How old do you think a pianist should stop recording? At age of 97, American pianist Ruth Slenczynska says not just yet. She is to lease a new album with classical label Decca in March.
Slenczynska was born in California, USA, in 1925, to an austere violinist father who wanted nothing but for his daughter to become an excellent musician. Started her musical training taught by her father at age of 3, debuting in Berlin at age of 6, Slenczynska was heralded one of the greatest child prodigies since Mozart, and considered the last living pupil of Sergei Rachmaninoff.
Five years-old Ruth Slenczynska played on TV in 1930
However, the punishing schedule of touring and practice imposed by her father caused great emotional stress, and by the age of 15 she withdrew from performing. But she never stopped playing piano, Slenczynska had reemerged on concert stage around 1951. Since then, she has not only often performed with major orchestras and conductors and played at inauguration and events for three American presidents, she also has taught music at college level and written a music textbook that is still in print to today.
In addition to the dedication to music education in the USA, Slenczynska also often travels internationally to spread her expertise and passion. Among Asian countries, Taiwan is one of her most visited destination. She recurrently took a guest lecture position and taught master classes in a university in Taipei, along with many public performances. Check out her wistful and lively teaching style in this video from her visit in 2018, you will understand why she left an unforgettable impression to her students, fellow musicians, and many audiences in Taiwan.
During the lockdown in spring 2020, Slenczynska even recorded a video clip of Beethoven’s piano sonata at home to celebrate the composer’s 250 th anniversary. Decca praised her playing as “sustained excellence.”
From her musical interpretation, we feel the love for music Ruth Slenczynska expresses through her fingertips. In her life stories, we learned that music is not only a skill but a lifetime of hobby and consolation to accompany people through the ups and downs in life. We are touched by the perseverance and the passion she maintains in a career of more than 90 years.
To read more about Ruth’s stories:
Text by: Ellie Pai /Licha Stelaus Productions
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Disclaimer: We are fans of great sound and music. We are not agent nor presenter of musicians featured on this post. We do not own the photos and videos in this blog - Licha Stelaus Productions