Doyen of US pianists dies, one month short of 100

The magnificent Frank Glazer, a Schnabel student who played well into his 90s, died today at 99. He went to Berlin i 1932 to study with the master, made his New York debut in 1936 and played the Boston Symphony under Koussevitsky two years later.

To the day of his death he held a position as artist in residence at Bates College in Lewiston.

You can watch him play and read an interview here.

Daryn Slover/Sun JournalPianist Frank Glazer.


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  • Schnabel resigned from his teaching position at the Berlin Hochschule in 1932 to resume his performing career full-time, so although Glazer had occasional lessons with Schnabel during his brief stay in Berlin (about 8 months or so), he was assigned to the class of Schnabel”s assistant, Leonard Shure. When Shure fled the Nazi’s in April, 1933, Glazer followed him to Boston, where he continued his studies with Shure until 1938, and per a recent Glazer interview, he also lived with Shure’s family for much of that time.

    • When Schnabel had to leave Berlin in 1933 — yet one more casualty of the encroaching Nazi take-over — he first moved to Lake Como with several of his students, Frank Glazer included, following him there. Schnabel received a visa allowing him to live for awhile in England, before he resettled in the United States. Frank would occasionally see his “old” teacher in New York or Cambridge and have a lesson with him now and then until the war years interrupted.

  • Frank was an inspiration to all of us who heard him and knew him. His longevity had become the focus in recent years (how many pianists have played the complete Beethoven sonata cycle, and beautifully, in their mid-90s?) but his consummate musicianship was there long before age became an issue. Hail to so long a life lived so well. We all knew it would end someday, but still…

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