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Chcisins, Abram

Chcisins, Abram

Chcisins, Abram, multitalented American pianist, teacher, writer on music, broadcaster, and composer; b. N.Y., Aug. 17, 1903; d. there, June 21, 1987. He was a student of Hutcheson (piano) and Goldmark (composition) at N.Y/s Juilliard School of Music. He also was a protégé of Hofmann, and later studied analysis with Tovey in London (1931). From 1926 to 1936 he taught at the Curtis Inst. of Music in Philadelphia, and later privately. He also was active as a pianist and composer. His most popular work for piano was the Three ChinesePieces (1928; orchestrated 1929), which became a favorite encore piece with piano virtuosos. Chasins was soloist in the first performances of his two piano concertos (Philadelphia, Jan. 18, 1929 and March 3, 1933). From 1941 to 1965 he presented classical music braodcasts on WQXR in N.Y. In 1949 he married his pupil Constance Keene, with whom he subsequently appeared in duo recitals. In 1972 he became musician-in-residence at the Univ. of Southern Calif, in Los Angeles, where he also was director of its radio station, KUSC (1972–77).

Writings

(all publ, in N.Y): Speaking of Pianists (1957; 3rded., rev., 1981); The Van Cliburn Legend (1959); The Appreciation of Music (1966); Music at the Crossroads (1972); Leopold Stokowski: A Profile (1979).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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