Gregor Piatigorsky - One of the greatest cellists of our time.

Gregor Piatigorsky - One of the greatest cellists of our time.
Gregor Piatigorsky – One of the greatest cellists of our time.

– Sum & Substance – Gregor Piatigorsky – Feb. 24, 1963 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection. –

Gregor Piatigorsky was once described as being one of the greatest string players of all time. One of the reasons had much to do with the amount of drama he infused into a piece of music. It conveyed a level of expression not many were able to duplicate. And because many of the compositions he played were by composers he had direct contact with either professionally or personally, it added greatly to the authenticity and authority of a piece.

Born in Russia in 1903, Piatigorsky began playing Cello at the age of 6. As a teenager, he fled to the West during the Soviet takeover and settled, first in Paris, and then in the U.S. in 1940.

In the late 1940s he became part of what was known in some circles as “The million Dollar Trio”, a group founded along with Arthur Rubinstein, and Jascha Heifetz, with William Primrose on occasion.

He was a much-admired teacher and held a legendary Master Class at USC in the 1960s.

This interview, done for the Sum & Substance series, features an informal chat between Piatigorsky and Herman Harvey, recorded on February 24, 1963.

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