1915 – 2015

BRUNSWICK — Frank Glazer, an exceptional pianist and teacher, died peacefully on Tuesday, Jan. 13, in hospice care in Brunswick, after a short illness. He was 99.

Frank had a distinguished career and continued to concertize and teach right up to the last few weeks of his life. He had planned six concerts in four states around his 100th birthday next month.

He was artist-in-residence at Bates College for the past 35 years. He also taught at Eastman School of Music, the University of Indiana and Bennett College. His performing career spanned 78 years, including solo performances at the Town Hall in New York City and Carnegie Hall and as a soloist, with major symphonies all over the world. He performed with numerous world-renowned chamber groups.

He was devoted to his wife of 54 years, Ruth Gevalt Glazer, who was a classical soprano when they first met in 1948. After she died in 2006, he worked at a remarkable pace, performing a concert a month and taking on enormous musical projects. One year, he performed all 32 of Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas in the order they were composed.

In 2011, Bates conferred on him an honorary doctorate; he told graduates, “I believe it serves no useful purpose to compare oneself with another person. Each of us is unique. We are dealt a certain hand at birth over which we have no control. But we have a lot to say about how we play the game.”

He was born on Feb. 19, 1915, in Milwaukee, Wis., one of seven children of Benjamin and Clara Glazer, Lithuanian immigrants who had modest means but the resources to have a piano in the house and provide music lessons for the children. At 17, he studied in Berlin with pianist Artur Schnabel and composer Arnold Schoenberg, both of whom had significant influences on his career.

Frank had an enormous repertoire and more than 60 recordings. In 1980, he and his wife settled at his wife’s family farm in Porter, and then moved to Topsham in 2004.

Frank is survived by two brothers in Milwaukee, Sam and Edward, and nephews, nieces, grand-nieces and grand-nephews.

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