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Rosen, Charles


ROSEN, CHARLES (1927– ), pianist, author and musicologist. Rosen was born in New York City, where he studied the piano from the age of seven at the Juilliard School of Music, and later with the great virtuoso pianist Moriz Rosenthal. At Princeton University, he studied French literature (with special emphasis on the connections between music and poetry in 16th-century France), graduating with the highest honors. This led to his winning a two-year Fulbright scholarship to study medieval French music in Paris. On his return to the United States in 1953, simultaneously with teaching French literature at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he began his career as a concert pianist, the ultimate international success of which eventually reduced his teaching activities to a minimum. Rosen won an enviable reputation as a critic, regularly reviewing books on painting, literature and music for the New York Review of Books, and also as an author. His The Classical Style (1971), a study of the music of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, received universal critical admiration and won the National Book Award for Arts and Letters in 1972. Rosen's deep understanding of the process of composition and personal insights in the music itself is also manifested in his study Sonata Forms (1980). His Harvard lectures on Romantic musical thought and composition were published under the title The Romantic Generation (1995). Rosen's wide range of musical sympathies as a pianist – from Bach and the classical composers through Liszt and the virtuoso school to the music of *Schoenberg and of modern composers such as Elliott Carter and Pierre Boulez – was complemented by a powerful technique and a profound intellectual grasp of the works he played. All these factors combined to make Rosen one of the most interesting and important performing musicians of his day.



[Max Loppert /

Yulia Kreinin (2nd ed.)]

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