjay the English Horn from the many 
ried out, and also, of course, from those too far away to 
been able to travel to an audition city, 
things considered, the Cleveland oboe student is written 
ling him that five oboes have been selected for Tanglewood 
liat he is not among them, but that his talent and ability have 
him on an alternate list and in the event that someone should 
out. etc. etc. Ten days later one of the accepted oboists writes 
delighted as he is to have been (Continued on Pace 50) 




(above) Charles Munch conducts a rehearsal of the student orchestra, 
(below) Leonard Bern?tein conducting the student orchestra. 




rui .... educational 

ILDHOOD DAYS 
iMOUS COMPOSERS 

a series by 

illsworth Coit 

and Ruth Bampton 

offer well-known and appealing little pieces 
ortunity for young students to gain under- 
ml appreciation of the works of famous 

contains a simply written biography, a pic- 

composer, and scenes from his life. Easy- 

ces have heen arranged so that they retain 

il elements of the original composition. Also 

re directions for constructing a miniature 

jestioiis for a musical playlet, and a list of 

nrdings. For use in school or at home, for 

jom 5 to 12. Each hook $.40. 

DBACH 410-40023 

(O Saviour Sweet, Musette, Minuet in G-minor, While 
by (from the "Peasant" Cantata). Piano Duet: My 
aithful. 

: BEETHOVEN 410-40024 

>1 A Country Dance, Minuet in G, Theme (from the 
^ny), The Metronome Theme (from the Eighth Sym- 
fale (from the Ninth Symphony). Piano Duet: Al 
ii the Seventh Symphony) 

:BRAHMS 410-41014 

iFavorite Waltz (from Waltz in Ab), Waltz, Lullaby, 
hdman. Piano Duet: Hungarian Dance No. 5 

KHOPIN 41040025 

Nocturne in Eb, Valse in A minor. Prelude, Theme 
lliade in Ab major), "Butterfly" Etude. Piano Duet: 
flA Major. 

JHANDEL 410-40026 

(Minuet in F, Air (from Rinaldo), Hornpipe, The Har- 
iksmith, Largo (from Xerxes). Piano Duet: Hallelujah 
the Messiah). 

HAYDN 410-40027 

iGypsy Rondo, Minuet and Andante (from the "Sur- 
ny), Andante (from the "Clock" Symphony), Beauty 
i (The Emperor's Hymn). Piano Duet: The "Toy" 

>MOZART 410-40028 

lAllegro and Minuet in F (both composed at age 
(Don Juan), Theme (from the Sonata No. 1 1 in A 
'from Don Juan). Piano Duet is from No. 39 in 
I, composed at age eight. 

SCHUBERT 410-41003 

Hark! Hark! the Lark, Moment Musical, Theme 
'hfinished" Symphony). Piano Duet: Military March 
iMilitaire. 

ffSCHAIKOWSKY 410-40029 

t'heme from the "Allegro" of the "Sixth Symphony," 
i"Marche Slav," Theme from "June" (Barcarolle), 
he Piano Concerto No. 1. Piano Duet: Troika 

:DORE PRESSER co. 

fN MAWR, PENNSYLVANIA 



i!iliili!iililii!iiiiiiiii!ilii!i!n liil. i. 1 . .!. 



(Continued from Page 



honored by our acceptance and as 
much as he has been looking forward 
to spending a summer in Tangle- 
wood, he has just been offered a job 
playing for the summer opera in 
New Orleans and since he needs the 
money badly he hopes we are not 
too inconvenienced by his with 
drawal at this time, very truly. Al 
ternate lists are brought out and a 
telegram goes to Cleveland. Our 
young applicant has made it. 

The choice of all the other orches 
tral students takes place in a like 
manner. Auditions, recommendations 
by astute musicians, attendance at a 
previous Tanglewood session, re 
quests from UNESCO, the winning 
of a National Federation of Music 
Clubs' contest from these and sim 
ilar sources the 40 violins. 12 violas. 
10 cellos. 10 contrabasses. 5 flutes. 
5 oboes. 5 clarinets. 4 bassoons. 8 
French Horns. 5 trumpets. 5 trom 
bones, the tuba. 3 harps, and 5 per 
cussion students are assembled for 
work under Leonard Bernstein. 

All the orchestral students are 
given scholarships but will be obliged 
to pay for tlfeir living expenses, 
which in the dormitories is $175. 
The tuition scholarship in the value 
of $150 is part of the Tanglewood 
Revolving Scholarship Fund, and 
each student signs a promise of will 
ingness to repay a like amount when 
his circumstances win permit, so 
that other orchestras will be able to 
assemble in the Shed in years to 
come. This intricate procedure of 
putting a student orchestra together 
from all points of the compass dur 
ing the spring weeks, is matched by 
other departments and divisions of 
the school. 

Department Two. the choral de 
partment, is assembling with a two 
fold purpose. It must form a class of 
choral conductors for work with 
Hugh Ross, and a Small Choir of 
40 to 50 choral singers that will 
form the nucleus of the great Fes 
tival Chorus which will perform 
later with the Boston Symphony in 
the Berkshire Festival. 

Department Three is devoted to 
Composition. It is the most restricted 
in numbers and accepts students of 
what one might call post-graduate 
level. After examining a mountainous 
heap of scores, about twenty com 
posers were accepted in 1952 for 
study with either Aaron Copland. 
Luigi Dallapicolla or Lukas Foss. 
The list of former instructors in 
vited from Europe who have been 
associated with Copland in Tangle- 
wood's Department Three is extraor 
dinarily strong in the varied influ 
ences which young American com 
posers have faced. Past summers 
have seen such figures as Hinde- 
inirh. Lopatnikoff, Honegger, Mil- 
baud, Messiaen, and Ibert in resi 
dence at the Berkshire Music Center. 
The Opera Department Depart 



ment Four of necessity becomes one 
of the most complex problems of 
assembly. In order to function as a 
complete opera theatre, students are 
accepted for work here in stage di 
recting, scenic design, costuming 
and lighting. Student coaches and 
stage directors are interviewed. Boris 
Goldovsky, the opera's Head, and 
other faculty members such as Paul 
Ulanovsky and Felix Wolfes listen 
to hundreds of singers in various 
parts of the country. Those accept 
able are assigned to one of three 
divisions Active, Associate, or Au 
ditor depending upon vocal ability, 
knowledge of operatic repertoire, 
and character type. 

Audition reports, applications, sup 
plementary forms with height, 
weight, studies, and operatic reper 
toire, song repertoire, questionnaires, 
and numerous letters, swell the opera 
department's files quickly. By June 
first they are enormous. But by thai 
time there are about fifty singers and 
around thirty students chosen for 
the other divisions of coaching, stage 
directing, and scenic design. These 
are all briefed by letter during June 
concerning the productions they will 
work on during the summer. 

At that Faculty Board meeting 
more than a year ago. one of the 
things most discussed was the choice 
of a suitable musician to head De 
partment Five. Many musicians and 
educators were considered as pos 
sible for this invitation until the field 
was narrowed down to a California 
composer Ingolf Dahl. 

Tanglewood's Department Five is 
the division to which musical ama 
teurs and the less advanced student 
are invited. It also is intended for the 
music teacher from Arkansas who 
wants a clean sweep of new musical 
excitement and the New York teacher 
who wants to relax under an elm 
and listen to the Boston Symphony 
Orchestra rehearsing in the distance. 
I brought this challenge of the het- 
erogenous group to Ingolf Dahl in 
California last September, and a 
month later we again met in New 
York with Aaron Copland. Hugh 
Ross, and Thomas Perry to plan a 
workable musical activity for De 
partment Five renamed the Tan 
glewood Study Group. 

Enrollment in the Study Group is 
simple; it only requires the ability 
to read music. In order to keep to 
a well-defined and not over-ambitious 
project the music to be studied 
sung and played was restricted to 
16th to 18th century compositions 
and simple modern ones adaptable to 
groups of various sizes. Here the 
amateur flutist during the rest of 
the year an industrial engineer, and 
the violist who teaches mathematics 
at a large university could indulge 
in serious music-making under ex 
pert guidance, for fun. 

