Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Great Piano Teacher Remembered

Joseph Bloch
Interesting piece about one who was obviously a fascinating person.

Joseph Bloch, a pianist and scholar who taught piano literature at the Juilliard School for more than 40 years, passed away this month at the age of 91, culminating a life of musical discovery and high adventure. Along the way, he guided generations of pianists around the world, some of whom stayed in touch for over five decades. He was not unlike the prized Lagavulin Scotch whisky with which he welcomed visitors to his Larchmont, N.Y., home: cultivated, singular and awe-inspiring.

Lagavulin is a single malt scotch whisky. (Aye, without the e.)

"And there was always that rapier wit," says Robin McCabe, now professor and director of the University of Washington's School of Music. "Once he was telling me about a semester of Liszt he was planning and I asked him how he was going to organize all that repertoire. 'By mistresses,' he replied."

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