Shura Cherkassky: The Piano's Last Czar (Hardback)
  • Shura Cherkassky: The Piano's Last Czar (Hardback)
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Shura Cherkassky: The Piano's Last Czar (Hardback)

(author)
£54.95
Hardback 328 Pages / Published: 12/01/2006
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Shura Cherkassky's life story, like his piano playing, is provocative and captivating. At his death in 1995, Cherkassky was considered one of history's greatest pianists, as well as the last direct link to the Romantic piano tradition of Chopin, Liszt, and Anton Rubinstein. Cherkassky's story merits telling not only for his musical achievements but also for the inspiration he provided by demonstrating tenacity, integrity, common sense, and uncommon courage. Cherkassky began his concert playing life in Ukrainian Odessa at a time of lethal civil strife. Escaping with his parents to America, the child prodigy came under the tutelage of famed pianist Josef Hofmann, whose unfailing personal and professional assistance continued for more than twenty years. Cherkassky overcame poverty, prejudice against his Jewish origins, and unhappiness from his ambivalence over his homosexuality to forge an impressive touring and recording career, an enormous musical repertoire, and an intriguing personality both on stage and off. From his sensational 1923 American debut tour to sold-out concerts on six continents, Cherkassky retained his brilliance throughout a seventy-five year professional career. As a close friend for his last twenty years, author Elizabeth Carr traveled with Cherkassky on tour, attending recording and rehearsal sessions and watching him practice, plan programs, and cope with pianos, acoustics, conductors, and orchestras. Her role as confidante results in a keen understanding of Cherkassky both as a human being and a performer. Through observations, anecdotes, sixteen pages of photos, and personal correspondence reprinted in the book, this biography offers extensive research never before published, and an intimate look at the man and his music.

Publisher: Scarecrow Press
ISBN: 9780810854109
Number of pages: 328
Weight: 449 g
Dimensions: 232 x 155 x 18 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Shura Cherkassky's extraordinary career was marked by individuality, tenacity and a lifelong passion for the piano. Elizabeth Carr's close association with the artist, coupled with her first-hand experience in the world of classical piano and her highly developed powers of observation, make her the ideal person to chronicle this unique pianist's fascinating life. -- John Guinn, Music Critic * Detroit Free Press *
Shura Cherkassky was one of the most outrageously gifted pianists of the last century. His personality was as colorfully unique as his touch on the piano. Elizabeth Carr's comprehensive account of the man and his career compels the reader with its deeply affectionate understanding, respect, and brimful detail. -- Piers Lane, Australian Concert Pianist and Professor, Piano, Royal Academy of Music, London
Based on extensive research and interviews, this biography of the Russian pianist Shura Cherkassky (1909-1995) traces his life and career from his training with Josef Hofmann at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and his American debut, to his long recording and performance careers, style, and influence of the Romanticism of Chopin, Liszt, and Rubinstein. Many facsimiles of letters and concert programs are interspersed, and a discography is included. * Reference and Research Book News *
Much has been written about composers and not enough about those artists who bring musical compositions alive with their performance. Elizabeth Carr has made a notable contribution with this carefully researched and engrossing life of Shura Cherkassky, a very great pianist. -- Henry Z. Steinway, Steinway Pianos

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