Another factor which sought to 



the Taniilewood Study Group 
oils musical holiday was to per- 
wo-week and four-week enroll- 
in it, as well as for the usual 
eeks of the session. The 110 
joined the work with Ingolf 

jaUn sanj; in the Festival Chorus 

I Charles Munch, listened to 
,jn Symphony rehearsals and 
iilh it were, a constant bird's-eye 
(Mof Tanglewood's numerous ac- 
ijljs. The nature of Tanglewood's 
I ties its 40 or so student con- 
fa its lecture courses is one of 
t ominant problems during the 
tr mouths of planning. 

I nunl Bernstein says he would 
he student orchestra to play 
Iff' "Don Quixote" at one of 
JJekly concerts. Fine. But will we 
il a cellist strong enough for 
jjlo part? Mr. Munch plans the 
ilz "Requiem." Will our brass 
Ints be capable of taking part in 
I ctra bauds which the score re- 
14? Will the choral repertoire 
jaogni/anci- of the newest trends 
iral writing and still give con 
's and -in<rers enough of the 
: repertoire? William Kroll 
; ts that an American work be 
ed on each of the six chamber- 
concerts. Is the talent avail 



able in the Department to undertak 
this? Hugh Ross would like to in 
elude a new work on a Small Choi 
program which needs 13 instruments 
Can some students of orchestra am 
chamber-music find lime for this 
The opera department's major pro 
duclion will be Mo/art's "Titus. 
The orchestra for it is small an< 
needs few winds. What work can 
he found for the remainder of til* 
orchestra now largely woodwind 
and brass? The Heifet/. Award. th< 
I'iatigorsky Prize, the Wechsle 
Award must be given to worthy tal 
ents at the end of the session. Are 
they appearing in the enrollment? 

The winter meetings in New York 
and Boston for such problems anc 
for the discussion of ideas which 
occur to thinking musicians seeking 
as a group to carry out an ideal 
makes the year go by quickly. Tan 
glewood's ideal is a living and work 
ing in music by a body of musician* 
and music students seeking to fur 
ther the art they serve, and also to 
further the art of this country. 

For those of us who work for Tan- 
glewood there is not much time to 
slow down. July 1953 and Tangle- 
wood's eleventh session are almost 
here. THE END 



SMALL PIPE ORGANS 
CAN BE EFFECTIVE 

(Continued from Puge 24) 



ne era is that, compared with 
my orchestras of that day. it 

e only instrument capable of 

a cathedral with sound, 
y instrument has its charac- 
tinibre. its individual tone- 
An organ which is voiced with 
clmique used by Mr. White 
to an astonishing degree 
we think of as characteristic 

tone. It is the sort of tone 
encourages congregational 

;. There is no fat llute tone 
ter I lie sound: one is not con- 

of loud solo stops as such, 
merge* i> a fine "chorus" tone 
ed by an unusually small nuin- 

pipes. 

luch for the small Miiller. The 
is equally worth investigat- 
ne of these sjnall organs is 
ed in the chapel of the Uni- 

of Chicago, another is at the 
sity of Michigan, and a third 

he Metropolitan Museum of 

New York. 

Rieger is one of the most in- 
sly built organs of our time, 
rallv any music can be played 
as Robert Noeliren of the Uni- 

of Michigan proves when he 



demonstrates the Rieger. 

It may not be quite fair to place 
the Rieger in the same category with 
the small Miiller and other small 
organs now being built in the United 
States. The Miiller has about 200 
pipes: the Rieger has something 
over 1200. Obviously, then, in sheer 
physical resources the Rieger has 
about a six to one advantage to start 
with. 

On the other hand, the Rieger can 
only be classified as a small iu~lru- 
ment. It occupies little more floor 
space than a grand piano, its entire 
assembly is less than eight feet high, 
and il i> semi-portable. Within this 
tight space is fitted a complete organ, 
two manuals and pedal, with twenty- 
one registers and twenty-three ranks 
a very respectable total. 

Comparing the Miiller and Rieger 
instruments, it might be said that 
the Miiller represents fine results 
achieved with absolute economy of 
means, while the Rieger is an in 
strument of ample resources tied up 
in an unusually neat package. Both 
reflect highest credit on the men re 
sponsible for their design and con 
struction. THE E>n 




Ernftlo llrrumrn 



ERNESTO BERUMEN ENDORSES GUIl 

Address. La Forqe-Berumen Studios 
1040 Park Aye.. New York 28. N. Y 

"Congratulations, Dr. Allison! 

To my mind, the outstanding thing about 
Guild is the outside adjudication. The stu 
becomes accustomed to his teacher's ways 
to the repeated commendations and correct 
When the adjudicator, who is a stranger, s( 
some of the same things in different wore 
re-awakens the pupil to renewed efforts." 

Ernesto Berum< 



NATIONAL GUILD OF PIANO TEACHERS 



Founded 1929 by hi Allison M.A., Mat. D. 



BOX 1113 



AUSTIN. Tl 




TANGLEWOOD-1953 

BERKSHIRE MUSIC CENTER 

Charles Munch, Director 
Aaron Copland, Assistant Director 

A summer school of music maintained by the Boston Symphony Orchestra 
connection with the Berkshire Festival concerts. 

X July 5 to August 16 

Courses in Orchestra & Conducting (Leonard Bernstein), Chamber Mi 
(William Kroll), Chorus (Hugh Ross), Composition (Aaron Copland S Cai 
Chavez), and Opera (Boris Goldovsky). Faculty includes twenty members 
the Boston Symphony Orchestra, including the Principals. 

, Tanglewood Study Group Ingolf Dahl 

A special course for music educators, general music students and amateurs. Enr 
ments of two, four, or six weeks. 

for Catalog please address Miss E. Bossier 

Berkshire Music Center 
Symphony Hall. Boston 15. Massachusetts 




Solid Silver Flutes Piccolos 
108 ffiassadiugfttg Sbe. Boston 15, #1 



THE JOY BOOKS by Nell Wait Harvey 



JOY BOOK No. One S1.M 

Easiest, lorii'al approach to piano pi nine 

for children. 
JOY BOOK No. Two. . il 10 

Urlirhlful follow-up book. 
JOY BOOK No. Three SIM 

Beautiful melodies, (rrat variety In style 
and expression. ^ JQy 

Music Publishers 



PtAY FOB JOY I 

A beflnninc piano book for older thll 
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FROM AN OLD LEGEND I 

Twelve descriptive, proffresulve pierfl 
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WALLA, WALLA. WASHIN 



TEACHERS START THE NEW TERM RIG 

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YOU SAVE YOUR STUDENTS S 

THE CLUB PLAN WAY 

For information, write to 



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WHAT EVERY ACCOMPANIST KNOWS 41 

si.ic of the net to respond to the demands of the game, so in 
evaluation by music-critics, it would seem, the efforts of 
both partners in music-making should be considered. 
Ihis code towards accompanists is reminiscent of 
critical practice a generation ago in the reviewing of string 
quartet performances. Until fairly recently the first violinist 
'1 a string quartet was considered its 'leader', and one 
would read, as for instance in a George Bernard Shaw 
mus.c review of ,890, 'every quartet I have heard Joachim 
lead this season has renewed and increased my admiration 
him . The music critic of to-day, hand-in-hand with all 
serious artists, is building a solid musical culture in this 
untry. He would not distort for his readers the absolute 
equality of a string quartet when wridng, say, of the 
Budapest Quartet, by considering solely Mr Josef Rois- 
mann, its first violinist. And therefore the plea of the 
accompanist to-day is certainly not for undue prominence 
It is rather a hope that his work will receive critical evalua 
tion commensurate with the part a composer has given him 
to perform. 


