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Bolet, Jorge

Bolet, Jorge

Bolet, Jorge, brilliant Cuban-born American pianist; b. Havana, Nov. 15, 1914; d. Mountain View, Calif., Oct. 16, 1990. After training in Havana, he enrolled at the age of 12 as a scholarship student at the Curtis Inst. of Music in Philadelphia, where he studied with Saperton (piano) and Reiner (conducting); he also studied piano with Godowsky (1932–33) and Rosenthal (1935). In 1935 he made his European debut in Amsterdam, and in 1937 his U.S. debut in Philadelphia. He then continued his training with Serkin. In 1937 he received the Naumburg Prize, which led to his successful N.Y. debut that same year. In 1938 he won the Josef Hofmann Award. After serving as Serkin’s assistant at the Curtis Inst. (1939–42), he served in the military during World War II. Following the War, he pursued additional training with Chasins and then began to tour. However, it was not until the early 1960s that he gained wide recognition as a virtuoso in the grand Romantic manner. In subsequent years he toured all over the globe. He also served as prof, of music at the Ind. Univ. School of Music in Bloomington (1968–77), and then as head of the piano dept. at the Curtis Inst. (from 1977).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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