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Claude Frank



Leading one of the most distinguished careers of any pianist, Claude Frank has repeatedly appeared with the world's foremost orchestras, at major festivals and at its most prestigious universities since his debut with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic in 1959. Mr. Frank is an internationally acclaimed interpreter of the piano literature of Beethoven; the American Record Guide chose the 1990 re-release of his recording of the 32 Beethoven piano sonatas above twenty-two other renditions as "the one that reaches an exceptionally high level . . . and maintains that level with quite amazing consistency." The Music and Arts Programs of America, Inc. label has re-released Mr. Frank's recording of the sonatas, from his original 1971 RCA LP set, in a 10-CD box set.

May 2001 was a very special landmark in Mr. Frank's career. The 92nd Street Y in New York hosted his recital commemorating the 50th Anniversary of his New York recital debut. The program, with works by Bach, Schubert, Mozart and Beethoven, closely resembled the program Mr. Frank performed at Town Hall in 1950.

During recent seasons, he was Artist-in-Residence of the first Laguna Beach Chamber Music Festival (April 2003) and performed Mozart's Concerto for Three Pianos with Leon Fleisher and Menahem Pressler at the Ravinia Festival (July 2002). Claude Frank has performed in recital throughout the United States and Europe, and has given joint recitals with his daughter, violinist Pamela Frank, in San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Fairfax, and Toronto, as well as numerous performances abroad.

Mr. Frank has been a repeated soloist with the great orchestras of five continents, including the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and the orchestras of New Orleans, Toronto, Zurich, Brussels, Hamburg and Frankfurt. He has been heard in performances with the Berlin Philharmonic, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony, the Grant Park Symphony in Chicago, the Oregon Symphony in Portland, the Baltimore Symphony, the Kansas City Symphony, the Minnesota Symphony, St. Luke's Orchestra and the Denver Symphony, among others.

In chamber music, he has appeared with such eminent groups as the Guarneri Quartet, Juilliard Quartet, Cleveland Quartet, Emerson Quartet, American Quartet, Mendelssohn Quartet, Tokyo Quartet and the London Mozart Players, as well as with Alexander Schneider's chamber ensembles and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Among the many festivals at which he has appeared are Menuhin's Gstaad Festival in Switzerland, the Midsummer Mozart Festival in California and the Klavier Festival Ruhr, as well as festivals in Portland, Highland Park, Norfolk, Schleswig-Holstein, Verbier, Vancouver and Marlboro. A frequent performer in New York City's Mostly Mozart Festival during its formative years and a festival participant in virtually every season thereafter, Claude Frank appeared in its 25th anniversary celebration at Lincoln Center.

A renowned teacher as well as performer, Claude Frank is on the faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and is a professor at the Yale School of Music. Of special interest are his master classes at Yale University, Duke University, University of Kansas and North Carolina School of the Arts, among many others.

A milestone in Claude Frank's career was RCA's release of his recordings of the 32 Beethoven sonatas and his worldwide performances of the cycle. Critical reception of his best-selling recording was unanimous nationwide. Time Magazine proclaimed it as one of the year's "10 Best," and High Fidelity and Stereo Review recommended it above other renditions. Mr. Frank also appeared on ABC television in the highly acclaimed program Beethoven: Ordeal and Triumph! During the 1992-93 season, a documentary of Claude Frank's life and work went into production as well.

Other recordings include the critically acclaimed direct-to-disc recording of the Mozart Piano Concerto #20 in D minor, K.466, with George Cleve and the Midsummer Mozart Festival Orchestra for Sonic Arts (LS-23) and Sine Qua Non's recording of the Archduke Trio in B flat major, Op. 97 with violinist Emmanuel Borok and cellist Leslie Parnas (Digi 110/79005). His performance of the Mozart Piano Concerto #24 in C minor, K.491 with the New England Conservatory Orchestra and Leon Fleisher conducting is on the Audifon label. Mr. Frank has also recorded the cycle of Beethoven Violin & Piano Sonatas with his daughter for Music Masters.

Claude Frank lived in Nuremberg until the age of 12, when he joined his father in Brussels. Shortly thereafter he went to live in Paris, where he studied in the Paris Conservatoire. The German occupation forced Mr. Frank to leave France. While in Spain illegally and overheard at the keyboard, he was invited to perform at a party given by the Brazilian Ambassador. There, he won his first 'fee' - a visa to come to the United States granted by the American Consul, who attended the party. Once in New York, Claude Frank studied with Artur Schnabel and Karl Ulrich Schnabel, and studied composition and conducting at Columbia University. At Tanglewood, he studied with Serge Koussevitzky.