Today's Classical Music Video

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Jorge Bolet Master Class


Many years ago I had the pleasure of working with the late Jorge Bolet (1914-1990) for a performance of Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1. He was a great pianist and especially good in the music of Liszt and Rachmaninov. But he could be intimidating. He was a tall man with a thick black mustache and his normal facial expression suggested that he was upset about something. It always seemed to me that he was on the verge of exploding. Pity the poor student or conductor who had arrived unprepared. In this Master Class from 1983 Bolet is trying very hard to get the young pianist to give some shape to the music - Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 3. The young man plays the notes very well but Bolet is clearly interested in something else.

Bolet was born in Cuba but lived most of his life in the United States. He studied at the Curtis Institute and later returned to succeed Rudolf Serkin as the Head of the Piano Department. The year before he died Bolet recorded both Chopin Piano Concertos with Dutoit and the Orchestre symphonique de Montreal.

Paul E. Robinson

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