Death of a secret genius
May 30, 2011 by Norman Lebrecht
The international pianist and pedagogue Vitalij Margulis died yesterday in Los Angeles after a long illness, at the age of 83. His last recital was given in California in November.
Born in Kharkov, Ukraine, Margulis studied with his own father, whose teacher, Alexander Horowitz, had been a pupil of Skryabin’s.
After a busy, though not heavily promoted, performing career in the Soviet Union, he became professor of piano at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1994, holding a paralle post at Freiburg, in Germany. His pupils included Bernd Glemser, Alexander Djordjevic and Axel Schmitt. Bach and Beethoven were the source of his musical outlook. His teaching personality was tempered by historic cataclysms and Jewish wit.
Joachim Kaiser, the influential German critic, called him ‘the secret genius’.
Rest in peace.
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