The world has lost an artistic phenomenon, a giant of such immeasurable stature that he will likely never be replaced or replicated. I am speaking of the death of Frank Glazer.

I was fortunate to have heard him play in person several times and through the past few decades as well. To consider the possibility that someone living into his 90s could play in public the complete cycle of all of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas is simply staggering.

Is it safe to say that Glazer has eclipsed the likes of Earl Wild, Artur Rubenstein and even the legendary virtuoso, Vladimir Horowitz?

One memorable occasion stands out for me, when he and former student Duncan Cummings presented the complete piano works of Johannes Brahms.

Glazer offered the audience at the Olin Arts Center of Bates College the masterpiece, “Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24,” written at the youthful age of 28. Listening to Glazer play that work caused me to think of that performance as a once-in-a-lifetime event, a momentary glimpse into the ultimate interpretation by an artistic genius and master of his craft.

One could imagine only Glazer’s former teacher, Artur Schnabel, equaling that level of maturity and insight.

In the 1970s I had the audacity to approach Glazer and ask him to listen to my playing. In the 1980s, I once again played for his critical reflections. Those experiences are the ones that last a lifetime.

I wish that I had studied piano with him.

Brian Franck, Auburn

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