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letters from April and May, 2003
[Önder duo] [Edna Griebel] [Philippa Schuyler] [Germaine Thyssens] [Ilana Vered] [Edith Farnadi] [Madoka Inui] [Lubka Kolessa] [Elena Hammel]

Subj: Duos
Date: 4/3/2003
From: roby1 at blueyonder.co.uk
To: PianoWomenEditor at aol.com

Dear Ms Eide-Altman,

Firstly, thank-you for forwarding the message you received regarding Ms Markova. It is nice to know someone else recalls her even though she seems to have disappeared from view now. Secondly could I add a 'sister-act' duo to your list - they are a young Turkish duo by the name of Ferhan and Ferzan Önder (their web-page is www.ferhan-ferzan.com)(editor's note: biography in English at http://www.primusic.at/solisten/bios-e/oender.htm). I have two of their cds and was lucky enough to catch them at London's Wigmore Hall in December of last year. They gave the British premiere of Vivaldi's 4 seasons in a transcription by Antun Tomislav Saban as well as Rakhmaninov's first Suite and delightfully witty and incisive renditions of Liszt's 2nd Hungarian Rhapsodie and Lutoslawski's Paganini Variations (to a packed and enthusiastic house I might add). Afterwards they were utterly charming and chatty, talking about their playing and enthusing about future projects. I was impressed with the range of touch and colour they brought to their performances - the Vivaldi isn't ideally suited to two-piano treatment but in certain sections, notably in the winter concerto, there were moments when I was lost in the sound that they were creating. Their level of communication and ensemble were exemplary (almost spooky to watch at times). I have only seen one other duo live - the Labeque sisters (4 times now) and though I thoroughly love their playing I don't think I ever got that 'tingle' from just the way they communicated (plenty of tingle from the playing of course!). All in all one of the most pleasant evenings I have spent.

Best wishes,
Robert Challinor


Subj:Edna Griebel
Date: 4/5/2003
From: vicgarten at msn.com
To: PianoWomenEditor at aol.com

Dear Editor

My sweet aunt Edna Griebel was a pianist and a composer. She lived around the turn of the century and lived in New York. I have her music that she wrote for piano and various instruments. Some piano pieces are published. She studied piano with C Virgil Gordon and theory and composition at the Institute of Musical Art, now Juillard. It was suggested to me by a women music student, piano and composition, that someone might be interested in doing a doctorate thesis on her since. If you how I would go about finding someone, would you please let me know. I live in Southern California.

Thanking you in advance for your kind consideration, I remain
Yours faithfully, Victoria

-----------------------------------

Subj: Re: Edna Griebel
Date: 4/5/2003
To: vicgarten at msn.com

Dear Victoria,

Thank you for visiting "Women at the Piano" and letting us know about your aunt. I haven't had a chance to look in references for her but she is probably listed in Cohen's book on women composers, among others. The fact that there are so many notable women in music is my reason for developing this site and it is my hope that students will look upon these important figures of our musical heritage as possible thesis/research subjects. I don't know anyone personally who may be interested but will gladly publish you letter on the site in the letters to the editor (in the next update) and someone may read it and take it as a challenge.

All the best,
Rose Eide-Altman


Subj: Philippa Schuyler
Date: 4/8/2003
From: cdtp at sympatico.ca
To: PianoWomenEditor at aol.com

I would love to hear a Philippa Schuyler recording. Would you possibly have any leads on where I might go to find one of her recordings.
C. Philips


Subj: Germaine Thyssens
Date: 4/11/2003
From: jkarman at zonnet.nl
To: PianoWomenEditor at aol.com

Dear Editor,

By accident I came across a statement of yours on Germaine Thyssens-Valentin, mentioned as a "french pianist". I'd like to say that Germaine Thyssens-Valentin was born in Maastricht (The Netherlands), so I think she's Dutch. I've got a CD (of course re-mastered) from the original recordings with her perfomance of Fauré's Barcarolles. Despite the recordings are "mono" it is a remarkable perfomance, I never heard them being played so clearly and balanced - a definitely recommendable CD!

