Continuing on the theme of the last post…
Heinrich Neuhaus typifies the sort of musician I admire most.
He faced adversity and disappointments with great resilience and tenacity.
In my opinion, the most important mission is to be productive despite setbacks because, in the end, effort and intention count for everything.
I very much like the modest self appraisal Heinrich Neuhaus gave himself:
“As a pianist-fair,
As a musician-good,
As an artist- excellent,
As a human- being-inclined to good.”
Heinrich Neuhaus (1888-1964) is a legendary pianist and pedagogue in Russia. Living under Stalin in many ways limited his reputation in the West. He even spent time in prison during World War Two for the crime of having a Germanic last name even though he was a born Russian citizen.
The documentary called “Master Heinrich” tells his story.
His son Stanislav Neuhaus (1927-1980) was also a great pianist and teacher. His career was also hindered by the Soviet regime. He likely would have won the Chopin Prize in 1949 but in the end was not allowed to make the trip to Warsaw for political reasons. Stanislav, like his father, is little known in the West. He died tragically young and his career disappointments most likely contributed to his early demise.
Stanislav Neuhaus Documentary
The reason these stories appeal to me is my longstanding sympathy for the tenacity and nobility exhibited by unsung artists. Also, having Polish heritage as I do I am naturally drawn to Slavic music (the Neuhaus family has Polish-Russian roots). In fact the Neuhaus pianistic tradition is now in its third generation as Stanislav’s son Stanislav Bunin is also a concert pianist.
These documentary films do have English subtitles that can be activated by clicking on the icon (cc) beneath frame on right. The icon is on upper right of picture on tablet or mobile devices.