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Abbey Simon (b1922)

At the age of eight Abbey Simon began private studies with Josef Hofmann and at ten was awarded a scholarship by Hofmann to study at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where Hofmann was director. Simon studied with David Saperton, Dora Zaslavsky and Harold Bauer and also had private lessons in New York from Leopold Godowsky. When he was nineteen, Simon won the Naumberg Award, and this launched his career. He made his New York recital debut at Town Hall and during the 1940s played throughout America with many orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia, Chicago Symphony and the Minneapolis Symphony.

In 1949 Simon made his debut in Europe playing in Rome, Amsterdam and Paris. At his London debut in June at the Wigmore Hall he played a programme that included Brahms’s Variations on a theme by Paganini Op. 35. Subsequently, Simon toured the world playing in the Middle East, East Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and South America where he played five recitals in Caracas, four in Lima, five in Buenos Aires and three in Montevideo. Since that first tour of South America, Simon has returned there nine times.

Simon’s teaching career includes fourteen years at Indiana University, a post at the Juilliard School of Music in New York, and the Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor Chair at the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston. One of Simon’s most well known pupils is Frederic Chiu.




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