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Performers: August 2009 Archives

Pianist Geoffrey Tozer Dies

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Farewell to musical prodigy Geoffrey Tozer

Obituary: Geoffrey Tozer. Pianist. Born Mussoorie, India, November 5, 1954. Died Melbourne, August 20, age 54.

By Anna Goldsworthy
The Australian

Pianist Geoffrey Tozer was one of the most gifted musicians this country has known. Born in the Indian Himalayas, he began piano lessons with his mother before moving to Australia at the age of four. A child prodigy, he gave his first public performance at age five at the St Kilda Town Hall; at eight he appeared on ABC television with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, playing Bach's Concerto in F minor. By 12 he had performed all five of Beethoven's piano concertos across Australia; two years later he was the youngest semi-finalist in history at the Leeds International Piano Competition.

In 1970, Tozer made his BBC Proms debut at the Royal Albert Hall, performing Mozart with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Colin Davis. During the following years he performed widely across Europe and the US, receiving a host of awards, including a gold medal in the Arthur Rubinstein competition in Israel in 1980 and Hungary's Liszt Centenary medallion in 1986.

Read more about this at the The Australian website:

   www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25985836-16947,00.html

Works include the Complete String Quartets of Beethoven and Bartók; Quartets by Debussy, Ravel and Dutilleux; and Collaborations with Legendary Musicians

The Juilliard String Quartet is internationally renowned and admired for performances characterized by clarity of structure, beauty of sound, purity of line and an extraordinary unanimity of purpose. Celebrated for its performances of works by composers as diverse as Beethoven, Schubert, Bartók and Elliott Carter, it has long been recognized as the quintessential American string quartet. Sony Classical has announced that its catalog of recordings by the Juilliard String Quartet is being made available for download. The Quartet has been associated with Sony since the ensemble's inception in 1946.

The releases are as follows:

  • Bartók: String Quartets Nos. 1-6
  • Beethoven: The Early String Quartets (Op. 18, Nos. 1-6)
  • Beethoven: The Middle String Quartets (Op. 59, Nos. 1-3; Opp. 74 & 95)
  • Beethoven: The Late String Quartets (Opp. 127, 130, 131, 132, 133 and 135)
  • Debussy/Ravel/Dutilleux: String Quartets
  • Great Collaborations

The Great Collaborations release includes Dvořák's Piano Quintet with Rudolf Firkušný, piano; Barber's Dover Beach with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baritone; Schoenberg's Verklärte Nacht with Walter Trampler, viola, and Yo-Yo Ma, cello; Schumann's Piano Quintet with Leonard Bernstein, piano; Copland's Sextet for Clarinet, Piano and Strings with Aaron Copland, piano, and Harold Wright, clarinet; and Franck's Piano Quintet with Jorge Bolet, piano.

The members of the Juilliard String Quartet jointly stated, "We are thrilled that a substantial amount of our recorded legacy will now be available through the latest technology, for listeners of all ages. With Nick Eanet now joining the Quartet, we look forward to continuing our relationship with this great label."

Alex Miller, General Manager of Sony Masterworks, said, "The Quartet has a long and celebrated relationship with the label and we are delighted to begin making their remarkable and diverse catalogue available to the public digitally."

The first six recordings will include the complete string quartets of Beethoven and Bartók (the latter a Juilliard String Quartet specialty). On CDs, the Beethoven quartets comprised a total of nine discs (three three-disc sets); the Bartók quartets comprised two discs; the French collection one disc; and Great Collaborations two discs. All of the titles to be digitized have been released previously on CD; all titles also appeared on the LP format with the exception of the French disc, which was released on CD only.

Read more about this at the Sony Masterworks website:

   www.sonymasterworks.com/artist/juilliard-string-quartet

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