Because his role is a vital one, the musician at the piano 
tries, by a nice combination of qualities, to serve mus i c an d 
also enhance the characteristics of the soloist's art. Detailed 
and painstaking rehearsab have taken place to establish 
correctly the numerous facets which go to make up an 
artistic performance. How much care must be exerted to 
maintain correct proportions if, for example, in a certain 
phrase the piano is to recede to the merest murmur and 
then a few moments later by its rhythmic drive to come to 
the forefront of the music's expression. And yet after much 
consideration, discussion and rehearsal it sometimes 
happens that there is, as one hears so bh'thely stated, 'not 
enough piano', or 'too much piano'. This is an easy pit- 
fall for even the most experienced accompanists and an 






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rws and reprinted them as they c 
the Mew York Herald-Tribune. Ai 
found, are not ignored in all of 
e space of a few pages evaluates m 
ennie Tourel, Efrem Zimbalist, J 
Stern. Miss Tourel's programme 
songs in which the piano is of pri 
the violinists' programmes inc 
oven, Mozart, Richard Strauss 
his witty and often penetrating 
:r did not find it within himself to 


erning the accompanist's role at a 


happens that the accompanists 
:h Itor-Kahn, Vladimir Sok 


id Alexander Zakin, four of the 
" their confraternity. Whatever 


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play a set of tennis 






WHAT EVERY ACCOMPANIST KNOWS 43 


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heard it'. On the other hand, there are numerous smaller 


halk where the tone appears to stop dead on the stage, 
and simply refuses to move to its required destination. In 
between there are all sorts of acoustical posers. There is the 
stage where one barely hears oneself, yet is assured by 
listeners that everything is luscious and brilliant. Con 
versely the impression on the stage may be wonderful, 
but people arrive back-stage after the concert and com 
plain that they didn't hear a note. 
Tonal balance, therefore, faces the pair of artists in each 
concert hall as a fresh issue. And if they continue to wrangle 
over it after two hundred concerts together, don't think 
they are temperamental or partially deaf. The fact is that 
both are in the worst positions possible to judge of each 
other's sound. The soloist, vocal or instrumental, is some 
what to the front of the piano, but none the less close to it. 
Therefore it usually sounds to him like an augmented 
symphony orchestra; so his usual plea is for not too much 
piano, and the hope that you will Vemember that he 
doesn't want to force his tone, and not to forget that the 


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the thought of how comfortably you could carry on a con 
versation with someone sitting with his back to you, who 


continues speaking while you speak, to realize that when 
two performers play superbly well together, and of course, 
it is being done at numerous recitals under all sorts of 
conditions, both artists are responsible for the solution of 



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WHAT EVERY ACCOMPANIST KNOWS 45 


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part in this decision. The great vocalists and instrument 
alists must possess an extraordinary combination within 


themselves, and in the proper mixture, of enormous talent, 
expert training and knowledge, an ability to work and 


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A pianist, therefore, who finds himself deflected from the 
narrow and arduous path leading to a solo career, because 
of widening interest in the vast fields of chamber-music, 
and vocal and instrumental works of all kinds, will as likely 
as not find that there are opportunities for him in the field 


of accompanying. 
Soon enough he discovers whether he is born to the task. 
In the same manner in which a soloist requires a rare 
combination of qualities, the true accompanist finds that 
he also needs a certain measure of elements fitting nicely 
together which will permit him to function properly. After 
the basic one of mastery of his instrument, he requires that 
special talent which many piano soloists do not have and 
which they generally do not need. This is the ability to play 
with someone else. Simple as the requirement sounds, it is 
actually the rarest gift even among many very talented 
musicians. The day is gone, of course, when one thought 
of the accompanist as a musician whose job it was 'to 
follow*. Following is the one thing an artist wishes an 
accompanist not to do. Actually it is anticipation, together 
with the ability to feel and grasp instantaneously those 
qualities which go towards making the artist's individuality 
stand out in performance. These inflections, nuances and 
other means of musical expression, the gifted accompanist 
can sense at the very instant they are to be accomplished. 



C7 



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their problems and the successful projection of the com- 


noser's intentions. 


We may now very well ask, since from a purely musical 
viewpoint it seems unjustifiable, why the accompanist's 


name does appear at the bottom of the page in small type. 
The engagements of a soloist are obtained on the 
strength of his reputation, and the question who the 
accompanist for these concerts may be will not have the 
slightest bearing on their being secured. An artist and his 
manager feel, with the greatest justification, that people 
who buy tickets for recitals do so because of the artist's 


general appeal to that public, and again, the accompanist s 
role here does not aid in the sale of a single ticket - or 
perhaps one or two at most. So to give both performers, as 
Hollywood says, equal billing, seems entirely unjustified in 
respect to those demons which forever prey on the soloist's 
mind - reputation and box-office. 
An accompanist, therefore, cannot aid the soloist in 
obtaining his engagements, nor can he beof any import 
ance in the sale of tickets. But he should, and does, play a 
vital part in the artistic domain when the engagements are 
actually being fulfilled. Thus it is that the relationship 
between an artist and his accompanist is a close one in the 
reahn of musical artistry, and distant in the material one of 
fees, and the size of type in which their names appear. 
Accompanists do not like to be classified as disappointed 
soloists. Of course they all began the study of the piano and 
for years worked at it in the same fashion and perhaps with 
the same tnd in view as those who remained in the pro 
fession as solo pianists. But somewhere along the road there 
were various influences which made themselves felt and 
served to deflect their soloistic zeal. Self-knowledge is prob 


ably not one of the cardinal virtues of musicians as a class, 
yet in many instances where gifted, extremely competent 





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D 
S 


To follow' after a fait accompli in the soloist's playing or 
singing can only be for the auditor a disturbing and useless 
effort, even though he may know nothing of the manner in 
which artistic performances are created. 
The accompanist who develops the 'technique' of his 
art finds that he is creating for himself the ability to absoxb 
quickly (and master instrumentally) works from eveiv 
epoch of musical art. He becomes conversant with opera, 
oratorio, cantatas and lieder; he gets to know sonatas, 
fantasias and concertos from pre-Handel to post-Copland! 
By the very nature of being required to learn a great 
amount of music he develops a wider musical vision than 
i vouchsafed to the specialists of flying octaves and 
machine-gun wrists. 
His technique also requires that he occasionally transpose 


songs to new keys so that a soprano with a touch of stage- 
fright may be spared the embarrassment of missing a high 


More often than not he is a first-rate chamber-music 
player with a real love for piano trios, quartets and quin 
tets; so that in addition to knowing the standard repertoire 
he can sit down and play at sight some unknown-trio by 
Raff or a new sextet by Poulenc. 


The abilities just described must be wide enough to 
embrace such important factors as a keen sense of rhythm 
and a fine ear for tone-colour. 


With the accumulation of these qualities he becomes 
eligible for the one word which means most to performers 


in every category, especially when spoken by a fellow-artist ; 
he is a 'musician'. 


In addition .to all this an accompanist must have a 
psychological viewpoint towards musical interpretation, 
which permits him to see virtue in someone else's ideas of 


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Letter from Los Angeles 

or 

The Violoopa in the Hollywood Hills 

By Ralph Berkowitz 



If you ever write to a musician in Los Angeles don't take the 
trouble to look for his address in the telephone book. If your friend 
makes more than $475 a week (and which musician out there makes 
less?) he will have issued a strict injunction to the telephone people 
not to print his name and address. This is de rigueur, and also avoids 
unsought meetings with cousins from the hinterlands who happen 
to have an Aircoach round-trip with stop-over privileges permitting 
a tour of Beverly Hills. 

So it is that recently in order to find a Hollywood address I went 
straight to the heart of the matter and thumbed through the Mu 
sicians' Directory of Local 47, A.F. of M., Los Angeles, California, 
a tidy volume which most Los Angelenos would as soon be without 
as a pair of turquoise nylon shorts. The little book contains the names 
and addresses of musicians who pay their yearly dues to the Los 
Angeles Local; its second half lists these same musicians under the 



Ralph Berkowitz is Dean of the Berkshire 
Music Center at Tanglewood, an institution 
which, like Juilliard, evidently does not offer 
major instruction in "violoopa" or "jug." A 
painter as well as pianist, Mr. Berkowitz has 



recently had a one-man exhibition of his work 
in Philadelphia. He is this season giving sixty- 
four lectures on "Related Arts" at the Phil 
adelphia Museum School of Art 



39 



7~ 



Letter from Los Angeles 



instrument which they serve in the practice of their art. I was 
slightly shaken as I went along, to notice in firm bold print along 
with such stand-bys as 'clarinet' and 'string bass' the instruments 
'basifon' and 'bass can.' 