Jan Karman
Sint Pieterstraat 9
4331 ET Middelburg
tel. +31 (0) 118 617608

-----------------------------

Dear Jan Karman,

Thank you very much for for visiting "Women at the Piano" and clarifying the nationality of Germaine Thyssens-Valentin. The writer of the email, sent to me on Jan. 5, 2003, which lumped her in with other French pianists may have merely been implying "French-trained" pianists. Thyssens-Valentin, along with the CD you mention and 3 others, is included in Charles Timbrell's book "French Pianism" listing of "French-trained pianists". I appreciate your recommendation of her CD! In a web search I see that her recording of Faure's Nocturnes won the "Gramophone 2002 Historic Reissue Award". I wasn't aware of her important contribution to recording history as a Faure interpreter before you mentioned this error. Your email, with her correct nationality, will appear in my next "Letters to the Editor" column to inform our readers. If you have any other biographical information on her I would be happy to include it. Sincerely,
Rose Eide-Altman

----------------------------------

Subj: Re: Germaine Thyssens
Date: 4/12/2003
From: jkarman at zonnet.nl
To: PianoWomenEditor at aol.com

Dear Mrs Eide-Altman,
Thank you for your fast response!
The information I gave you (and more) is all in the booklet that comes with the CD, so it is generally known data. Despite this fact, her name is not in my generally well-documented encyclopdia! Gabriel Fauré is a remarkable composer, and without Fauré one could not well understand modern music, because of his daring and unconventional composing technics. He can be considered as the "hinge" between old and new music. I'm studying now his Nocturnes and Barcarolles, not a sinecure, and I once performed (for a low profile audience) his 8th Nocturne. This piece is included in his op. 84 (Pičces Bręves) as nr. 8.

In your listings I didn't find the piano-women Clara Haskill nor Henriette Bosmans, the latter also being a composer. Especially Haskill was a famous Mozart interpret. They are both about the same period as was Germaine Thyssen-Valentin.

Sincerely,
Jan Karman

(note from editor: Clara Haskil has been on this site since the beginning, but with only one l in Haskil)

----------------------

Subj: Re: Germaine Thyssens
Date: 4/12/2003
From: jkarman at zonnet.nl
To: PianoWomenEditor at aol.com

Dear Rose Eide-Altman,

Sorry, I forgot to mention a remarkable fact from the biography of Germaine Thyssens, which could be in particular interesting for your website. Germaine Thyssens married to Mr Valentin and she was blessed with five children. In order to raise her family she put her career "on ice", in the words of the author of the booklet I mentioned before, and picked it up again after 25 years!

Sincerely,
Jan Karman


Subj: Recordings by Ilana Vered
Date: 4/23/2003
From: swen at phys.lsu.edu
To: PianoWomenEditor at aol.com

Dear Editor

Where can I find a list of recordings by her? Her Rachmaninoff 2nd piano concerto (DECCA) is my favorite one. I am especially interested if she ever recorded the 3rd piano concerto? Thank you.

Regards
Shyang Wen


Subj: farnadi
Date: 4/30/2003
From: tfoley1791
To: PianoWomenEditor

Interesting that I just purchased an old Westminster (1956?) recording of Edith Farnadi and Hermann Scherchen and the Vienna Philharmonic doing Bartok's Nos. 2 and 3 piano concerto. If Farnadi was still on the Budapest Conservatory faculty in 1942, this would make her only 21 years old.

tom foley
chicago

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Subj: Re: farnadi
Date: 4/30/2003
To: tfoley1791

Dear Tom Foley,

Thank you for visiting "Women at the Piano" and bringing to light this unusual situation. Edith Farnadi is one of the few women whose dates seem undisputable in their consistancy between record jackets and biographical dictionaries. They all state that she was born Sept. 25, 1921, was accepted into the Budapest Franz Liszt Academy of Music at age 9, graduated in 1938 at age 16 and began teaching there in 1940. By 1942 she began an active concert career that peaked in the 1950's. She also went on to teach at the Hochschule fur Musik in Graz. Even more remarkable is the concert she gave at age 12 in which she conducted from the keyboard Beethoven's C major concerto. This was mentioned in every source and probably greatly contributed to her ability to graduate by 16 and teach by 18 or 19. Surprising the only date of discrepancy is her death date, some stating Dec. 12 and some Dec. 14, 1973. You'd think that would be verifiable! The sources I used included several editions of Baker, Thompson and Groves as well as the biography paragraph on the record jackets of many of her records as found in the International Piano Archives at Maryland (IPAM). The several Westminster labels I looked at all included the same biography. She was definately precocious, most would say a child prodigy!

