Claude Frank (1925-1014)

Within minutes after Claude Frank’s death at age 89 on December 27th was announced, tributes and memories began to flood social media. One could put a heft memorial book together from Facebook posts alone. I only met Mr. Frank once, at the 2002 memorial for Karl Ulrich Schnabel held at the Manhattan School of Music. He shook my hand, and thanked me for writing so positively about his recently reissued Beethoven Sonata cycle, while I thanked him back for merely existing, and for his inspired music making. Sad to say, I only heard Mr. Frank once in recital, as part of the 1987 Wall-to-Wall Schubert Marathon at New York’s Symphony Space, when he played the composer’s great B-flat Sonata D. 960. But his Beethoven cycle proudly stands the test of time, and here’s a link to my review.

Please share your memories of Mr. Frank here.


2 thoughts on “Claude Frank (1925-1014)

  1. He was a very kind, gracious and modest man. I heard him and his wife, Lilian Kallir, a number of times, in solo and duo performances (and I studied briefly with her). I think the last time I saw him was in 2008 when he did a program at the IKIF about Schnabel as a teacher. At the end of the program he performed Op. 109, which he played very well for a man in his eighties. I did a mini-presentation in the earlier part of that program about Schnabel, the composer, and that led Mr. Frank to speak about a Schnabel work he had played. He was a particularly impressive Schubert pianist, and chamber music player, and it is very sad that he is no longer with us.


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