Pianist Artur Balsam

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Pianist Artur Balsam

Post by Lance » Sat Jun 29, 2019 11:47 pm

Here was a superlative pianist who seems more widely known as a collaborative pianist in chamber music though he played concertos and solo music as well. He was known as one of the most prominent pianists teaching collaborative piano. Bridge Records has released a number of recordings recorded live with the Budapest String Quartet in performance at the Library of Congress in Washington, D. C. His work appears on a number of record labels.

Here's what Wikipedia says about him:

Artur Balsam (February 8, 1906 in Warsaw, Poland – September 1, 1994 in New York) was a Polish-born American classical pianist and pedagogue.

Balsam studied in Łódź, Poland making his debut there at the age of 12 then enrolled at the Berlin Hochschule fur Musik and studied with Artur Schnabel and Curt Boerner. In 1930 he won the Berlin International Piano Competition and obtained the prestigious Mendelssohn Prize in chamber music the following year with Roman Totenberg. In 1932 he made a tour of the United States with Yehudi Menuhin. With the rise of the Nazis, Balsam settled in New York City, where he became the accompanist of choice for international artists, including Henri Temianka, with whom he performed twice in 1945 at Carnegie Hall, Zino Francescatti, David Oistrakh, Leonid Kogan, Oscar Shumsky, Isaac Stern, Zara Nelsova, Joseph Fuchs, Lillian Fuchs, Mstislav Rostropovich, Nathan Milstein, Roman Totenberg, among many others. He became the undisputed dean of chamber music performance and teaching in the United States, and also performed occasional solo recitals. He recorded the complete piano works of Mozart for Oiseau-Lyre, and the Haydn sonatas for Musical Heritage Society, for which he also recorded the two-piano and four-hand piano works of Mozart with Nadia Reisenberg. At Mozart's bicentenary in 1956, he was invited to record six of the piano concertos with the BBC Symphony. His recordings of Beethoven's violin sonatas with Joseph Fuchs, and cello sonatas with Zara Nelsova, as well as their recording of Rachmaninov's cello sonata, are among the most prized of this repertoire. He served on the faculties of the Eastman School of Music, Boston University and the Manhattan School of Music. Some of his notable students include Emanuel Ax, Astrith Baltsan, Edmund Battersby, Paul-André Bempéchat, Carla Dodek, Robert Freeman, Mina Miller, Edmund Niemann, Murray Perahia and Eleanor Wong. He died of pneumonia at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan at the age of 88.
His wife, Ruth Rosalie, served as President of the Artur Balsam Foundation for Chamber Music. She died less than five years later, on April 9, 1999. [The Foundation is still on the Internet but seems inactive since Mrs. Balsam died. —Ed.]
Lance G. Hill

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]


Donald Isler
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Re: Pianist Artur Balsam

Post by Donald Isler » Sun Jun 30, 2019 7:50 am

A terrific pianist and an amazing sight reader! I studied chamber music with him for several years at Manhattan School of Music and at the Kneisel Hall (Maine) Music Festival, and heard him play many times.
Donald Isler

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Re: Pianist Artur Balsam

Post by maestrob » Sun Jun 30, 2019 12:02 pm

Lots of Balsam's recordings are available on amazon, thankfully, many available for listening with amazon prime in mp3 format. The only recording I have on my shelves is a scintillating four hand performance of Dvorak's Slavonic Dances with Gena Raps.

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