Masselos, William

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Masselos, William

Masselos, William, American pianist and teacher; b. Niagara Falls, N.Y., Aug. 11, 1920; d. N.Y., Oct. 23, 1992. He studied at N.Y.’s Inst. of Musical Art and the Juilliard Graduate School, his principal mentors being Friedberg (piano), Salmond and Persinger (ensemble playing), and Wagenaar (theory); later he studied with Saperton and Dounis. In 1939 he made his debut in N.Y., and subsequently appeared as a soloist with orchs. and as a recitalist in the U.S. In later years he also toured in Europe. He taught at Ind. Univ. in Bloomington (1955–57), the Catholic Univ. of America in Washington, D.C. (1965–71; 1976–86), Ga. State Univ. in Atlanta (1972–75), and the Juilliard School (from 1976). Masselos acquired a fine reputation as an exponent of modern music. He gave the belated premiere of Ives’s 1st Piano Sonata (1949), as well as the premieres of Copland’s Piano Fantasy (1957) and Ben Weber’s Piano Concerto (1961).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire