The great pianist Earl Wild has died

Gave first live solo piano recital on US television – and 58 years later, on the internet too.

Earl Wild was one of the greatest pianists in history. In many ways he may be said to be unique. His omnivorous repertoire took in the works of more composers than almost any other pianist – from Buxtehude, Bach and Mozart through all the great pianist-composers of the 19th century (and a few more besides) to Hindemith, Copland, Menotti, Creston and Gould.

He composed and transcribed all his life leaving an impressive body of work that runs from his scintillating études on Gershwin’s songs and Rachmaninov song transcriptions to his 1962 oratorio Revelations (commissioned by ABC), the “Doo-Dah” Variations for piano and orchestra, and his Piano Sonata (premiered in 2000), its final Toccata movement marked “à la Ricky Martin”. Leaving aside the transcendental technique – Wild had one of the supreme keyboard mechanisms – the sheer beauty of tone he unfailingly produced serves as a model for any pianist.

Full article here.

Listen to Rachmaninov’s Piano Concertos on Spotify here.

(Photo:  Earl Wild playing a Shigeru Kawai at Disney Hall).

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