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The Legacy of Rosina Lhevinne cover photo

The Legacy of Rosina Lhevinne 2003


Distributed by Filmakers Library, 124 East 40th Street, New York, NY 10016; 202-808-4980
Producer n/a
Directed by Salome Ramras Arkatov
DVD, color, 88 min.

Sr. High - Adult
American History, Aging, Biography, Education, Music, Women's Studies

Date Entered: 11/20/2007

Reviewed by Linda Frederiksen, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA

A celebrated classical pianist in her own right, Rosina Lhevinne was also widely recognized as a truly great teacher. Educated at the Moscow Conservatory of Music at the end of the nineteenth century, Mme. Lhevinne married fellow classmate and famed pianist Josef Lhevinne before immigrating to New York where she taught at the Juillard School for many years. In addition to teaching many of the most gifted and celebrated musicians of the time, at the age of 75, she began a solo musical career that culminated with her debut at age 82 with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Leonard Bernstein.

This documentary of one woman’s life and work contains short interviews with former students and admirers which include such luminaries as Van Cliburn, Kun Woo Paik, John Browning, James Levine, Hiroko Nakamura, and John Williams. A generous and expertly edited sampling of archival photographs, audio recordings and film footage preserve many of the performances of both teacher and students. Most inspiring are the clips of Mme. Lhevinne in her role as master teacher, in which her evident love and encouragement for her students comes through clearly.

An exceptional woman, who trained generations of gifted musicians, Mme. Lhevinne’s story is a compelling one that is beautifully captured and told in this film. Recommended.