Abbey Simon – In Recital at Cal State Sacramento University Recital Hall – February 23, 1997 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
The legendary Abbey Simon in recital this week. Recorded for broadcast on February 23, 1997, at Cal State University Sacramento Recital Hall.
Because this is a raw broadcast master without any announcements, if you’re not familiar with the music; each piece ends when the applause starts. And each piece goes like this:
1. Beethoven: E-flat Major Sonata opus 81a (Les Adieux)
2. Schumann: Fantasie in C Major op. 17
3. Chopin: Douzes grandes Études, op. 10
1. Liebeslied (arr. Fritz Kreisler)
2. Dance of The Blessed Spirits – Gluck
3. Prelude in G-sharp Minor – Rachmaninoff.
Abbey Simon performed to critical acclaim. The critic Harold C. Schonberg of the New York Times once hailed Simon as a “supervirtuoso”. Boston Globe critic Richard Dyer wrote, “Simon’s recital offered more than a glimpse into the fabled golden age of piano playing…His virtuosity is marked not only by speed, power, lightness and accuracy but also by intricate interplay of voices and lambent colors.”
Simon toured in Europe, the Middle East, and the Pacific. He appeared with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony, and the Trenton Symphony Orchestra, among many others.
Simon gave master classes at the Royal Academy of Music in London, Royal Conservatory of The Hague, and the Geneva Conservatory. From 1960 to 1974, he was a faculty member at Indiana University, where he taught alongside his Curtis classmates Bolet and Foster. He also served on the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music, Hunter College, the Moores School of Music in Houston, and the Juilliard School of Music in New York City. His students include pianists Josef Verba, Eliza Garth, Frederic Chiu, Karen Shaw, John Kamitsuka, Erika Nickrenz, Richard Dowling, Elyane Laussade, Adrienne Park, Roger Wright, Garnet Ungar, Hsia-Jung Chang, Shelly Berg, Andrew Cooperstock, Daniel Glover, David Korevaar, Nancy Weems, Terence Yung and Martha Argerich.
In addition to performing, teaching, and recording as a musical artist, Abbey Simon served as a jury member of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, the Geneva International Music Competition, the Leeds International Piano Competition, the Clara Haskil International Piano Competition, the Sydney International Piano Competition, and the South Africa International Piano Competition.
Simon lived in Geneva, Switzerland. He maintained a home in Houston, Texas, where he was, from 1977 until his retirement in April 2019, Cullen Distinguished Professor of Music in the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston.
Simon died in Geneva on December 18, 2019, a few weeks shy of his 100th birthday.
On to the recital.
As you know, we’ve suspended indefinitely our ads in order to make Past Daily a better experience for you without all the distractions and pop-ups. Because of that, we’re relying more on your support through Patreon to keep us up and running every day. For as little as $5.00 a month you can make a huge difference as well as be able to download all of our posts for free (news, history, music). You’ll see a banner just below. Click on that and become a subscriber – it’s easy, painless and does a world of good.