Vengerova, Isabelle (actually, Isabella Afanasievna)

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Vengerova, Isabelle (actually, Isabella Afanasievna)

Vengerova, Isabelle (actually, Isabella Afanasievna), distinguished Russian-born American pianist and pedagogue; b. Minsk, March 1,1877; d. N.Y., Feb. 7,1956. She studied at the Vienna Cons, with Joseph Dachs, and privately with Leschetizky, then with Essipova in St. Petersburg. In 1906 she was appointed an instructor at the St. Petersburg Cons., and in 1910 became a prof, there, remaining on its faculty until 1920. She made tours in Russia and Europe (1920-23); then went to the U.S. in 1923; made her American debut with the Detroit Sym. Orch. (Feb. 8, 1925) in Schumann’s Piano Concerto. She became a prof, at the Curtis Inst. of Music in Philadelphia when it was founded in 1924; in 1950 she received an honorary doctor’s degree there. Among her piano pupils at the Curtis Inst. were Bernstein, Barber, and Foss. She also taught privately in N.Y. Her nephew was Nicolas Slonimsky.


R. Schick, The V System of Piano Playing (University Park, Pa., 1982); J. Rezits, Beloved Tyranna: The Legend and Legacy of I. V.(Bloomington, Ind., 1995).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire