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Rosalyn Tureck (1914 - 2003)

Rosalyn Tureck’s parents were Russian émigrés and her grandfather was a cantor in Kiev. She taught herself the piano for four years before studying in Chicago with a pupil of Anton Rubinstein, Sophia Brilliant-Liven, and a pupil of Leschetizky, Jan Chiapusso. Chiapusso was an early music enthusiast who laid the foundation for Tureck’s predilection for Bach. Tureck also studied for a year with Gavin Williamson. She had played in public from the age of nine and by the time of her audition for the Juilliard School of Music she could play most of Bach’s forty-eight preludes and fugues from memory. At Juilliard Tureck studied with Olga Samaroff, and by the time she graduated she was a pianist of distinction with a wide repertoire. At her orchestral debut, given at the age of twenty-two, in Carnegie Hall with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Eugene Ormandy, Tureck played Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat Op. 83, and at the beginning of her career she played many large-scale works including Beethoven’s ‘Emperor’ Concerto Op. 73 and Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor Op. 18. However, a year after her debut, she gave a series of six Bach recitals at New York’s Town Hall where she played Das wohltemperierte Klavier complete, the ‘Goldberg’ Variations, the French and English Suites, the partitas, the Italian Concerto and miscellaneous other works. Tureck also performed a good deal of contemporary




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