Eleanor Sokoloff

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Eleanor Sokoloff (born June 16, 1914) is an American pianist and famous pedagogue of piano. She is now in her eighth decade of teaching on the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music.

Born Eleanor Blum in Cleveland, Ohio, Sokoloff was the daughter of a barber. Her mother, a housewife, was an amateur singer and encouraged her daughter's musical interests. She began her studies with Ruth Edwards at the Cleveland Institute of Music at the age of 8. In 1931, she enrolled at the Curtis Institute of Music, and studied with David Saperton. She later studied the duo-piano repertoire with Vera Brodsky and Harold Triggs and eventually formed a highly successful duo team with her husband, pianist Vladimir Sokoloff. Vladimir was also on the piano faculty at Curtis and from 1938 to 1950 was the pianist for the Philadelphia Orchestra. Their daughter Laurie Sokoloff is the principal piccoloist of the Baltimore Symphony and their daughter Kathy Sokoloff is the Director of Development at the Settlement Music School.

In 1936, Mrs. Sokoloff joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music, first as a piano instructor to non-piano majors (1936 to 1949) and since 1950 as a full fledged member of the piano faculty. Since then, more than seventy-five of her students have been chosen to perform as soloists with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Among her students are pianists Hugh Sung, Lambert Orkis, Marcantonio Barone, Susan Starr, Claire Huangci, Kit Armstrong, Craig Sheppard, Meng-Chieh Liu, Leon McCawley, Keith Jarrett and Sean Kennard. In 2001, in recognition of her tenure, Sokoloff received the Curtis Alumni Award.

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