Now I am a musician from way back who can hold his own with 
the Harvard boys in any discussion of hidden fifths in Brahms or 
the realization of a figured bass in a Bach Cantata. I can also sound 
wise when it comes to the cancrizans of a tone-row in Schoenberg, 
but I realized that Local 47, A.F. of M., had me when it came to a 
'basifon' or a 'bass can.' 



A good musician is an honest soul and one thing, as Cherubini 
said, leads to another. Having chanced upon 'basifon' and 'bass can' 
under the B's, I thought that the rest of the alphabet would perhaps 
reveal a few more instruments native to the Hollywood Hills. Missing 
50 or 60 pages in my ardor, I came up suddenly among the V's and 
ran my finger slowly down the list. There they all were : 'viola,' 'viola 
da gamba,' 'viola de pardessus' how many musicians' unions in the 
whole world could boast of listing players of this dignified old 
beauty? 'viola d'amour.' Fine: Local 47 was but another proof that 
Hollywood had drawn to it the cream of the world's artists. 'Viola 
d'amour,' with its lovely name linked in the mind's eye to Bach and 
Frederick the Great and Potsdam and Voltaire, was followed, how 
ever, by 'violoopa.' Yes, 'violoopa,' and underneath it, the name of 
Harry Lewis, its sole practitioner in the vast reaches *of Los Angeles 
County. Did Harry invent the 'violoopa' or had he discovered it in 
the Copenhagen Museum? Did he work for long years to perfect 
this new achievement in man's search for self-expression, or had he 
walked into Wurlitzer's and bought one for $79.50, black leatherette 
case and music stand included? I don't think I'll ever know. But I 
do know that if Jack Warner or Sam Goldwyn want a 'violoopa' in 
their next opus, Harry Lewis is their man. Close on Harry's heels 
came 'Washboard' and 'Artistic Whistling." Lawrence Vogt is the 
'Washboard' boy and even the thought of Larry practicing wasn't 
fascinating enough to stop me from reading the six names of the 
'Artistic Whistlers.' Nothing could persuade me that three of them 
weren't more artistic than the other three. When I engage an Artistic 
Whistler my choice will be either Ruby O'Hara, Rubye Whitaker or 
Muzzy Marcellino. 



Ralph Berkowitz 



As in all other fields of American enterprise, music in Hollywood 
is undoubtedly controlled by the laws of supply and demand. Yet one 
is given cause for wonder and serious reflection by some of the 
statistics in Local 47's directory. There are for instance no less than 
2,036 dues-paying clarinet players but only four are listed as avail 
able for the contra-bass clarinet. Similarly there are about 2,400 
violinists vying for those lush moments accompanying screen credits 
at the opening of a picture, but only two of the boys have taken up 
the 'electric violin.' For all its vaunted progressiveness I think Holly 
wood is lagging here. 

Some of the instruments listed in the directory, such as 'Gooch- 
Gadget,' 'Cow Bells,' 'Chinese Moon Harp' or 'Goofus Horn' are so 
patently required by the wide demands of the film industry that one 
easily understands their sharing directory space with the piano, 
English concertina, or mandolin. But when you stumble upon a 'Jug' 
or 'Music Cutter' the problem becomes deeper. What for instance 
does one do with a 'Jug,' and how is it practiced? Is it blown into, 
scratched with a mandolin pick or tapped with drum sticks? Sim 
ilarly with the work of Louise Field, who is down as the only 'Music 
Cutter' in the Local. Does she, I wonder, work with shears or a razor 
blade? Is she engaged by slow-witted pianists who don't know what 
to leave out in Liszt's 6th Hungarian Rhapsody, or does she get along 
entirely on her own, snipping a phrase^here, a cadence there, and in 
general reducing compositions to size? 

Of all the instruments which have sprouted in the halls of Local 
47 down on Vine Street only one has achieved international renown. 
This, of course, is the 'bazooka' which Bob Burns immortalized. Its 
other exponent, Clyde B. (Rusty) Jones, has not, to my knowledge at 
least, developed his public to the point of becoming a household name 
who can pull down $2,000 for an appearance. I feel certain that others 
among these instrumentalists .are only biding their time, waiting 
for the nation to learn the fascination of the 'Drumbukki,' the 
'Linnette' or the 'Marimbula.' 

On the other hand, such a well-known phenomenon of musical art 
as the 'One Man Band,' indigenous to every Amateur Hour, is rep 
resented in Southern California by only three union men! Here 
again is one of those strangely unbalanced situations. For, while 
there are only three 'One Man Bands' paying dues, there are 3,652 

41 



Letter from Los Angeles 



pianists, enough to give piano recitals in Carnegie Hall every night 
including -Sunday s for the next ten years, before one of them has 
to learn a new program. 

I like to think that, like musicians all over the world, the Holly 
wood folk also enjoy getting together now and then for an evening 
of chamber music. What repertoire, for instance, wafts out over the 
smog when Obed 0. Pickard, Jr. at the 'Autoharp,' Friday Leitner 
on the 'Tin Whistle,' H. Garcia Granada on the 'Bandurria,' and 
Dorothy Hollowell at the 'Bass Can' get together? Can it be that they 
let go on a transcription of Schubert's Death and the Maiden quartet, 
or is it now and then a slow movement from one of the opus 18*s? 
Or perhaps Irving Riskin, the Local's 'Tune Detective' comes forth 
with an original work for the combination, something midway be 
tween a Chopin Ballade and the third act of Wozzeck. Whatever the 
case may be, I do hope for an invitation to one of these get-togethers 
on my next trip to the coast. Come to think of it, I'm going to stop 
in at Wurlitzer's in the morning and try to pick up a violoopa. That 
way I'd be able to join in the fun. 



42 



Original Music for Four Hands 

A Reference Article of Real Value to Teachers 



o 



u 



Ralph Berkowiti, successful Philadelphia pianist and teacher, is now on a trans 
continental tour with the noted violoncellist, Gregor Piatigorsky. EDITOR'S NOTE. 



FEW PIANO MASTERWORKS are as little 
known as those for two players at one in 
strument. Many pianists as well as music 
lovers are probably unaware of the richness and 
variety of original music for four hands, a reper 
toire considerably larger than that for two pianos. 

There is a peculiar misconception in most 
people's minds concerning piano duets. These are 
generally thought to consist of orchestral and 
chamber music arrangements, and, perhaps, some 
salon pieces by Moszkowski and Scharwenka. 
Most duet collections, as a matter of fact, are 
made up of these very things. Yet almost all the 
great masters composed four-hand music; and 
in some instances one may discover truly re 
markable works in this medium. The finest of 
these compositions are much more than piano 
pieces set for a larger range than one pianist 
can manage. The great piano duets are essen 
tially great pieces of chamber music. 

Let us make a brief survey and point out some 
of the more important and interesting composi 
tions of this repertoire. For a truly rewarding 
experience pianists should, of course, play and 
study this type of ensemble music for themselves. 

In addition to five duo sonatas, Mozart wrote 
a charming set of Variations in G, a Fugue in 
G minor, and two Fantasias, both in F minor. 
These Fantasias, originally composed for a musi 
cal clock, were arranged by Mozart himself for 
four hands, a setting more in accordance with 
their rich musical content. The "F major Sonata" 
(K. 497), composed at the height of his creative 
life, is one of Mozart's greatest chamber music 
works. This "Sonata" is a veritable model for all 
other four-hand music and is pervaded by that 
atmosphere of sublimity which is felt in Mozart's 
greatest products. The "Sonata in C major" (K. 
521) is also a vigorous work; stirring, imagina 
tive, and rich in melodic beauty. 

Beethoven's four-hand works were all written- 
in his early years. These include the "Sonata 
Opus 6," "Three Marches" and two sets of Varia 
tions, one on a theme of Count Waldstein's and 
the other on an original song. Both sets of 
Variations are filled with a delightful and spon 
taneous charm. They are Mozartean in a sense, 
but, as in much of Beethoven's early works, there 
are moments foreshadowing the Beethoven of 
later periods. 

