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Lazar Berman (1930 - 2005)

Berman’s first teacher was his mother, herself a pupil of Isabella Vengerova, but at an early age he had lessons from Savshinsky of the Leningrad Conservatory. Berman first played in public at the age of four, and at the age of seven he took part in a concert at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, subsequently being asked to record Mozart’s Fantasy in D minor K. 397, and a composition of his own. At nine, his parents moved to Moscow and he joined the Central Music School for Children, receiving tuition from Alexander Goldenweiser and making his debut the following year with the Moscow Philharmonic in Mozart’s Piano Concerto in C major K.503. When Berman moved on to the Conservatory, Goldenweiser continued to teach him. Although he finished his studies with Goldenweiser in 1953, he continued to receive further tuition from Maria Yudina, Heinrich Neuhaus, Sviatoslav Richter and Vladimir Sofronitsky, and performed in the USSR and Eastern Europe. ‘I did not work very often with Sofronitsky, whom I knew towards the end of his life, around 1958–1960. He has taught me how to get closer to the spirit of the music.’



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