Oskar Morawetz – Fantasy On A Hebrew Theme – Rose Goldblatt, Piano – CBC Radio 1958 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
Music of Czech/Canadian compose Oskar Morawetz as performed by pianist Rose Goldblatt from this CBC Radio broadcast in 1958.
Oskar Morawetz was born in Světlá nad Sázavou in Czechoslovakia on January 17, 1917 and died in Toronto on June 13, 2007. He studied piano and theory in Prague and, following the Nazi takeover of his country in 1938, studied in Vienna and Paris, always staying one step ahead of the invading Nazis. At an early age he developed the ability to sight-read orchestral scores and at the age of 19 he was recommended by George Szell for the assistant conductor’s post with the Prague Opera. In 1940 he left Europe for Canada and since that time he has established himself as one of Canada’s leading and most frequently performed composers.
His orchestral compositions have been programmed in North and South America, Europe, Australia and Asia by nearly 120 orchestras and by such outstanding conductors as Zubin Mehta, Seiji Ozawa, Rafael Kubelik, Kurt Masur, Gunther Herbig, Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Adrian Boult, Sir Charles Mackerras, William Steinberg and many prominent Canadian conductors. Many internationally acclaimed soloists have performed and recorded his compositions including cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Itzhak Perlman, pianists Glenn Gould, Rudolf Firkušný and Anton Kuerti, Metropolitan Opera singers Jon Vickers, Maureen Forrester, Victor Braun, Louis Quilico, Judith Forst and Ben Heppner, and many principal wind players of the best orchestras in the U.S.A. and Canada who have commissioned and premièred his works.
Rose Goldblatt. Pianist, teacher, administrator, b Montreal 28 Aug 1913, d Montreal 30 Sep 1997; ARCM 1935. She began piano studies in 1918 at the Canadian Academy of Music in Montreal with Boris Dunev and Arthur Letondal, gave her first public recital at the Windsor Hotel, at six, and continued studies with Stanley Gardner in 1922. Awarded the five-year Strathcona scholarship of the RCM in 1929, she studied with Kendall Taylor (piano), Harold Craxton (theory), and Patrick Hadley (composition) 1930-5, making her London debut in 1935. Subsequently she worked with the Busoni disciple Egon Petri in New York. Throughout this period, she also received the Cécile Léger Scholarship awarded by the Ladies’ Morning Musical Club.
Returning to Montreal, she performed for many decades on radio and as soloist with the Little Symphony of Montreal, the CBC Symphony Orchestra, the Montreal Women’s Symphony Orchestra, and the McGill Chamber Orchestra, on CBC TV’s ‘L’Heure du Concert,’ and gave two-piano recitals with Stanley Gardner. She also toured the USA, playing at New York’s Town Hall, Chicago’s Kimball Hall, and elsewhere. An early promoter of contemporary Canadian composition, she introduced much Canadian music to North American audiences and many works (eg, by Istvan Anhalt, Violet Archer, Wolfgang Bottenberg, Alexander Brott, Albertine Caron-Legris, Maurice Dela, Marvin Duchow, George Fiala, and Hector Gratton) were dedicated to her.
More to come.
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