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Pianist Ruth Slenczynska to release a new album at the age of 97

The Independent
The Independent
 2022-01-14

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American pianist Ruth Slenczynska is releasing a new album at the age of 97.

The daughter of violinist Joseph Slenczynski began her piano studies in Europe when she was four years old.

She played her first performance in Berlin at the age of six and made her debut with a full orchestra in Paris at the age of seven.

Slenczynska has now re-signed her contract with Decca more than six decades after originally signing with the label. Her new album will celebrate her long career, which began in the 1920s.

Speaking of her new album My Life In Music, which is due in March this year, Slenczynska told BBC that the project is “unbelievable”.

“Whoever heard of a pianist my age making another album?” she said. “I’m grateful if they like the music. Music is meant to bring joy. If mine still brings joy to people, then it is doing what it is supposed to do.”

At a young age, Slenczynska studied with some of the world’s greatest musicians like Artur Schnabel, Egon Petri, Alfred Cortot, Josef Hofmann, and Sergei Rachmaninoff.

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The BBC reports that the pianist is considered to be Rachmaninoff’s last living pupil, often wearing a Faberge egg necklace that he gave to her.

Slenczynska played a Mozart duet with President Harry S Truman, and performed at President John F Kennedy’s inauguration. She has also performed with Michelle Obama and former Japanese Empress Michiko.

She was recognised by President Ronald Reagan as the first American woman to celebrate a 50-year concert career.

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