Seymour Lipkin (pictured left with Vladimir Horowitz and Natalia Rachmaninoff in 1948) was Prof. Emeritus at Curtis Institute and Juilliard, classical pianist, conductor, and “honorary Philadelphian”. He passed away on November 16th in Blue Hill, Maine. He was 88.
When he first auditioned at Curtis Institute as a child in 1938, he said to his mother, “This looks like a place you’d want to work in.” After being chosen to be a student, then later accepting a position as a professor, Lipkin worked for many years at Curtis.
Originally from Detroit, Lipkin enjoyed Philadelphia, but also began teaching at Juilliard, as well as The Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, and others.
Although a wonderful pianist and teacher, Lipkin truly loved conducting. “I always wanted to be a conductor rather than a pianist, ever since I was a small boy,” Mr. Lipkin told The New York Times in 1974. “But when I graduated, at about 20 or so, it wasn’t yet the day of the wunderkind conductor.”
Mr. Lipkin was known for his technical playing and, well into his golden years, approached technical work ferlessly. “I don’t question why,” he said in a 2012 interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer. “The fingers seem to be moving perfectly well, as far as I can tell, and in a way, better. The discipline and efficiency gets better as you go along.”
Maurice Lipkin, his artistry, his teaching, and his influence as a mentor to pianists and musicians will be sorely missed.