Of all who composed four-hand music, Schu 
bert was the most prolific. His works fill four 
volumes in Peters' Edition and run to nearly five 
hundred pages. Here are compositions from every 
period of Schubert's tragically short life, many 
of them works of superb beauty and profundity. 



r 



"FORWARD MARCH WITH MUSIC" I 
JANUARY, 1944 ~1 






The Prolific Melodist 

The Fantaisie in F minor, Opus 103 begins with 
a theme which is perhaps one of the most haunt- 
ingly beautiful in all the wealth of Schubertian 
melody. The whole Fantaisie is an intensely mov 
ing and dramatic work, rich in invention and 
beautifully scored for the instrument. Another 
work in which the theme itself is unforgettably 
beautiful is that of the 
Variations in A flat 
Op. 35. This is the best 
of Schubert's five sets 
of duet Variations and 
is technically very ex 
acting. The work as a 
whole is endowed with 
a particularly enchant 
ing grace, but in some 
contemplative and 
grave passages there 
are moments of har 
monic boldness with 
which Schubert con 
tinues to surprise us 
after more than a cen 
tury. 

The "Grand Duo 
i Sonata) in C major, 
Op. 140" is believed by 
some musicologists to 
be Schubert's own 
four-hand arrange 
ment of his lost "Ga- 
stein" Symphony. But 
since other authorities 
question that a so- 
called "Gastein" Symphony was ever written, the 
matter is another of those intriguing problems 
which constantly confronts musical historians. 
There is little doubt, however, that the "Grand 
Duo" is more orchestral in conception than any 
of Schubert's other four-hand music. It is a 
spacious work of symphonic proportions, and on 
every page one finds some extraordinary touch 
of the inspired Schubert. There is a fine orches 
tration of this "Grand Duo" by Joseph Joachim. 
And there is one of the F minor Fantaisie by 
Ernst von Dohnanyi. Conductors should occa 
sionally permit us to hear these works. 

It is possible to mention here only a few of the 
other Schubert compositions, which present a 
wide range of form and style. Of the larger 
works there is the tempestuous Allegro, Leben- 
stiirme. Op. 144, and the charming "Divertisse 
ment a la Hongroise," Op. 54. Among the short 
er works are the many "Marches," one of which. 



RALPH BERKOWITZ 



the ever-popular Marche Militiare, is known in* 
countless transcriptions. 

Brahms' first and only big work for piano duet 
is his Variations on a Theme of Schumann, Op. 
23. The theme Is Schumann's so-called "last 
thought" which he wrote when already mentally 
unsound, believing that the spirits of Mendels 
sohn and Schubert had sent it to him. Brahms' 
Variations are poetic, profound, and masterfu' 
in construction. 

From the Master Brahms 

It is not generally realized that the "Waltzes 
Op. 39" and the "Hungarian Dances" were com 
posed as original four-hand music, although 
they are now better known in several other ar 
rangements. The only other Brahms works for 
piano duet are the two sets of "Liebeslieder," 
Op. 52 and Op. 65. These have a quartet of voices 
which are, however, not indispensable they are 
marked ad libitum in the first set but, of 
course, the music gains much by a performance 
with the vocal parts. 

One of the most attractive pieces in all the 
repertoire is Mendelssohn's scintillating Allegro 
Brillant, Op. 92. He composed this strikingly 
effective work for a performance with Clara 
Schumann. An Andante and Variations Op. 83a 

is the only other Men 
delssohn composition 
in this medium. 

Lake Brahms' "Hun 
garian Dances," Dvorak 
composed his delight 
ful "Slavonic Dancds" 
as original four-hand 
music. These two cap 
tivating volumes, Op. 
46 and Op. 72, are ad 
mirably designed for 
the instrument. Dvorak 
maintained a charac 
teristically high stand 
ard in his duets and 
they are a constant 
joy for four-hand play 
ers. In addition to the 
"Slavonic Dances" his 
works include the 
Legende Op. 59; From 
the Bohemian Forest, 
Opus 68; a "Suite"; 
and a Polonaise. 

Many modern com 
posers have sought to 
explore the possibilities 

of duet-writing. Their variety and range. of ac 
complishment is highly interesting. From the 
large number of such compositions there is the 
amusing suite "Pupazzetti" by Casella; Rach 
maninoff's "Six Morceaux', Op. 11"; and Stravin 
sky's "Trois Pieces Faciles," afld Francois 
Poulenc's witty "Sonata." Ravel's famous "Ma 
Mere 1'Oye" is also an original four-hand suite, 
and ona of Debussy's maturest works, "Six 
fipigraphes Antiques," is a splendid example of 
modern craftsmanship in this medium. His 
"Petite Suite" is better known in various 
transcriptions. 

Finally, there is the Hindemith "Sonata," a 
significant work. This is one of the newest addi 
tions to the repertoire, and the product of an 
outstanding musical mentality. 

Perhaps this brief survey will serve to indicate 
the scope and interest of original four-hand 
music to those oianists (Continued on Page 61) 





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^_ 



Ralph Berkowitz 
He's Worn Many Hats 



Nancy Lee Harper: You are perhaps best known 
in your capacity as pianist in collaboration with 
Gregor Piatigorsky. How and when did this asso 
ciation begin? 

Ralph Berkowitz: I met Piatigorsky for the first 
time in 1940 in Philadelphia. He had been playing 
with Valentine Pavlovsky who became very sick, 
so he asked if I could join him for a few concerts. 
Those few concerts turned into thirty years of 
playing together in many parts of the world. I had 
heard Piatigorsky in his debut concerts with the 
Philadelphia Orchestra in 1 928 when he first came 
to the United Slates, but at that time I never 
thought that he would become a very close friend, 
collaborator, and life-long companion. 
NH: Did you ever argue? 

KB: No, we didn't really argue. You can play with 
some people and have no chemistry or musical 
contact. I still remember our first few concerts. The 
third or fourth one was in Orchestra Hall in Chi 
cago. It was a program which included the 
Brahms E minor Sonata. We had not played this 
sonata at previous concerts. The days went by and 
I finally said, "You know, we really ought to 
rehearse that piece." Piatigorsky said, "Yes, of 
course we have to." But it never happened. And I 
give you my word that we sat on the stage of 
Chicago's Orchestra Hall and played that work 
together for the first time! Of course he had to have 
more confidence in me than 1 in him. 
NH: Piatigorsky is quoted as saying, "When you 
get to the top of the mountain stay there and look 
around for a while." Did he mean this as a refer 
ence to a musical phrase, or was there another 
significance? 
RB: (laughing) Well, of course that ought to apply 



to a musical phrase! Being a man of wealth (he was 
married to Jacqueline de Rothschild), Piatigorsky 
could afford not to play when he didn't wish to 
and, as a matter of fact, in later years he played 
very little. So in that sense "he looked around." He 
taught at the University of Southern California 
and had a class of devoted young cellists includ 
ing Nathaniel Rosen and Lawrence Lesser. His 
interest in young people was really very special. 
Once when we played in Seoul, a young family, a 
father and mother with their three little children, 
came to the hotel to meet Piatigorsky. The chil 
dren were perhaps four, five and six years old. 
One played the cello, one the violin, and the other 
played the piano. Piatigorsky was so taken with 
the talent of these children that he gave the family 
money to come to America. Years later "Grischa" 
and I went to a high school in Beverly Hills and 
heard those three children who were by then 
teenagers. One of the girls was Kyung-Wha 
Chung, who is now one of the great violinists of 
the world, and the pianist-brother has just been 
named the director of the Bastille Opera in Paris. 
Piatigorsky was kind to many young people giv 
ing them bows, helping them acquire cellos, etc. 
He was not only interested in them as musicians 
but as human beings. 

NH: Did family members travel with Piatigorsky 
on your tours? 

RB: Mrs. Piatigorsky did, especially in the later 
years. Sometimes Pialigorsky would be joined by 
his mother-in-law, the Baroness de Rothschild. 
She and her husband, Baron Eduard, were very 
close to Grischa. Once in Florence we were joined 
by the Baroness. She had received an invitation to 
the home of Bernard Bcrenson, the legendary art 



SPRING 1991 The I'iuno Quarterly No. 153 43 



critic. (I Ito villa in Horcncc is now owned by 
Harvard University.) Later in the afternoon I had 
lea with the Baroness, and I asked her if it had 
been a large lunch party. She replied, "Oh, a very 
small one, just myself and the Uerensons." And 
then she hesitated and said, "No, wait a minute. 
The King and Queen of Sweden were also with 
us." 

