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His playing was characterized by a virtuoso technique and singing piano tone. Cherkassky's family fled to the United States to escape the Russian Revolution. His family was Jewish. Cherkassky's first music lessons were from his mother, Lydia Cherkassky, who once played for Tchaikovsky in St.
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She also taught the pianist Raymond Lewenthal. Before studying with Hofmann, however, Cherkassky auditioned for Sergei Rachmaninoff , who advised him to give up performing for at least two years and to change the position of his hands at the keyboard.
Conversely, Hofmann suggested Cherkassky should continue giving concerts, and this long association with public performance meant that Cherkassky felt comfortable before an audience. Hofmann also recommended that he practice for four hours every day and Cherkassky did this religiously throughout his life, maintaining an extensive repertoire baroque to Berio to an exacting standard. His studies and advisory sessions with Hofmann continued until In the interim he began his lifelong obsession with world travel with trips to Australia, New Zealand, the Far East, Russia and Europe.
Cherkassky performed actively until the end of his life, and many of his best recordings were made under live concert recital conditions. In the s Cherkassky moved to California. He also played Stravinsky 's Three Pieces from Petrushka for the composer, who advised him to use the 'una corda' pedal for certain loud passages in order to obtain a particular special effect.
In he married Eugenie Blanc, but divorced two years later. This concert resulted in Cherkassky's popularity in Germany and Austria Salzburg Festival which lasted until the end of his life and confirmed him as one of the foremost pianists of the day.
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It was after his Wigmore Hall recital of 27 March that Cherkassky's career accelerated in the United Kingdom, and, following the death of his mother in Nice in , he settled in London where he lived at The White House Hotel until his death in Cherkassky's love of spontaneity and his dislike of a fixed standard performance meant that some conductors were reluctant to work with him.
Language English View all editions Prev Next edition 3 of 3. Subjects Cherkassky, Shura. Pianists -- Biography. Summary "Shura Cherkassky's life story, like his music, is provocative and captivating.
At his death in , Cherkassky was considered one of history's greatest pianists, as well as the last direct link to the Romantic piano tradition of Chopin, Liszt, and Rubinstein. His story merits telling not only for his musical achievements but also for the inspiration he provided by demonstrating tenacity, integrity, common sense, and uncommon courage. Cherkassky began his musical career in Ukrainian Odessa at a time of lethal civil strife.
Escaping with his parents to America, the child prodigy came under the tutelage of famed pianist Josef Hofmann, whose unfailing personal and professional assistance continued for more than twenty years. He overcame poverty, prejudice against his Jewish origins, and unhappiness from his ambivalence over his homosexuality to forge an impressive touring and recording career, an enormous musical repertoire, and an intriguing personality both on stage and off.
From his sensational American debut tour to sold-out concerts on six continents, Shura Cherkassky retained his brilliance throughout a seventy-five year professional career.
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Contents Mother Russia Baltimore, Shura and the palmist : the season Prodigies compared : Shura and Jozio The Hofmann years : Around the world : Shattered : Oblivion to triumph : the postwar years Shura and the gramophone On stage A conductor's nemesis The last romantic? The house of Steinway On tour : U. Notes Includes bibliographical references and index. View online Borrow Buy Freely available Show 0 more links Set up My libraries How do I set up "My libraries"? Open to the public R N Open to the public. Open to the public ; held Book; Illustrated English Show 0 more libraries None of your libraries hold this item.
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