March 01, 2002

No Space for an Apple to Fall

Pianist Stanislav Neygauz (1927-1980) was born on March 8, seventy-five years ago. Relatives of the musician recall how a young Neygauz would play for up to 12 hours, until his fingers would bleed, so inspired and obsessed was he with his music. Neygauz began his studies at the Moscow Conservatory in 1945. There, his teacher was his father, the outstanding pianist Henrich Neygauz (1888-1964). Neygauz Jr. completed his post-graduate course at the conservatory in 1953 and was thus entrusted with his own class of future pianists. “One must make the piano sing,” said this premier interpreter of Chopin and Scriabin. His performances were distinguished by the ability to evoke a tremendous nobility from the piano, and by a soft, almost invisible touching of the keyboard. The auditoriums at his concerts were so full “that there was no space left even for an apple to fall,” as the press wrote at the time.

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