Nadia Reisenberg

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Nadia Reisenberg
Born(1904-07-14)July 14, 1904
Vilnius, Lithuania
DiedJune 10, 1983(1983-06-10) (aged 78)
New York, New York

Nadia Reisenberg Sherman (14 July 1904 – 10 June 1983) was an American pianist of Lithuanian birth.


Nadia Reisenberg was born in Vilnius to a Jewish family.[1][2] Her parents were Aaron and Rachel Reisenberg.[3] Her sister Anna (Newta) was born two years later, and Clara in 1911 who later took the married name of Clara Rockmore and became renowned for her virtuosity on the theremin. The three sisters remained extremely close. When Nadia was six,[2] her uncle Paul sent the family a piano, and Nadia immediately knew she would be at the keyboard for the rest of her life. Her talent demanded that the family move to St. Petersburg for study at the conservatory, where the director, famed composer Alexander Glazunov, took a special interest in the gifted girl.[3] She studied under Leonid Nikolayev at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory.[2][4]

Due to the upheavals of the October Revolution, Reisenberg and her family returned to Vilnius, then traveled to Warsaw and Germany. They finally settled in New York in 1922.[4] She then pursued further studies with Josef Hofmann at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, from which she graduated with a degree in piano performance.[5] She had a successful career as a concert pianist and taught piano on the faculties of several institutions, including the Curtis Institute, the Juilliard School, Queens College, and the Mannes College of Music.[4]

Her son, Robert Sherman,[6] taught courses on "The Business of Music" at Juilliard and previously wrote music criticism for The New York Times for four decades.


Reisenberg died in 1983 at the age of 78 in New York City.[2][7]

Music career[edit]

Reisenberg gave concerts in the 1920s, particularly with her sister Clara Rockmore, but in 1930 went to study again and chose Josef Hofmann as a tutor. Reisenberg's most important concert activity took place in the 1940s. She was especially praised for her series of concerts encompassing all the piano concertos by Mozart, played (with Alfred Wallenstein conducting) for WOR, which was broadcast in the 1939/40 season. These concerts "made radio history".[1]

Reisenberg continued to perform until the end of her life, and appeared at Carnegie Hall a total of 22 times. While she usually appeared as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic, she gave two recitals at the venue: an all-Tchaikovsky program on 13 November 1943, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the composer's death, and another of unknown repertoire on 21 November 1947. From 1955 to 1983, Reisenberg was a member of the piano faculty of the Mannes School of Music. In later years, Reisenberg taught at the Juilliard School and was a frequent juror for the Leventritt Competition.[citation needed]


Reisenberg's sons co-authored a biography on their mother, Nadia Reisenberg: A Musician's Scrapbook (1985).[8] Since 2002, the Nadia Reisenberg Recital Award sponsored by The Nadia Reisenberg & Clara Rockmore Foundation takes place every two years at the Mannes School of Music in New York City.[9]


  1. ^ a b Nadia Reisenberg by Harriet Feinberg, Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia.
  2. ^ a b c d "Nadia Reisenberg; Pianist Emphasized Value over Power". Fort Lauderdale News. Fort Lauderdale, FL. June 12, 1983. p. 7. Retrieved October 13, 2023 – via Open access icon
  3. ^ a b "Nadia Reisenberg: Biography". Retrieved 21 May 2019., adapted from Dr. Anne K. Gray's The World of Women in Classical Music
  4. ^ a b c Carol Montparker (2014). "Nadia Reisenberg". The Composer's Landscape: The Pianist as Explorer - Interpreting the Scores of Eight Masters. Amadeus Press. ISBN 9781574674743.
  5. ^ "Nadia Reisenberg". Musical Leader and Concert Goer. 84: 19. 1952.
  6. ^ "Meet the Man behind a Mike". The Standard-Star. New Rochelle, NY. April 14, 1975. p. 15. Retrieved October 14, 2023 – via Open access icon
  7. ^ "Reisenberg, Nadia". Social Networks and Archival Context. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  8. ^ Bornfeld, Steve (June 22, 1986). "Keying in on the Life of a Beloved Artist". The Standard-Star. New Rochelle, NY. p. 62. Retrieved October 14, 2023 – via Open access icon
  9. ^ About us",; accessed February 11, 2018.

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