NH: The two of you produced an enormous 
number of recordings for RCA Victor and Colum 
bia. What were some of those recording sessions 
like? 

RB: We began recording for Columbia perhaps in 
1941 or 1942. The first work was Beethoven's 
Sonata in D Major, Op. 102/2. That was the time 
of the 78' s. The maximum playing time was 4'20" 
and the disk had to have no errors on it; otherwise, 
you did it again and again and again. You would 
have to try again if you exceeded 4'20". Recording 
then was much more difficult than recording onto 
tape. Still, I remember that when we recorded the 
Hindemith Cello Sonata (1948) for RCA (and, by 
the way, we premiered the work at Tanglewood ) 
to everyone's horror it was discovered that eight 
bars had been lost in editing the tape. I had to go 
from Philadelphia to Los Angeles in order to 
record those eight measures. 
NH: You were bom on Septembers, 1910, in New 
York City, to parents of Rumanian descent. Nei 
ther were musicians. Please pick it up from there. 
RB: I began piano lessons when I was five or six. 
My father especially encouraged me by taking me 
to concerts and to the Metropolitan Opera. I par 
ticularly remember an early teacher, Emil Polak, 
who was a very fine coach and accompanist. He 



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had been a pupil of Dvonik in Now York. I must 
have been in nw early leena when 1 decided to 
become a musician. I told my parents I did not 
want to attend regular high school. I wanted to go 
to a music school. Around 1924 or 1925 1 went to 
the Institute of Musical Art, which later became 
the Juilliard School. I took courses in theory, har 
mony, and art history, but no piano lessons. 
NH: Who were some of the pianists you heard in 
your student days? 

RB: I was certainly very impressed with 
Hermann, Rachmaninoff, and Gieseking. I re 
member vividly also the enormous playing of 
Moritz Rosenthal. I heard de Pachmann play and 
saw his antics on the stage. You know he was one 
of those people who acted as if he were crazy. For 
instance, he would walk onto the stage of Carne 
gie Hall and immediately walk back to the wings 
and come out with another man who would lift 
the end of the piano and slip a sheet of paper 
under the leg to make it more level. Or he would 
sometimes, with his right forefinger, point at his 
left hand as if to say, "You see what my left hand 
can do?" Actually he was a very beautiful pianist. 
Other great pianists 1 heard then were Donald 
Francis To vey, Ossip Gabrilowitch, Harold Bauer, 
Mischa Levitski, who died after a short but bril 
liant career, Myra Hess, the wonderful English 
pianist, and Guiomar Novaes. 
NH: How did you decide upon the Curtis Insti 
tute or rather how did it decide on you? 
RB: In 1928, the first year the Curtis Institute 
offered full tuition (which it still does for all stu 
dents), I auditioned and was accepted. They only 
took a few pianists in those days. To tell you the 
truth, I don't know why they ac 
cepted me. I had absolutely no 
idea of music. I was truly a musi 
cal illiterate, but I must have 
shown something, some pianis- 
lic talent. The jury included Isa 
bella Vengerova, David Saper- 
lon, Abram Chasins, and, I be 
lieve, Alexander Lambert. If they 
chose you, then you had to re 
turn to Philadelphia and play for 
the director Josef Hofmann. He 
was already a legend in those 
days. My father had taken me to 
Carnegie Hall to hear Hofmann 



1991 



44 The Piano Quarterly No. 153 



many times. I felt about Hofmann what a kid who 
loves baseball would have felt if he came face lo 
face with Uabe Ruth. Rachmaninoff used to say 
that Hofmann was the greatest pianist who ever 
lived. 

I was assigned to study with Isabella 
Vengerova. She had been a notable musician in 
Russia and was one of the first pianists to play the 
works of Brahms in that country, especially his 
chamber works. Her instruction was utterly new 
to me and utterly strange from a mechanical point 
of view. Vengerova was a terribly hard taskmas 
ter, very autocratic, and in a sense rather cruel to 
her students. She always had her students come 
into the studio at the time of their lesson and wait 
even if she was not yet finished with the previous 
lesson. Samuel Barber use to follow my lesson. 
One day Mme. Vengerova was saying something 
like, "You know you played the Bach pretty well 
today, and such and such is coming along very 
nicely." At that moment in walked Sammy Barber 
and sat down. As soon as she saw him she said, 
"And I don't know why you don't practice. It's 
not right for you not to work as hard as you can." 



That gave me an insight into her nature. Years 
later, Leonard Bcrmilein aid that Mine. 
Vengerova was the only person who could terror 
ize him! Imagine someone who could terrorize 
Leonard Bernstein! 
NH: And did she terrorize vou? 
RB: Always. Always. 
NH: What was her approach like? 
RB: First of all, she was very determined to get the 
sound that she was looking for. Tone production 
to her was the ne plus ultra of piano playing. She 
started every student with very slow scales, an 
enormous legato, the fingers overlapping one 
another in order to make sounds coalesce. 
NH: What were Vengerova's strengths as a 
teacher? 

RB: She was a very experienced teacher a great 
diagnostician, and she imparted a sense of integ 
rity and a sense of the importance of making 
music. She was endless in her ambition to keep 
students working and devoted to music. Thaf s 
quite a contribution to young people. 
NH: The name Felix Salmond is not exactly a 
household word, and yet you have said that he 
was the greatest musical influence on your life. 



PIANO PERSPECTIVES '91 





For more Information: 

Hoft-Barthelson Music School 

25 School Lane, Scarsdale, NY 10583 

914.723.1169 



A Two-Day Conference Presenting 
Perspectives on the Art of Teaching 

featuring 

ROBERT SILVERMAN 
BRADFORD GOWEN 
MARIENNE USZLER 
WILMA MACHOVER 
WILLIAM BAUER 
MARY HELTON 
ANN SCHEIN 



June 17 & 10, 1991 

The State University of New York 
at Purchase 

Co-sponsored by: 

SUNY Purchase 

The Piano Quarterly 

The Hoff-Oarthelson Music School 



The Piano Quarterly No. 153 45 



RB: Salmond was an Englishman who came to the 
Slalcs aboul 1924 or 1925. Me became the head of 
the cello department at the Curtis and at the 
Juilliard School. He produced many of the great 
cellists of yesterday and today. The first cellists of 
the Boston Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, 
and the Chicago Symphony were students of his. 
His knowledge of music and his sense of musical 
style were superb. His mother had been a student 
of Clara Schumann. And while Felix never played 
the piano, he knew the piano repertoire as well as 
any pianist. It may interest you to know that many 
of the great pianists of the 30s and 40s first played 
their programs privately for Felix Salmond and 
that included men like Josef Lhevinne and Arthur 
Rubinstein. Salmond knew everything by mem 
ory, any cello part in any quartet. He knew the 
piano and song literature just as well. Were he 
alive today he would still be an important musi 
cian, cellist, and teacher. 

I don't want to overlook the great influence 
on me of another sensitive artist and beautiful 
pianist, Harry Kaufman. He organized the accom 
panying department at Curtis. 
NH: You were also the dean at Tanglewood. 
Piatigorsky was the head of the chamber music 
department. Did he help you get the position? 
RB: No. Tanglewood is the summer home of the 
Boston Symphony Orchestra. The assistant man 
ager of the BSO was Thomas Perry, a former pupil 
of mine. He asked me to come, but I told him I'd 
never worked behind a desk and wouldn't know 
what to do. But many months later he sent me a 
telegram while I was in Caracas on tour with 
Piatigorsky telling me the job was still open. I 
discussed it with Piatigorsky who said, "What do 
you have to lose? You'll have a nice summer and 
your family will enjoy it." So I became Kousse- 
vitsky's assistant until his death in 1951, and then 
I was named dean of what is now called the 
Tanglewood Music Center. 
NH: Did those duties intrude upon your concer- 
tizing? 

