photo: Luigi Pellettieri
NADIA REISENBERG: STUDENTS
What follows is a very partial list, with incomplete IDs and other details, but I have only listed verified credentials, and e-mail addresses whose inclusion was specifically agreed to by the artists involved. As further names are added, and more permissions arrive, I trust the roster will be significantly expanded.
If you know of other NR students not mentioned here, please tell me, or ask them to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Being around her was like bathing in the sunshine — nowadays it is practically impossible to hear pianists matching her noble touch and expressivity. She was also extremely kind, warm, patient and supportive of her students. When I had to get a job as a computer programmer, she gave me invaluable advice how to keep in 'musical shape' and insisted I never lose hope to return to music. Thanks to her, I am back!"
"Her clarity of thought and expression affected me so profoundly that hardly a day goes by that I have not applied some of her teaching in my own work."
Rami Bar-Niv, Israeli composer and pianist
"Nadia Reisenberg was everything a great teacher should be and much more. She was personable, warm and friendly — she even came to my wedding. I am very proud to have been one of her students."
Charlotte and Noreen Beckwith
James Behr, professor, Manhattan College
Paul Bempéchat, Affiliate, Center for European Studies, Harvard University
"Not a day goes by that I do not remember her as a contributor to so many facets of my life. Mme. Reisenberg cared for us as people as much as she cared for us as pianists. There were always words of concern for our general well-being, and for our families. Well beyond our years of study, Mme. Reisenberg's warmth, humanity and kindness continue to sustain us in our careers and our daily lives."
"I have only special memories of Nadia Reisenberg and I think of her more than frequently now that I am conducting my own piano school in Casablanca. I often hear myself saying to my students the things that she said to me. I hope I can impart to them something of her integrity, and the genius of her approach to the piano."
Victoria Bond, composer-conductor
"Her light will live on in all our memories."
Davyd Booth, keyboardist and violinist, The Philadelphia Orchestra
"She will always be a part of me, and a continuing influence in my life."
"Every time I would go to my lesson, I would go back home with gold in my pocket, feeling stronger and happier about life in general."
Hae Young Chun
"Her patience, her understanding, and her kindness never failed to impress me. The faith she had in me kept me going."
Myung Whun Chung, conductor, Honorary Cultural Ambassador for Korea
"Miss Reisenberg helped me tremendously. I've learned everything from her."
Susan Cohen (aka Susan Joyce)
"She was so motherly and always so encouraging. She was a true gem."
photo: William H. Straus
"I shall always regard Nadia as one of the prime formative influences in my life. Her remarkable gifts, so unstintingly bestowed upon her pupils, will be a predominant part of our lives throughout all the length of our days."
Barbara Cross (Shillinglaw)
"She accepted me as a pupil, but with the comment that my fingers were like spaghetti, so of course we worked on that..."
"Throughout the years, I have been playing for her whenever I am at the piano."
Raymond Erickson, composer, professor of Music, Queens College.
"Mme. Reisenberg exuded an absolute air of authority without any of the terror and mind games. At one of my first lessons, I had mis-read something in a score. Instead of flying into a rage, she calmly stated, "My students don't make mistakes like that." I determined right then and there that I never would again, either..."
Steven Glaser, chair of the piano department, Ohio State University
"Nadia Reisenberg had a tremendous influence on my musical and technical approach to the piano, and music making in general. Her kindness and warmth were evident always. I can picture her, as if it were yesterday, sitting at the second piano, facing me and making verbal suggestions while at the same time, quite unconciously, one hand gently brushed the keys..."
Gilda Glazer, former faculty, Hartt School of Music
Richard Goode, faculty, Mannes College of Music
Lisa Szilagyi Grad
"The most magical moments of my lessons were when she demonstrated at the piano, producing that gorgeous Russian tone. I felt as though she was giving a private recital just for me."
Frances Joerg Hanson
"Mme. Reisenberg was a wonderful woman, a superlative teacher and mentor."
Ida Hartmann (DeMotte)
"I am forever grateful to Nadia, who imparted her knowledge with so much love and enthusiasm that one wanted to to produce the best for her. I was always impressed by her kindness: never a harsh word or a destructive critique, she was always positive and ready to build up one's confidence."
Eugenia Hyman (Monacelli)
Harriet Josephs (Brent/Magzis) former faculty, Turtle Bay Music School
"My most vivid memory of Nadia was how she showed her disapproval. She had a habit of brushing away some imaginary spot, and out of the corner of my eye, I could tell when the playing was not quite right. On the other hand, when it was right, one bathed in her approval."
