Visiting Artist: Frank Glazer, piano

Chapin Hall
11/16/2012 - 8:00pm

Frank Glazer is a performer whose career encompasses much of the 20th century and is still going strong.

His success was predicted by composer Kurt Weill (most famous for his Three Penny Opera), who wrote to a friend after Mr. Glazer’s 1936 New York Town Hall debut at the age of 21, “I want to tell you that I enjoyed it very much. Frank Glazer is an excellent musician and a pianist of high qualities. The best test of his great talents for me was his fine interpretation of the Schubert Sonata (D.845) which is a very difficult work to perform, I am sure he will make his way through the concert halls of the world.”

As a teenager, Mr. Glazer performed in Vaudeville theaters on weekends. Many years later, Mr. Glazer had 49 of his own prime time TV shows on an NBC affiliate station. The success of these presentations led to appearances on NBC’s “Home Show” with Arlene Francis and Hugh Downes.

Aside from piano, Mr. Glazer had a wide variety of early music experiences: string bass and harp, studies with composer and pianist Artur Schnabel at Lake Como, organ services at an English church, and bass drum and glockenspiel in a military band during World War II.

Hailed by the legendary conductor Serge Koussevitzky as, “a most interesting and exceptionally gifted young artist whose compelling, sane, masculine temperament affords great pleasure,” Mr. Glazer received similar praise from renowned conductor George Szell, “I consider him among the very best of American pianists.” Eugene Ormandy said of Mr. Glazer, “I was deeply impressed by his wonderful art and fine interpretation. In my opinion Mr. Glazer is one of the finest pianists today.”

Mr. Glazer is the subject of a biography by Duncan J. Cumming, and has authored a book of his own about performance. He has released a wealth of recordings, and in 2011 was the recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from Bates College.

At his advanced age of 97, Mr. Glazer says he is still getting better.

On this concert, Mr. Glazer performs on Williams’ Bösendorfer Imperial grand piano. He performs the Toccata in D major, BWV 912 (Fantasia con Fuga) by J.S. Bach; Rondo in A minor, K. 511 by Mozart; and Sonata in C minor, op. 111 by Ludwig van Beethoven. In the second half. Mr. Glazer is joined by Scott Woolweaver, former Artist Associate in Viola at Williams. Together they perform Märchenbilder, Op. 113 by Robert Schumann and Sonata in E-flat Major, Op. 120, no. 2 by Johannes Brahms.

The Williams College Music Department’s Visiting Artist Series brings outstanding groups and soloists representing various musical styles and genres to the Williams campus to work with students and faculty and perform for the pleasure of all. Mr. Glazer will be performing on the college’s magnificent Bösendorfer Imperial grand piano.

Mr. Glazer also meets with Williams music students in master classes..

For the Thursday master class, open to the public:

For the closed Saturday master class:

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