Juilliard grads mourn a popular piano teacher

Ex-students are reporting the death yesterday of Martin Canin, 89, who spent more than half a century at Juilliard, first as assistant to his own teacher Rosina Lhévinne and on the faculty from 1976 to 2016.

He also taught at Stony Brook University and the Bowdoin International Music Festival.


Min Kwon writes: Today was a devastating day for me.  I lost my beloved teacher Martin Canin at Juilliard, where he had been a stellar, powerhouse teacher for 50 years until his retirement in 2016.

During my 5 years as his student (MM, DMA), I learned much, while always struggling to do better. Over the ensuing 19 years, I kept in contact. I would go to play for him. He would come to cheer me on in my and my students’ concerts. His wife Fiorella and my husband Len would often join us for dinners too. Mr. Canin graciously served as faculty of CME Festivals and also taught many of my doctoral students as my sabbatical replacement at Rutgers.

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  • Marty and I sat next to each other in Peter Mennin’s Contemporary Music Seminar at Juilliard in 1957 – a good friend, great pianist and an exemplary teacher.RIP

  • I knew Martin Canin for 60 years, first as his student and later as his friend. He was Best Man at my wedding. He was one of the best people I have ever known. And a wonderful pianist, whose playing was admired by Glenn Gould. His playing career was ended by a hand problem. It is a shame that his Carter Sonata, which I heard him play multiple times, was never recorded. It was really special, to me, and more importantly, to Elliott Carter. His Schubert D. 959 was similarly wonderful and never recorded.

    I treasure the old scores from my student days with his written suggestions, but they are not a substitute for the man. I will miss him greatly.

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