Watch: A Neuhaus student, still playing at 93

Genrikh Neuhaus was the outstanding piano teacher in Soviet Russia. His pupils included Sviatoslav Richter, Emil Gilels, Yakov Zak, Tikhon Khrennikov, Alexei Lubimov, Radu Lupu and… Lidia Fikhtengoltz.

Still going strong. Her last reported concert was in Moscow, two years ago.

Film courtesy of Roman Mints

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  • What immediately grabs attention is the old Russian school of phrasing, ease of the arm and wrist, and natural flowing, singing quality in the fingers–even on this video. As soon as she began to sing as she played, I sensed she came from the ideals that Neuhaus and the Lhevinnes and their contemporaries played and taught. God bless her; I hope she will keep playing.

  • Let no one be misled by the ‘Genrikh’ tossed in here for no purpose at all. Genrikh is the Russian form of Heinrich, and the latter the German form of Henry. As Neuhaus’ friends called him ‘Harry’, I think there’s a good reason his name is always given as Heinrich, except in Russian works of a certain sort, shall we say. Those of us who are piano specialists know that, and there’s no need to send others biffing around Google looking for this ‘Genrikh Neuhaus’ for the sake of a bit of errant pretension.

  • I filmed it yesterday in her apartment. She suddenly went to the piano and said “you would recognize this”. It is the violin version , of course.

    She went on to play some Debussy, going on for almost half an hour. I filmed it all on my Iphone. She is the most incredible lady and a musician that I’ve met in my life. I was going to record her playing for a proper cd but unfortunately she suffered a stroke right before that.

    Her last concert to date was in 2015, so less then three years.

  • As 93 year old she’s in better form that Menahem Pressler. Radu Lupu couldn,t study with H. Neihaus that died in fall 1964 . Radu Lupu studied with Stanislav Neihaus and wasn’t happy with his teaching. Radu denounces his Moscow conservatory training. Went to study in Vienna. Actually he had better teacher in Bucarest, Rumania- Florica Muzichescu.

  • Lovely…. music can keep people connected to life. But why would she spontaneously play something even older than herself, and not something more connected to modernity, like a Stockhausen Klavierstück? Or a Russian equivalent, which will be even more contemporary, or an Ulstvolskaya outburst? I know the answer, but will not spill the beans. What would life be without mystery.

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