Constance Keene

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Constance Keene (9 February 1921 – 24 December 2005) was an American pianist, who attracted great praise for her 1964 recording of Sergei Rachmaninoff's Preludes and also won critical acclaim for her recordings of the works of Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Carl Maria von Weber and Felix Mendelssohn.

She was raised in Brooklyn, New York City. One of her teachers was Abram Chasins. She won the Naumburg Piano Competition in 1943. In 1946, she stood in for Vladimir Horowitz when he was unavailable for a concert, and she claimed she was the only female pianist ever to have been given this honour.

In 1949 she married Chasins, who died in 1987. They performed and recorded music for piano duo. She later became a teacher herself. Her pupils included the children of Arthur Rubinstein, who said he was "flabbergasted by the colour, sweep and imagination and ... incredible technique. I cannot imagine anybody, including Rachmaninoff, playing the piano so beautifully".[1]

For many years, she was on the piano faculty of the Manhattan School of Music, and was a member of its Board of Trustees. She was also sought out as a piano competition adjudicator.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Obituary // The Independent, Friday, 3 February 2006.

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