A dynastic pianist turns 90 today

A dynastic pianist turns 90 today


norman lebrecht

July 16, 2018

Former students tell us they are taking Bella Davidovich out to lunch today in New York for her 90th birthday.

A formidable pianist who came joint first in the 1949 Warsaw Chopin Competition, Bella was a soloist with the Leningrad Philharmonic for 28 successive years. Married to the violinist Julian Sitkovetsky until his early death in 1958, she left the USSR in 1978 and started teaching at Juilliard four years later.

Her son Dmitry Sitkovetsky is a London-based violinist and conductor. Her granddaughter is the soprano Julia Sitkovetsky.


  • Esfir Ross says:

    Happy birthday to Bella Davidovich whose art inspire me 60 years ago to study piano serious’

  • El Grillo says:

    She played beautifully all the Chopin Ballads, and didn’t even step on me, when I tried to chirp, having smashed myself on to the stage, who knows where I was trying to git 2

  • Saul Davis says:

    I well remember a solo recital she gave at Avery Fisher Hall, in which she played several pieces by Isaac Albeniz. She was a fine proponent of the art of a mixed recital program, one that often seems lost today.

  • Bruce says:

    Heard her about 35 years ago playing the Grieg concerto in Rochester. I still remember how she didn’t seem to be working for a “huge” sound out of the piano, and yet somehow you could still hear every note, no matter how soft. A formidable artist.

  • Mark says:

    A truly distinguished artist – her Chopin recordings are wonderful. Happy birthday and until 120 !

  • Tim Clancy says:

    I have just bought again her Beethoven sonatas album, #14, and #18 on vinyl. This is my favorite Mondschein recording. So gentle! Not available on dvd, but I had it converted. And it sounds wonderful since it was a brand new disc. Worth every bit of the $100 it cost me. Thank you so much Bella, and happy birthday from an admirer.