Sincerely,
Rose Eide-Altman
editor, Women at the Piano
www.pianowomen.com

---------------------------

Subj: Re: farnadi
Date: 4/30/2003
From: tfoley1791
To: PianoWomenEditor

Dear Rose:

I have yet to hear Farnadi because my record player is not hooked up. But I have the highest regard for her talent and career. I am amazed that so many pianists have slipped into oblivion - and so many women of the past too. I have always been impressed with the dedication and sincerity of all musicians I meet. The study, the practice, the devotion to the art of music...it's almost overwhelming sometimes when I think of it.

I am impressed that Farnadi taught at the Hochschule fur Musik in Graz. I have many friends there and it is my favorite place to visit when I go to Europe. I have heard many superb student concerts over the years and the school's reputation is world class.

I am curious if you are aware of my good friend Corey Cerovsek, a violinist from Bloomington, Indiana? His sister Katja was a top student of Pressler at Indiana and acccompanied Corey up to a year ago when she decided to enroll at Georgetown law school

All the best to you and your music endeavors.

tom


Subj: submit site
Date: 5/1/2003
From: dagmar.kaindl at chello.at
To: PianoWomenEditor at aol.com

Dear Mrs. Eide-Altman,

again I would suggest to submit the website of young pianist Madoka Inui born in Japan, residing in Vienna.
Madoka (first name) Inui (second name)
www.madokamusic.com.
On the one hand her second recording (works for clarinet and piano with Vienna Philharmonic soloist Peter Schmidl, NAXOS) appeared four weeks ago, and the first reviews in leading Austrian papers (Kurier, Presse, Kleine Zeitung) were excellent. On May, 20th the recording will appear in the USA, it is available right now in Japan and it will come out worldwide later this year. The series with Mrs. Inui and Vienna soloists, heavily featured by NAXOS, will be continued until ten (next will be the horn).

On the other hand the homepage itself is a piece of artwork, winning the Golden Web Award (just as yours), offering e. g. solo and chamber music pieces for free download, each link accompanied by music from Chopin concerto Nr. 1 to Liszt, Alban Berg, Richard Strauss and Beethoven (Schumann to follow, not yet recorded).

So: thanks again, and it is always great pleasure to visit your beautiful and informative site!

Yours Heinz Sichrovsky (Vienna)


Subj: About Lubka Kolessa?
Date: 5/17/2003
From: atekh at ukr.net
To: PianoWomenEditor at aol.com

Dear Rose,

While looking for information about Lubka Kolessa I have found your very interesting and important site. Now I live in Kyiv, Ukraine. Five years ago I've completed my research paper (I've graduated from High Music Institute in Lviv as a musicologist) dedicated to this fascinating pianist and wonderful woman. My degree work is based on numerous reviews on her performances all around the world (Ukrainian, German, Polish, Russian, Bulgarian, Holland, Swiss, Argentine). Unfortunately Lubka Kolessa wasn't well-known in Ukraine during the period of USSR, so-called "cold war" because of the fact that almost her whole life she had been living in the "bourgeois West". And after Ukraine gained its independence in 1991, Ukrainian musicologists begun returning this great performer into our culture. Now I'm working on the book about Lubka Kolessa because in Ukraine there is no full edition about this famous person. I have some biographic information but I feel the lack of information, especially about her Canadian period, but only few reviews and some information about her pedagogical work. I try to set connection with her son Igor, and on your site I've read letters from Sir Bill C., who was friend of Igor and met Lubka Kolessa. So I would like to ask you to give me his contacts. I hope maybe Sir Bill could be so nice to tell me some memoirs about Lubka Kolessa and give me some important information for my book about this great artist. I think that so magnificent world-famous person must be studies and recognized in her homeland. I will be very thankful for your answer and help. Maybe I can be useful for your site and give you some additional information about Lubka Kolessa.

Best regards,
music journalist Victoria Bobytska

(editor's note: unfortunately the contact information for "Sir Bill" is no longer available and any information a reader can give this journalist would be appreciated)


Subj: Suggestions for website
Date: 5/31/2003
From: EHPianist
To: PianoWomenEditor

Hello,
I have been asked by several of our fans to recommend our website to be listed in Piano Women. There are two, one (http://www.concertpianist.com) takes you to both my solo website as well as the website of my piano duo, the Dúo Hammel - Sánchez, and the other (http://www.pianofourhands.com) takes you directly to the duo site. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions. Thanks.

Kindest Regards,
Elena Hammel
http://www.concertpianist.com


this page published October 19, 2003
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