RB: No. I had to be in Boston one week out of the 
month to assign scholarships and the like. I was 
also a member of the Audition Committee. We 
went around to a dozen cities each spring listen 
ing to performers. At the same time I was travel 
ing with Piatigorsky and I also taught. And I 
began going to Albuquerque to play in a chamber 



music series called the June Music Festival. I went 
Ihcrc for Ihe next for twenty-five years. 
NH: You've met some important people at Tan 
glewood and throughout your travels. 
RB: Of all the conductors with whom I was asso 
ciated my closest attachment was to Dr. Kousse- 
vitzky. He was not only a musical genius in the 
broad sense, and I don't use that word lightly, but 
he had a vision, an imagination, and an inspira 
tional way with young musicians. 

I knew Walter Damrosch slightly when he 
was the conductor of the New York Symphony 
not the New York Philharmonic. Damrosch was 
the man who brought Tschaikovsky to New York 
when they opened Carnegie Hall in 1890. He was 
a friend of Wagner. He knew Liszt. Mr. Damrosch 
heard me play on various occasions. Felix Sal 
mond and I played a Brahms sonata at his 75th 
birthday celebration in 1937. It was given at the 
home of Harry Harkness Flagler, a New York 
millionaire. 

Pierre Monteux used to come to Tangle- 
wood when Charles Munch was the director. 
Monteux and Koussevitzky were never close, so 
that in all the years of Koussevitzky's reign, Mr. 
Monteux never conducted the BSO. I sat with him 
once at a concert during which Lukas Foss played 
his own Second Piano Concerto. As it was going 
on, Mr. Monteux mumbled under his breath, "Oh 
terrible! Oh dreadful! Oh terrible!" After the per 
formance I said to him, "Mr. Monteux, of course 
you remember that when you conducted Strav 
insky's Sacre du Prinlcmps in Paris it caused a 
scandal and everyone said it was terrible and 
dreadful, and now you are saying the same thing 
about Lukas Foss' concerto." 

"Ah, yes," he said, "they were wrong then 
and now I am right." 

I was once at a dinner party at the Piati- 
gorskys, given for Charlie Chaplin, his wife, and 
Arthur Rubinstein. It remains in my memory 
mainly because Chaplin spoke until 2 or 3 A.M., 
telling stories of Hollywood and constructing or 
making up part of the story of the movie he was 
working on called Limelight. He seemed to be 
improvising. The extraordinary thing was that he 
referred to himself as "he." He never spoke in the 
first person. What was most memorable about 
Chaplin, close up, was the power of his eyes and 
the use of his hands. His hands were always 



46 The Piano Quarterly No. 153 



mobile, always moving in beautiful balletic mo- 
lions. I le i:i one of Ihe few persons of whom one 
could say, "This is a genius." 

In the summer of 1950 Eleanor Roosevelt 
was invited by Koussevitzky to be the narrator in 
Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf at Tanglewood. 
Koussevitzky asked me to go to Hyde Park to 
show Mrs. Roosevelt how the piece went. I gave 
her a piano score which I had marked with colored 
pencils to indicate the entrances of the speaker. I 
played the music for her. She learned the work in 
a few hours. At the performance Mrs. Roosevelt's 
reading was a triumph for her and for Kousse 
vitzky! 

NH: In 1951 you wrote an article for Penguin 
Books entitled "What Every Accompanist 
Knows." Did that article reflect any frustration 
with your career? 

RB: Yes, in a way. The article discusses the social 
aspect of an accompanist's career, relating it to the 
soloist. It also discusses fees and the attitudes of 
the critics. It tries to reflect an objective view of the 
life of an accompanist. 

NH: You sum up everything by saying, "By the 
very nature of being required to learn a great 
amount of music (quickly) he (the accompanist) 
develops a wider musical vision than is vouch 
safed to the specialists of flying octaves and 
machine-gun wrists." You obviously feel that an 
accompanist must have many more musical skills 
than a soloist. 

RB: Without question. All the young musicians 
who have changed their focus from soloist to 
ensemble player know much more about the art of 
music, the history of music, and the repertoire of 
music than those pianists who, by the nature of 
their profession, have to dwell on solo repertoire. 
That's a very limiting life, no matter how talented 
or successful the pianist. If the solo pianist is going 
to play recitals and concertos with orchestras, he 
has to wo rk much more diligently in a much more 
restricted field than the pianist who has to play 
one day with a singer, the next with a cellist, the 
next with a woodwind player and so on. 

It's a very underrated profession. Psycho 
logically the accompanist plays "second fiddle." 
Yet a second fiddle in a string quartet is as impor 
tant as the first or the violist or the cellist. But an 
accompanist, especially if he plays sonatas or 
Lieder, is as important on the stage, from a musi 



cal point of view, as the soloist. However, in the 
eyes of manngem, the music critics, or many solo 
ists, the accompanist's place is in the background. 
The other side of the coin is that when a manager 
engages a soloist it is of no consequence to him 
who the accompanist is. It is also of no interest to 
the public to ask when they went to hear Heifetz 
or Zimbalist, "Who is the accompanist?" But 
when Beethoven wrote a sonata for violin and 
piano, he always called it a sonata for piano and 
violin. He wasn't writing subsidiary music for the 
piano part. It was no obbligato. 

When Brahms or Hugo Wolf or Schubert 
wrote songs, they didn't think the piano part was 
some unimportant background part to fill in for 
the soloist. You know the famous story of Rubin 
stein. He always insisted when he played trios 
with Heifetz and Piatigorsky that the pianist was 
named first. Heifetz didn't like this at all and said, 
"Don't you think we ought to call it the Heifetz, 
Piatigorsky, and Rubinstein Trio?" To which 
Rubinstein retorted, "No, even if God were play 
ing the violin it would still remain Rubinstein, 
God, and Piatigorsky." 

Years ago the first violinist of a string quartet 
was considered the leader. I recall a review by 
George Bernard Shaw in which he speaks of 
Joachim as the leader of the Joachim Quartet. 
Actually Joachim thought of the quartet in that 
way. When he came to England, he would engage 
three musicians. They wouldn't be the same three 
who played with him in Germany. Times have 
changed. Still, in the art of playing with a cellist or 
violinist on the stage, the accompanist's role is 
and will always be referred to as secondary. After 
a concert some people will try to praise the accom 
panist by saying, "I listened to you just as much as 
I did to the soloist." If they didn't then they were 
wasting their money. It's a problem that goes to 
the heart of social and economic matters in music. 
NH: One of the biggest riddles of the musical 
profession is: Why do some musicians make big 
careers, while other who are equally, if not more 
talented, get lost in the shuffle? 
RB: Well, it is one of the great mysteries. Some 
careers are meteoric such as that of Van Clibum. 
Other careers, like Arthur Rubinstein's, took a 
lifetime of building. I must tell you that one day in 
the early 1940s Pialigorsky and I were having 
lunch in Chicago with Mr. Rubinstein. He asked 



The I'iano Quarterly No. 153 47 



s, "Do you know when I first played in Chi- 
.go?" We didn't hnvc any idea. "In 1904, " he 
;plied. Can you imagine?! That was nearly forty 
ears prior to that luncheon. 
IH: You have also had quite a career as an 
rranger and transcriber. One of the most valu- 
ble transcriptions you made was a two-piano 
ersion of the "Carnival of the Animals" by Saint 
ae'ns. 

.B: There are about forty works of mine pub- 
shed for two pianos, or one piano, four hands, 
ome of them have remained alive and some have 
ied. They were published in this country, in 
ranee, and in Germany. The "Carnival of the 
mimals" is still very popular. Only recently I 
eceived some royalties from Japan for perform- 
nces. I made numerous transcriptions of Bach, 
xmperin, Tschaikovsky, Gershwin, Ravel, De- 
ussy, Haydn, Purcell, Frescobaldi, Weber, 
Ihopin, Wagner, etc. When I saw Van Cliburn last 
e said to me, "You know, when I was a little boy 
.iy mother used to buy your two-piano transcrip- 
ions and make me play them. I can still see your 
iame in the corner of the page." 
<JH: You are also known as a lecturer on both 
adio and television. 

IB: I used to have a radio program called 'The 
ubstance of Music." I remember doing a series of 
4 lectures at the Philadelphia Museum School of 
^rt. I also gave a series of lectures in Albuquerque 
m Public Television called 'The Arts." And I gave 
he intermission talks for the Boston Symphony 
Orchestra broadcasts in New Mexico. 
<JH: You also compose. 

