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Ray Lev (1912 - 1968)

The Russian-born pianist Ray Lev (1912–1968) moved to the United States in 1913. Her father was a synagogue cantor, and her mother a concert singer. After studies in New Haven and New York, she was awarded the Matthay Prize in London, then studying with Tobias Matthay from 1930 to 1933. After World War II she was signed by the Concert Hall Society record company, for which she recorded many significant firsts. Among these was her own transciption of Bach’s Concerto No. 5 in D minor after Vivaldi’s Opus 3, No. 11, BWV 596. In this recording made in New York in 1946, Lev elicits from the piano an amazing dynamic range, from loud to soft whisper.


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