Roger Kamien, retired professor, Hebrew University
"I would say that after my wife and mother, Nadia was the woman who most powerfully influenced my musical life as a performer."
Shelley Katz, faculty, ISC Queens University
"Nadia was, is, and always will be an inspiration."
Zvi Keren (known in the U.S. as Howard Kim)
Jinho Kim, former faculty, Yonsei University (Korea)
"I cannot express how indebted I am to her, how she still inspires me. She was most genuinely pleased when her pupils showed respect and support for each other. When three of us entered the Five Towns Competition in 1981, and two of us won 1st and the 3rd prizes, the one who had won no prize told Miss Reisenberg how well the others had performed. I never saw her so excited, and she mentioned this incident whenever she had the opportunity. For me this incident was as precious a lesson as many other memorable musical moments with her."
Jungeun Kim, concert coordinator, Curtis Institute of Music
"Mme. Reisenberg was a beautiful human being who taught me how to be a true musician."
Lynne Kleinberger (Rosen)
"When I play or teach, I think of Nadia, her goodness, her spirit, her loving of living."
"She was not just my teacher, but a wonderful friend, a confidante, even a grandmother who always made sure that I ate well... What you are doing with the Nadia/Clara Foundation is amazing. It is so important for all of us, it gives us continuity and a feeling that Nadia is still around. To be able to hear her playing again is a great reminder of what we strive for."
"I grew up with the mystique of Nadia Reisenberg in my musical environment. She was always referred to in a glow of excellence."
"Nadia was the most influential person in my life. I'll remember her always with love, respect and gratitude. Her influence extended far beyond music: her insistence on analysis of a musical phrase created an ongoing habit that was helpful in my successes in business."
"I will always be proud that I am her student, and my students are proud to be 'grand-students' of Nadia Reisenberg."
Andrew Litton, conductor
"I was blessed to have Nadia as my piano teacher at Juilliard. She not only was a magnificent performing artist, but also had the gift of truly nurturing her students. Thanks to her, I'm able to conduct from the keyboard."
Anna Manicone (Rosa)
"She taught me to think, to listen, to be totally honest in my self-evaluation, to teach myself. She was a uniquely gifted pianist and an absolutely genuine person. I'm sorry I never told her that I loved her."
"Among the the most precious hours of my life were those with Nadia Reisenberg. I am still inspired and gaining musically from her teachings, and I see in retrospect that her wisdom was life-giving. Every note I ever played, or ever will play, is in gratitude to her."
Rita (Southworth) Moerschel
"I was overwhelmed with Miss Reisenberg's teaching, her playing and her wonderful warmth. It was a very special experience for me. I'm thrilled to have been in the sphere of such a great artist and wonderful human being."
Alan Moverman, staff accompanist, New York City Ballet
Debbie Nadel (Gordon)
Pascal Nemirovski, Professor, Royal Academy of Music, London
"She had a kind of aristocracy in her playing, and also as a person."
Konstantin Orbelian, composer/conductor
Leda Polinger (Canino)
"She constantly overwhelmed me by her magical consummate artistry, yet it was her love, her warmth, her smile, her patience that became my own educational philosophy."
Mel Powell, jazz pianist and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer
Dmitry Rachmanoff, Chair of Keyboard Studies, California State University
"Mme. Reisenberg had the most refined tone and noble phrasing; she could demonstrate anything with ease and elegance, giving a perfect lesson without extraneous words."
Shulamit Ran, composer
Phyllis Rappeport, retired faculty, Western Michigan University
Morey Ritt, Professor, Queens College
"While most of us have memories of favorite performances, and there are many beautiful recordings, we former students remember the playing that was just for us. This portion of Nadia's musical legacy is ours alone."
William Schatzkammer, retired professor, Washington State University
(accompanist for Clara Rockmore on her tours with Paul Robeson)
"Nadia was the greatest. I cannot express how much she helped me, how indebted I am to her."
"She has given me a lifetime of inspiration."
Bella Shumiatcher, founder Schumiatcher School of Music
"The song of her music will go on in our hearts forever."
Jeanne Singer, composer
Boris Slutsky, professor, The Peabody Institute
"She was a quick study, not only in art but also in life. I don't think a day goes by that I don't thank Mme. Reisenberg for that which she gave to me. Listening to her demonstrating was the greatest treat of all — a rare and unique experience I will always treasure."
Eun Soo Son
Christian Steiner, arts photographer
"I am happy and thankful to say that Nadia has been the person most sustaining, artistically influential and reassuring in my adult life."
"I will try with all my forces to play as Nadia would have wanted me to."
"She was the most incredible person I have known, a shining star and guide..."
Teddy Wilson, pianist with several Benny Goodman combos