Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Frank Glazer

Last Friday night The Music Man took me to a concert at Bates, he wanted to share with me the amazing musical talent of Frank Glazer. Below are two excerpts about Glazer, one from the Bates website, the other from Wikipedia.

"Glazer, of Topsham, has been a resident artist at Bates since 1980. He is a musician of international stature whose long career includes numerous recordings and premieres of contemporary music, his own television program in the 1950s and countless solo recitals and performances with orchestras and chamber ensembles, including the New England Piano Quartette, of which he was a founder.

"Just to be in the room while Frank Glazer shares his tremendous musical wisdom and experience with artists like Macomber and the Parker quartet will be a treat," says Seth Warner, manager of the Olin concert hall.

In the 1930s Glazer studied with both Artur Schnabel, a leading interpreter of the Viennese masters, and with Arnold Schoenberg, whose atonal compositions were the antithesis of Viennese lyricism.

Glazer was 21 when he made his New York debut at Town Hall on Oct. 20, 1936. That event (recreated at Bates on its 70th anniversary in 2006) marked the start of a performing career that finds this artist creatively robust in his 90s."

~ Bates Office of Communications and Media Relations

"Born circa 1915, Glazer grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In his teenage years, he played in vaudeville. Alfred Strelsin, a New York signage manufacturer and arts patron, provided the funds for Glazer to travel to Berlin in 1932 to study with Artur Schnabel; he also studied with Arnold Schoenberg. Glazer then taught piano in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Strelsin urged Glazer to make his New York debut, telling him, "If you don't start by time you're 21, forget it". Glazer made his debut at Town Hall in New York City on October 20, 1936, with a program of Bach, Brahms, Schubert, and Chopin. He played this program again in 2006, to celebrate his seventieth anniversary of public performance.

In 1939 Glazer performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Sergei Koussevitzky. Glazer served in the military in World War II.

After the war he embarked upon an effort to reinvent piano technique, beginning with a study of anatomy and analyzing the most efficient way to create sound. Glazer believes this study is why he has remained able to play successfully into his 90s, when hand problems have forced many younger pianists out of the profession. As one fellow pianist commented, "It gets more amazing as Frank gets older, because he has less brute force to put into his playing. Yet he can still play some of the toughest pieces in the repertory, because he has figured out how to get there without wasting any motion".[citation needed]

In the early 1950s, Glazer had his own television show. With his wife, Ruth, he founded in the 1970s the Saco River Festival in Maine, a summer chamber series. From 1965 until 1980 Glazer taught at the Eastman School of Music; among his students was Myriam Avalos. In 1980 Glazer left Eastman and became artist in residence at Bates College in Maine." (Wikipedia)

Glazer gives many concerts at Bates, his next one will be Sunday February 1st in the afternoon. This will be to celebrate his birthday. Hope to see you at this free concert!

Enjoy ~SJ

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