She was Rachmaninoff’s last disciple and played for four US presidents. He just recorded a CD, My Life in Music. She first appeared at the age of six. I never had a teenage girl
I was born in Sacramento, California to Polish parents and am proud of my Slavic roots. Ruth Slinzenska He made his concert debut at the age of 4, and 93 years later he still plays here. She was Rachmaninoff’s last student, and played for four US presidents. And he just recorded a CD, my life in museful. She is small, slightly curved, has short white hair and glasses; Very clear and full of energy.
Let’s start with Rachmaninov?
Well, it is related to lessons and many cups of tea. I have a wonderful gift from her, a bracelet with a miniature Faberge egg. I’ll tell her how we met. I was so young, had to cancel a concert due to elbow problems, and his manager didn’t want to lose his paycheck, so I called my dad and asked if I could play with him. It was a huge success and Rachmaninov wanted to meet me. I was nervous, my father pushed me into the room with the composer trying to relieve my tension by showing me a picture while he was in his boat on a lake. He told me he likes to run madly on the water, and come back to give me lessons.
What keeps it so active?
Listen, I don’t feel like a survivor at all. But I would like to say encouragement and affection from my old friends and students. The more you care about others, the more you care. It is what makes the world go round, gives joy and nurtures creativity.
How did you react when Decca asked you to record a CD, 60 years after the previous one?
I was so surprised… at my age! My first record of them dates back to 1956.
I have performed for many American presidents.
At the time of Hoover’s concert I was five, and then Truman with whom I played a four-hand cut, at the opening of JF: Kennedy, for Reagan, the only Republican I voted for, I remember his wife, Nancy, recommended speaking loudly because her husband’s hearing was difficult. Finally, my sister Carter worked with him in Georgia, and when he became president, he told her with a certain rudeness that he had to invite me to play. With Truman, it was exciting. I was supposed to play in the Constitution Room in Washington. My home phone rang, and a mysterious voice told me that a government car would soon come to pick me up, adding that she could not give me more information and not ask questions. When the car rolled into the entrance to the White House, I was stunned. We musicians are accustomed to entering through the artists’ side entrance… I found myself among the Marines in full uniform, I walked from one hall to the next, not knowing where to look. A door opened and the President of the United States met me. He told me: We have to train, we don’t have much time. We played Adagio from Mozart’s Sonata. And he wasn’t bad at all as a pianist. I gave a useful narration to Michelle Obama, I heard I gave a useful gala for a black college in the Midwest. Among the greats of the earth, she played with Michiko, who was an empress, the wife of Emperor Akihito from 89 to 2019. She was the first to marry a member of the imperial family in Japan. He’s read that I look cute but not great. Then I played in Liszt’s Studio 4 and went to the keyboard until it touched me, she wanted to better see my hand moving all over the place.
In 1989 he played at Horowitz’s Funeral.
He was a friend. When he listened to my record of Chopin’s studies, he invited me to his house, he was curious to see how I had manipulated some passages. He spoke to me in French at parties with his wife while playing cards with friends.
How was your adolescence like?
I’ve never had one before, I wasn’t a kid. My father was a tyrant and he pushed me to become a musician at any cost, saw me as a money-making machine, and chased after me with a magic wand, to beat me if I didn’t agree to it. He forced me to play Chopin every day before breakfast.
What do you remember about your debut?
I was six years old, I was in Berlin. The stage director at the end of the party wanted to give me a beautiful doll, my father went up on stage and said: Get away from that doll. I was not allowed to touch it.
A pianist is like an athlete, there are physical and technical aspects that cannot be ignored…
Are you referring to flexibility? I have never had problems with tendons because I train methodically and methodically, at first slowly, then increase and strengthen the study.
How has the music changed?
Haste today is a great evil. One learns in such a short time that there is no way to go deeper.
How did you choose the songs on the CD?
They bring me back to the people I’ve met in my life. Samuel Barber, who was my fellow student and friend, once told me: You have to make the beauty of music feel and not show how good the hell you are. When I play Chopin I remember the lessons of Cortot. Bach brings me back to Schnabel who was very thorough….
Kisen, Primakov, Thebodet and Yoga Wang.
reading and walking.
I’m looking forward, never going back.
Apr 23, 2022 (change on Apr 23, 2022 | 21:41)
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