"I wanted to come face to face with a master: I recognised him as such." (Hélène Grimaud)

The legendary Cuban American pianist Jorge Bolet

Click here to1914-1990  "I wanted to come face to face with a master: I recognised him as such." (Hélène Grimaud) 


view:  full / summary

Marston Classical CDs Sidney Foster

Posted by Jorge Bolet website on 30 October, 2017 at 15:05 Comments comments (0)

This pianist's name is known to me only through occasionally being mentioned in biographies of Jorge Bolet.   He was the youngest pianist ever to be accepted at Curtis and was a contemporary of Bolet.

Sidney Foster (May 23, 1917 — February 7, 1977), born Sidney Earl Finkelstein, was an American virtuoso pianist and teacher. He was born in Florence, South Carolina, in 1917, the son of Louis Finkelstein, a jeweler, and Anna Diamond. In 1925 he moved to Miami, Florida and had piano lessons with Earl Chester Smith. After playing for pianist Josef Hofmann, then Director of the Curtis Institute, he was accepted as one of the youngest pupils ever of that celebrated institution. He was first assigned to the class of Isabelle Vengerova and later to American pianist David Saperton, the son-in-law of pianist Leopold Godowsky. [WIKIPEDIA]

MARSTON is issuing: Sidney Foster: Rediscovering an American Master =  http://https://www.marstonrecords.com/pages/future

He was "undoubtedly one of the greatest pianists of his time, but he is all but unknown today, and made almost no commercial recordings. In 1993, the International Piano Archives at the University of Maryland issued a two-CD set of Foster performances taken from live concerts. This year Marston is celebrating Foster's centenary by issuing a five-CD set of solo and concerto performances from live concerts, never before issued. Foster's breath-taking virtuosity, the volcanic intensity he was capable of unleashing, and his beautiful sound, are immediately apparent, but it is his gift of supreme music-making that places him solidly in the top rank of twentieth century pianists."

Sidney Foster plays Delibes-Dohnanyi "Naila" Waltz in 1968 (a live recording) =  http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XN4nEj5cydg

Francis Crociata tells me that Bolet recorded this piece in the 1960s, possibly in England, but the recording has not yet surfaced.  Anyone know of its whereabouts? 

[He performed it on 20 December 1929 at Curtis.  I also have a record for the year1942: The Windsor Daily Star (Ontario, Canada) - 30 May 1942 -  "The famous pianist, visiting Mr Raymond F[ayette] Stove[r] [of Shadowlawn at St. Clare Shores], will present a concert tomorrow at the Detroit Golf Club, at 8.30, including Albeniz El Albaicin and Von Dohnanyi’s Waltz from the ballet Naila of Delibes."]

Brooklyn October 1977 Tchaikovsky

Posted by Jorge Bolet website on 29 October, 2017 at 9:55 Comments comments (2)

21-23 October 1977

The Brooklyn Philharmonia's subscription season got off to a thrilling start Friday night at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. As with all five programs on the orchestra's major 1977‐78 subscription series, the concert consisted of works by a single composer, in this case Tchaikovsky. Lukas Foss, the orchestra's regular conductor, was in charge, and Jorge Bolet was the soloist in the Piano Concerto No. 1.

It was a stirring combination. Mr. Foss is a natural Romantic whose identification with such music is contagious. As for Mr. Bolet, he is a virtuoso whose sovereign command of the keyboard enables him to shift effortlessly from thunderous eruptions to featherweight pianissimos.

In Mr. Bolet's performance, the big chain of octaves in the concerto's outer movements were not merely fast and assured, but suavely shaped, and illuminated by flashes of color. If there was very little of the demonic intensity of a Horowitz or a Weissenberg, Mr. Bolet played with power and elegance to spare.

Both Mr. Foss and Mr. Bolet had strong, idiomatic ideas about how the work should go. After a fairly serious disagreement over tempo near the start, they settled into a richly satisfying collaboration.


Australian pianist Piers Lane speaks about Bolet

Posted by Jorge Bolet website on 29 October, 2017 at 9:50 Comments comments (0)

Piers Lane

But it was masterclasses with that great Romantic, the Cuban Jorge Bolet, that I was most touched by. I played Gaspard de la Nuit to him in Seattle in 1979 and he invited me to take part in his classes during the Edinburgh Festival later that year – a week of them. We worked through the Liszt Sonata and Stravinsky’s Petrouchka among other pieces and I learned all sorts of new pedaling ideas. The sonorities and rubato he achieved, his cantabile, the focus of his concentration and sheer knowledge of the score left an indelible impression

Rachmaninov 2

Posted by Jorge Bolet website on 29 October, 2017 at 9:45 Comments comments (0)

 Someone has uploaded a rather fuller version of this performance with BBC Scottish Symphony in the Usher Hall Edinburgh 10th November 1984.  So nice to see the urbane Michael Oliver introducing it.


Switzerland on the AUDITE recordings

Posted by Jorge Bolet website on 29 October, 2017 at 9:40 Comments comments (0)

I had not fully appreciated that Bolet knew the first volume (Switzerland) of the Années de Pélèrinage and had it in his repertoire. I had always assumed he had learned the whole volume for the DECCA recording in the 1980s.

American Liszt Society Tribute to Jorge Bolet Indiana

Posted by Jorge Bolet website on 29 October, 2017 at 9:20 Comments comments (0)

American Liszt Society – “A Tribute to Jorge Bolet”

Faculty/Guest Recital

Friday, November 10, 2017

8:00 pm

Jacobs School of Music, University of Indiana at Bloomington


Jorge Bolet RIAS Berlin recordings 1960s/70s

Posted by Jorge Bolet website on 29 October, 2017 at 9:05 Comments comments (1)

I see that in November a German CD company AUDITE is issuing radio recordings which Jorge Bolet made for RIAS Berlin in the 1960s; more details at their website:


where you can also download the booklet:


A second volume is promised.