ABOUT THE COMPETITION
Manhattan School of Music honors the memory of former faculty member Artur Balsam with the biannual Artur Balsam Competition for Duos. Mr. Balsam was an active member of the MSM piano and chamber music faculties from 1965 to 1993.
The competition acknowledges young artists who are striving for the highest musical and ensemble standards, as exemplified by Mr.Balsam. Prizes awarded serve to credit the winners; however, the competition exists to build an ongoing higher standard of musicianship and performance in the chamber music medium.
The competition has been supported by the endowment from the A. Balsam Foundation.
Marc Trembovelski (MM’ 23), cello, student of Wolfram Koessel, and Dohyun Lee (BM ’24), piano, student of Marc Silverman who performed Violin Sonata in E-Flat Major, Op. 18 – Richard Strauss
Jihyeon Kim (MM ’23), violin, student of Pinchas Zukerman, and Hee Sung Kim (BM ’24), piano, student of Marc Silverman who performed Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 65 – Frédéric Chopin
There was no first-place winner in this year’s competition.
Jihyeon Kim (MM '23), violin, and Hee Sung Kim (BM '24), piano
Marc Trembovelski (MM' 23), cello, and Dohyun Lee (BM '24), piano
Polish-born American pianist and pedagogue Artur Balsam (1906–1994) studied in Łódź, making his debut there at the age of 12, then enrolled at the Berlin Hochschule fur Musik and studied with Artur Schnabel and Curt Boerner. In 1930 he won the Berlin International Piano Competition and the following year obtained the prestigious Mendelssohn Prize in chamber music with Roman Totenberg. In 1932 he made a tour of the United States with Yehudi Menuhin.
Balsam settled in New York City, where he became the accompanist of choice for international artists, including Henri Temianka, Zino Francescatti, David Oistrakh, Leonid Kogan, Oscar Shumsky, Isaac Stern, Zara Nelsova, Joseph Fuchs, Lillian Fuchs, Mstislav Rostropovich, Nathan Milstein, Roman Totenberg, and many others.
He became the undisputed dean of chamber music performance and teaching in the United States and also performed occasional solo recitals. He recorded the completed piano works of Mozart for Oiseau Lyre and the Haydn Sonatas for Musical Heritage Society, for which he also recorded the two-piano works of Mozart with Nadia Reisenberg.
At Mozart’s bicentenary in 1956, he was invited to record six of the Concerti with the BBC Symphony. His recordings of Beethoven’s Violin Sonatas with Joseph Fuchs and Cello Sonatas with Zara Nelsova, as well as their recording of Rachmaninoff’s Cello Sonata, are among the most prized of this repertoire. Artur Balsam served on the Manhattan School of Music faculty for over 30 years.
His wife, Ruth Rosalie, served as President of the Artur Balsam Foundation for Chamber Music. With the generous endowment from the Foundation, the Balsam Duo Competition became possible at Manhattan School of Music.
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