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Victor Rosenbaum

New England Conservatory of Music

Internationally known pianist and teacher, Victor Rosenbaum, has been a mainstay of Boston’s musical community for more than five decades, since Gunther Schuller, newly appointed President of New England Conservatory, hired him to teach piano, theory, and chamber music in 1967.  Of his very first recital as an NEC faculty member, the Boston Globe wrote: Rosenbaum “makes up for all the drudgery the habitual concert-goer has to endure in the hope of finding the real, right thing”.  His critical praise continues to this day.  Describing his most recent CD, “Brahms: The Last Piano Pieces” (Bridge), which was released in fall 2020, Glyn Pursglove of MusicWeb International said: “Rosenbaum’s account of of these pieces seems to me impeccable.  The whole disc is magisterial; a mature pianist bringing deep thought and empathy to a series of mature pieces which stand revealed, as clearly as I have heard, as masterpieces.  This will be the disc I turn to when I next want to hear any of these remarkable pieces”.

Rosenbaum has concertized widely as soloist and chamber musician in the United States, Europe, Israel, Brazil, Russia, and Asia (including 25 annual trips to Japan) in such prestigious halls as Tully Hall in New York and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia. A committed chamber music performer, he has collaborated with such artists as Leonard Rose, Paul Katz, Laurence Lesser, Arnold Steinhardt, Robert Mann, Joseph Silverstein, James Buswell, Malcolm Lowe, Walter Trampler, and the Brentano, Borromeo, and Cleveland String Quartets, and was a member of two trios: The Wheaton Trio and The Figaro Trio. Festival appearances have included Tanglewood, the Rockport Chamber Music Festival, Kfar Blum and Tel Hai (in Israel), Yellow Barn, Kneisel Hall (Blue Hill), Musicorda, Masters de Pontlevoy (France), the Heifetz Institute, the International Keyboard Institute and Festival in New York, the International Music Seminar in Vienna, the Bowdoin International Music Festival, the Festival at Walnut Hill School, the Puerto Rico International Piano Festival,The Art of the Piano Festival in Cincinnati, the Atlantic Music Festival, and the Eastern Music Festival, where he headed the piano department for five years.  In 2021, he was invited to join the faculty of the prestigious PianoTexas festival.  Rosenbaum is also a contributor to the online site “Musicale” (WeAreMusicale.com).

Concert appearances have brought him to Chicago, Minneapolis, Tokyo, Beijing, St. Petersburg (Russia), Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and New York, among others.  In addition to his absorption in the music of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (in particular Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, and Brahms), Rosenbaum has performed and given premieres of works by many 20th and 21st Century composers, including John Harbison, John Heiss, Peter Westergaard, Norman Dinerstein, Arlene Zallman, Donald Harris, Daniel Pinkham, Miriam Gideon, Stephen Albert, and many others.  A musician of diverse talents, Rosenbaum is also a composer and has frequently conducted in the Boston area and beyond.
 
Rosenbaum, who studied with Elizabeth Brock and Martin Marks while growing up in  Indianapolis, and went on to study with Rosina Lhevinne at the Aspen Festival and Leonard Shure in New York (while earning degrees at Brandeis University and Princeton), has become a renowned teacher himself.  During his long tenure on the faculty of New England Conservatory, he chaired its piano department for more than a decade, and was also Chair of Chamber Music.  Much of his time is now devoted to teaching the young through the NEC Preparatory Division.  On the faculty of Mannes School of Music in New York from 2004-2017, he has also been Visiting Professor of Piano at the Eastman School of Music, a guest teacher at Juilliard, and presents lectures, workshops, and master classes for teachers’ groups and schools both in the U. S. and abroad, including London’s Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of Music, and Guildhall School, the conservatories of St. Petersburg and Moscow, Beijing Central Conservatory, Shanghai Conservatory, the Toho School in Tokyo, Tokyo Ondai, most major schools in Taiwan, and other institutions such as the Menuhin School near London, and the Jerusalem Music Center.  Rosenbaum’s students have established teaching and performing careers in the US and abroad, and have won top prizes in such competitions as the Young Concerts Artists, Charles Wadsworth International Competition, New Orleans International Competition, Casagrande International Piano Competition, Gina Bachauer Competition, and the New York International Competition, among others.  Rosenbaum’s sixteen years as Director and President of the Longy School of Music (1985-2001) transformed the school into a full-fledged degree granting conservatory as well as a thriving community music school.

In addition to his Brahms disc, Rosenbaum’s recordings on the Bridge and Fleur de Son labels include a Mozart CD, three Schubert discs, one of which was described as “a poignant record of human experience”, and two recordings of Beethoven which the American Record Guide named as among the top classical recordings of 2005 and 2020.  

The Jerusalem Post wrote of Rosenbaum: “His obvious consciousness of everything he was doing....resulted in rich and subtle nuances of dynamics and shadings and in organically shaped, well-rounded phrases; [while] there was refreshing spontaneity and genuine temperament....the reign of intellect never faltered”.

The New York Times put it succinctly after his performance at Tully Hall: Rosenbaum “could not have been better”.  And a headline in the Boston Globe summed up the appeal of Rosenbaum’s playing: “Fervor and Gentleness Combined”.