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.
Since the age of ten I realized that I wanted to dedicate my life to some sort of creative work. Unlike the rest of my clan I was ill-suited to work in the “trades.” I have the mechanical skills of a turtle and even less aptitude for that kind of problem solving.
My first creative ambition was inspired by the writing of Edgar Alan Poe. So, at the age of twelve, I took to writing macabre gothic poetry. But finding a word to rhyme with “tomb” proved to be work beyond the grasp of a pre-adolescent and a little disturbing to my family and teachers as well.
Since I already played guitar (I began lessons at age ten) I naturally turned to music and more specifically song writing. At this point, I have (according to the BMI catalog) written and recorded about 230 songs. I’m pretty certain this number will continue to expand because I still enjoy this pursuit and find that it is by far the best justification of my existence or, as the French say, it is my raison d’Ãªtre.
I am at long last very comfortable with who I am and the life I have chosen. Each day I endeavor to do my best. As my wife often reminds me “all you can do is all you can do.”