IB: I can't call myself a composer although I have 
vritten some songs and other pieces. The most 
uccessful work I wrote is called "A Telephone 
la 11" and is based on a short story by Dorothy 
J arker. This work, for soprano and orchestra, was 
:onducted by my friend Eleazar de Carvalho in 
tio de Janeiro. There was no tape made, so I never 
leard it. 

^H: Another side of your life is that you have been 
HI active artist. Do you ever wish you had been an 
irtist by profession rather than a musician? 
RB: It's not something one can wish; either one is 
3r one isn't. If you are a writer then you write. 
Hans von Biilow was once asked how to become 
3 conductor, and he replied, "One fine day you 
step onto the podium. If you can, you will, and if 

48 The Piano Quarterly No. 153 



you can't, you'll never learn." 
Nil: What do you feel has been your contribution 
to the musical world? 

RB: I think as a teacher and a musician devoted to 
music. I've been active since the age of sixteen, a 
very long time. I've found that you don't learn 
anything until you have to teach it. I've never 
stopped teaching the piano. I've had some grati 
fying results over the years. And I have played 
with great artists, like the violinists Eudice 
Shapiro and Josef Gingold; great singers like 
Phyliss Curtin and Gerard Souzay; and had warm 
friendships, among other with Bernstein and 
Copland, Barber and Menotti, Bolet and 
Leinsdorf, the Guarneri Quartet and Boris Gold- 
ovsky, Gary Graffman and Isaac Stern. 
NH: Do you have any regrets in your career, 
perhaps not being known as a solo pianist? 
RB: That is something I have often thought about. 
When you are young and ambitious, you hope to 
see your name in lights or on billboards in front of 
Carnegie Hall or read long articles about your 
playing in The New York Titties. Those are childish 
pipe dreams. Everyone has them and with luck 
most people live through them. The career of a 
musician has many sides, but by your twenties 
your life has to be settled. Some of my colleagues 
never accepted the fact that they wouldn't be 
world-beaters. In order to eat they had to take jobs 
in universities or colleges of music, and they still 
resent it. They feel it is demeaning, and they feel 
frustrated. Other musicians have accepted the fact 
that they will never be world-famous names or 
glorious solo performers, but they have felt that 
they can contribute to music in their community 
and to younger artists who will carry on the art of 
music. They realize they are in a profession of 
consequence; they are among the people who 
makes a contribution which is more or less lasting 
and has a truth connected with it. It is something 
which is hard toexplain,and it's incredibly harder 
to explain to young people. So that in the years 
that I've been an administrator, a manager, a 
teacher, a performer, a chamber music player, and 
an author all those things have been much 
more gratifying than if I had been a solo artist. The 
course I have followed has allowed me to get to 
know and work with some of the great people of 
this century, and for that I consider myself very 
fortunate. 



INTERVIEWER'S BRIEF BIOGRAPHY 
Carolyn Erbele 

Born in upper state New York, consequently lived in rural Illinois and 
Albuquerque, New Mexico. Bay Area resident since 1970. 
Attended Mills College (Oakland) and San Jose State as a music 
major. Attended Vista Community College (Berkeley) to study oral 
history with Elaine Dorfman. 

Professional music experience includes: teaching, primarily piano, but 
also pedagogy, beginning voice and young children's music classes; 
performance as a: pianist (solo, four hand piano, ensemble work), 
church organist since high school (currently regular substitute 
organist for Epworth United Methodist Church, Berkeley, additional 
studies in France during the spring of 1988); accompanist (solo voice 
and instrumental, choral and opera including work with The California 
Bach Society and Oakland Opera Theater); mezzo soprano (formerly 
a member of the Pacific Mozart Ensemble and alto soloist in their 
presentation of Handel's Israel in Egypt, formerly a member of A Little 
Opera in the House, a chamber performance ensemble, featured 
primarily in that group as Miss Todd, the lead role in Menotti's The Old 
Maid and the Thief.) 

Interviewer/transcriber/editor of four other oral histories: 1 . Michael 
Mills, Director of Vista's International Trade Institute, Veteran 
Teacher and Program Planner. This was the first interview to be 
completed for the Vista Community College Oral History Project 
(1974 - 1989) and accepted by the Vista Community College library 
as well as the Regional Oral History Office at U.C. Berkeley. 2. Sophie 
Marmorek Tritsch: The Early Years (Editor only). This interview is a 
life history that includes Sophie's many accomplishments such as 
being a nurse in WW1 and getting her husband out of Dachau when 
Hitler came to power. Copies have been given to family members as 
well as the Judah Magnes Museum in Berkeley and to the Regional 
Oral History Office at U.C. Berkeley. 3. Gretta Goldenman, 
environmental activist who co-founded the Pesticide Action Network 
and currently is serving as a consultant to the Directorate General of 
the Environment for the Commission of the European Communities in 
Brussels (in progress). 4. Julia Eastburg, local artist and feminist 
whose environmental activism originated from seeing her place of 
birth, the Santa Clara Valley, destroyed and displaced by the Silicon 
Valley (in progress). 



Abbado 10 

Albuquerque 4, 10, 21, 23 

Albuquerque Symphony Orchestra 22 

Anguissola 31 

Aspen 12 

Auer37 

Barber 2, 35 

Barnes Foundation 5 

Berkshire hills 12 

Berlin 6 

Berlin Philharmonic 7 

Bernstein 2, 10, 14, 15, 37, 38 

Bolet 2 

Bonney 22 

Boston 8 

Boston Symphony Orchestra 8, 13, 14, 23, 34 

Carnegie 12 

"Carnival of the Animals" 1 9 

Chavez 1 1 

Children's Concerts 38 

Cioffi 16 

Cole 2, 29 

Copland 11, 14,35,37 

Curtin 14 

Curtis Institute 1, 3, 35 

Dallapicolla 1 1 

deCarvalho 19, 35 

de Gogorza 3 

Eastman Symphonic Band 36 

Elman 37 

Emerson 31 

Fennell 36 

Fine Arts Quartet 24 

Furtwangler 6 

Garbousova 20 

Germany 28 

Gingold 23 

Goldovsky 11, 14, 15,35 

Greer 32 

Guarneri String Quartet 24 

Hawthorne 12 

Heifetz 36, 37 

Hitler 28 

Honegger 1 1 

Horowitz 1 8 

Houser 24 



Ibert 1 1 

Istomin 2 

June Music Festival 10, 21, 23 

Kogan 20 

Koussevitzky 8, 10, 13, 14, 34, 35 

KrolM4 

Lear 1 1 

Leinsdorf 10, 34 

Levine 3 

Lipkin 19 

Ma 2 

Maazel 10 

Massachusetts 12 

Mayes 2, 1 6 

Mehta 10 

Melville 12 

Menqtti 2, 35 

Messiaen 1 1 

Michaelangelo 32 

Milhaud 11 

Miller 2 

Milnes 1 1 

Miquelle 23 

Molnar 24 

Munch 10, 14 

Nash 19 

Nelsova 20 

New York City 4 

Ozawa 1 

Parker 1 9 

Pasquale 16 

Pavlovsky 2 

Peerce 20 

Perry 9, 34 

Peter and the Wolf 1 3 

Petrassi 1 1 

Philadephia 3 

Piatigorsky 2, 6, 8, 16,34,36 

Polak 1 

Posellt 16 

Price 1 1 

Prokofieff 13 

Rockefellers 12 

Roosevelt 12, 13 

Rose 2 

Ross 11. 14 



Russia 6 

Salmond 2 

Scalero 35 

Schola Cantorum 1 1 

Sembrich 3 

Sessions 1 1 

Shapiro 16, 20 

Simms 23 

Simon 2 

Sokoloff 3 

St. Louis Symphony 35 

Stern 34 

Tanglewood 9, 11, 13 

Tanglewood Tales 12 

Tel Aviv 36 

The Arts 4 

The Historical Series 3 

Toch 1 1 

Vengerova 2 

Waxman 34 

Wharton 1 2 

World War II 27 

Zimbalist 3, 37 

Zimbalist, Jr. 36 



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