At Nearly 100, World-Renowned Pianist Frank Glazer Still 'Getting Better'
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TOPSHAM, Maine - Concert pianist Frank Glazer, who has lived in Maine for more than 30 years, is preparing to celebrate his 100th birthday. The internationally-renowned performer, who still holds a position as artist in residence at Bates College, spoke recently with Tom Porter at his home in Topsham about his early experienes in music and how they have shaped his approach to the piano.
In between yoga sessions, work outs with his personal trainer and writing letters to fans, Glazer still finds time to practice daily. "I'm as active as I was in junior high school," he says.
After a few bars of a Schubert Sonata, memories of his debut concert at The Town Hall in New York City come flooding back, nearly 80 years later. "Oh, it's quite vivid. For one thing, I had never played a whole recital program anywhere in my life," he says. "I didn't know what it would feel like to walk out on stage in New York and play a concert."
That 1936 concert, well-attended by critics, turned out to be a defining moment in Glazer's life, he says: the moment he went from being a piano player - a technician, basically - to being an artist and truly understanding the music. And it happened while he was playing the slow movement of Schubert's Piano Sonata in A minor.
"By the time I got that movement, I felt as if I was Schubert creating the piece at that moment, so I owned that piece," Glazer says. "And I understood it for the first time. It was a revelation to me. Schubert takes you about as close to heaven as you're going to get, in music."