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An eminent US violin teacher has died at 95

August 21, 2017 by norman lebrecht

7 comments.


Fredell Lack, whose students included the current Concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic, Frank Huang, has died at 95.

A student of Ivan Galamian, Fredell won a bronze medal at the 1951 Reine Elisabeth competition and returned to form the Lyric Art Quartet. From 1959 she taught at the University of Houston. Among her students are: David Mazzeo, Pálína Árnadóttir, Joyce Hammann, Mariko Inaba, Anabel Ramirez, Gloria Justen, Sharman Plesner, William Pu, Gregory Ewer, Beverly Shin, Maurice Sklar, Martin Valdeschack, Chuong Vu, and Zuo Jun.


Comments (7)

  1. Patrick says:

    What beautiful playing!

  2. Delphine1962 says:

    Fredell Lack (Eichhorn) was a consummately wonderful musician and a truly great teacher. She was also kind; I had a fairly disastrous time in Houston at UH in 1984 when I went there to study (not violin) and Ms. Lack did everything she could to help in an impossible situation. I seem to remember that she taught at Rice – at least back then.

    Ms Lack had a very long and luminous life and career, and her students will attest to her profound sense – and sensibility – as a teacher. As a perfomer, she was peerless in her day.

    1. Sally O'Reilly says:

      Although she was courted by Rice, Fredell Lack remained loyal to the University of Houston throughout her teaching career. A great lady, a stellar musician, and a treasured friend and colleague. Irreplaceable! Sally O’Reilly

    2. Richard Zencker says:

      I worked at UH from 1986 through 1989 and remember her as one of a number of outstanding musicians there. My condolences.

  3. Joel Levine says:

    She played with the Oklahoma City Symphony (a.k.a. Oklahoma Symphony) in August 1943. The conductor was Victor Alessandro. She then returned in January 1972 and played the Dvorak with Guy Fraser Harrison.

    The very positive review says she was a native of Tulsa.

  4. Kristin Brinkmann says:

    I feel very privileged to have grown up in Houston attending Fredell Lack’s recitals and performances with the Lyric Art Quartet when I was a child; eventually becoming her student at the University of Houston. Her recitals with pianist Albert Hirsh introduced me the world of 20th century sonatas, and her many recordings of 20th century concerti that one never heard on public radio in Houston, Texas became the soundtrack of my childhood. Being able to study these same works with her a few years later was both a joy and an honor.

    Fredell Lack was the kindest of taskmasters. As her students, we all felt like extensions of her family. One day, she brought carloads of her gowns from past performances to the university for some of us to try on and to keep. I still have them, and when I’ve worn them for my own recitals and concerti over the years, I’ve enjoyed remembering the concerto she’d had each gown made for. The red silk for the Shostakovich Concerto, and the blue sheath for the Bernstein Serenade, I believe. My sheet music is covered with her writing – “sing”, “murmur”, “soar”… May you continue to soar, Miss Lack, as you’ve taught so many of us to do over the years, by your word, your example, and your passion.

    1. Alfred Duckett says:

      What a beautiful tribute to your teacher.


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