Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Cliburn jury of stars

To my delight there are fanatics out there besides me who demand to know who all the people are in my famous picture of the jury of the historic first Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, held in 1962!

So here is the lineup. This comes to you courtesy of Leonard Pennario, the juror third-to-left in the last row, the tanned and good-looking one. Pennario was the youngest jury member. He treated his jury booklet like a high school yearbook and had all the jurors sign it and they all wrote stuff about what a cut-up he was. Anyway, so I know who everyone is.


Back row: Luis Herrera de la Fuente; Rudolph Ganz; my friend LP; Jorge Bolet; Leopold Mannes; Angelo Eagon; Serge Saxe (the jury chairman); Ame Motonari Iguchi; Lev Oborin. Oborin came from the Moscow Conservatory.

Front row: Lili Kraus is at left and at right is Yara Bernette. Her real name was Bernette Epstein. I get a kick out of that.

I do not remember the name of the woman to the left of Van Cliburn. I believe Pennario told me she was some kind of administrator. It may have been Grace Ward Lankford ... I think I am reading her writing right. She wrote a message in Pennario's booklet about what a joy it was to have him there.

Mrs Lankford, you betcha!

Wow, looking those pianists, you think of all that monster technique. Those guys in the back row. Ravel dedicated "Scarbo" to Rudolph Ganz. Then you had Jorge Bolet and his knuckle-busting performances. And of course Pennario and "La Valse."

What titans.

1 comment:

  1. Viel danke!! Many of the jurors I do not know. I have an old LP of Lili Krause's graceful performances of Mozart's concertos K. 246 & 282. Conductor, Stephan Simon. Label, Columbia. Orchestra, "The Vienna Festival Orchestra" doubt a moonlighting Vienna Phil. I'm probably wrong, but I'm accepting this post as a personal favor. Thanks again.