LEWISTON – Frank Glazer is known to many Mainers as a pianist of uncommon quality.

But what many don’t know is that Glazer is also a living connection with an era that could be considered a golden age of classical music, at least in terms of the size and sophistication of its audience.

Glazer, who lives in Topsham and turns 90 next month, began his career in the days before World War II, an era during which the recent inventions of radio and recordings brought classical music to more people than ever before.

Moreover, it was a time when several great composers were still alive or were living memories. In fact, he studied with composer Arnold Schoenberg and with world-famous concert pianist Artur Schnabel.

Glazer, Bates College artist-in-residence, will play four Mozart sonatas at a concert Saturday, Feb. 5, at the college.

The Wisconsin native started taking piano lessons in Milwaukee at age 7. After high school, he went to Berlin, where he studied with Schnabel.

Over his long career, Glazer has performed in major concert halls in the United States, Europe, the Near East and South America. He has played at Carnegie Hall in New York, the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London and the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires; and he has performed as soloist with the Boston Symphony and the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and the Orchestre Lamoureux.

He has composed and published music; performed on his own prime-time television series; appeared as a guest on major radio and television networks in the United States and Europe; and has received numerous awards, including the Paderewski Centenary Medal, given annually in London to an “Artist of Superlative Degree.”

Glazer has been artist-in-residence and lecturer in music at Bates since 1980, when he and his wife, Ruth, retired to Maine. He was professor of piano at the Eastman School of Music for 15 years previously.

The couple founded the Saco River Festival, held in Cornish every summer. Glazer also co-founded the Eastman Quartet, the Cantilena Chamber Players and the New England Piano Quartette.

Today, Glazer continues an active career as a soloist and performer with chamber ensembles.

His Bates program will consist entirely of Mozart sonatas: in B-flat, one of the composer’s first sonatas still existing, written in 1774; in A minor, from 1778, his first in a minor key; in A major, written in 1779 and including the influential movement “Rondo alla Turca;” and the sonata dating from 1786, a strong example of Mozart’s mature keyboard writing.


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