Sanders, Samuel , American pianist and teacher; b. N.Y., June 27, 1937; d. there, July 9, 1999. Although he suffered from a congenital heart condition and had to undergo surgery when he was 9, he pursued his education at Hunter Coll. (B.A., 1959) and was a student of Sergius Kagen (accompaniment) and Irwin Freundlich (piano) at the Juilliard School of Music (M.S., 1961) in N.Y. He also studied with Martin Canin and Boulanger. When he was 12 he made his debut as a recitalist at N.Y.’s Town Hall. After winning a special citation as an accompanist at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1966, he pursued a notably successful career as an accompanist to many of the major musicians of the day, among them Itzhak Periman, Mstislav Rostropovich, Pinchas Zukerman, Leonard Rose, Yo-Yo Ma, Lynn Harrell, Beverly Sills, Jessye Norman, and Håkan Hagegård. He also was active as a chamber music player and, in 1980, he founded the Cape and Islands Chamber Music Festival on Cape Cod. In 1963 he joined the faculty of the Juilliard School of Music, where he was instrumental in establishing its master’s degree program in accompaniment. From 1972 to 1979 he also was a prof. at the State Univ. of N.Y. in Purchase. In later years, his career was hampered with recurrent heart problems, which led to open heart surgery, followed by heart transplants in both 1990 and 1998.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire