October 28, 2003 by

Eugene Istomin

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Categories: Musicians

Eugene George Istomin, a classical pianist who gave more than 4,000 concerts, died on Oct. 10 from liver cancer. He was 77.
Istomin began playing the piano as a child and made his concert debut at the age of six. By the time he was 12, he was studying at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
At 18, Istomin made two professional debuts in the same week — playing Johannes Brahms’ “Second Piano Concerto” with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic.
In 1951, Istomin began a 20-year relationship with violinist Alexander Schneider and cellist Pablo Casals. A year and a half after Pablo died in 1973, Istomin married the cellist’s widow, Marta. At the time, she was the director of the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.; she’s now president of the Manhattan School of Music.
One of the first great classical pianists born in America, Istomin also collaborated with violinist Isaac Stern and cellist Leonard Rose. The trio of musicians worked together to record numerous albums of Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Brahms and Mozart.

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