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Simon Barere (1896 - 1951)

Barere was the eleventh of thirteen children, and the death of his father found young Simon using his pianistic talents in cinemas and cafés, earning money to help support the large family. His initial training was at the Imperial Academy in Odessa, but when he was sixteen his mother died and he respected her wish for him to obtain the best possible musical education. He made his own way to St Petersburg where he played at the Conservatory for director Alexander Glazunov and two formidable members of the piano staff, Annette Essipov and Isabella Vengerova: all were astounded at the talent of the young man. Glazunov took Barere under his wing, sparing him the formal entrance examinations. He also ensured that Barere would stay seven years at the Conservatory and thus avoid conscription into the army. Barere studied piano with Essipov until her death in 1914, whereupon he continued with Felix Blumenfeld, whose pupils included Vladimir Horowitz and Heinrich Neuhaus.




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