Mandel, Alan (Roger)

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Mandel, Alan (Roger)

Mandel, Alan (Roger), gifted American pianist and teacher; b. N.Y., July 17, 1935. He began taking piano lessons with Hedy Spielter at the incredible underage of 3-1/2, and continued under her pianistic care until he was 17. In 1953 he entered the class of Rosina Lhévinne at the Juilliard School of Music in N.Y (B.S., 1956; M.S., 1957); later took private lessons with Leonard Shure (1957–60). In 1961 he obtained a Fulbright fellowship; went to Salzburg, where he studied advanced composition with Henze (diplomas in composition and piano, 1962); completed his training at the Accademia Monteverdi in Bolzano (diploma, 1963). He made his debut at N.Y/s Town Hall in 1948. In later years, he acquired distinction as a pianist willing to explore the lesser-known areas of the repertoire, from early American music to contemporary scores. He taught piano at Pa. State Univ. (1963–66), was head of the piano dept. at the American Univ. in Washington, D.C. (from 1966), and founded the Washington (D.C.) Music Ensemble (1980) with the aim of presenting modern music of different nations. As a pianist, he made numerous tours all over the globe. One of Mandel’s chief accomplishments was the recording of the complete piano works of Charles Ives. He composed a Piano Concerto (1950), Sym. (1961), piano pieces, and songs.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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