Charles Rosen

Biography

Born: May 5, 1927; New York, NY   Died: December 9, 2012; New York, NY  
Charles Rosen started young, with piano lessons at the age of four, then studied at the Juilliard School from ages 7 to 11. For the next six years he was a pupil of Moriz Rosenthal (who in turn had been a pupil of Rafael Joseffy and Liszt). When Rosenthal died in 1946, Rosen continued studying with his widow, Hedwig Kanner-Rosenthal, for a total of eight years. He also studied music theory and composition with Karl Weigl, and at Princeton Read more University majored in music history and romance languages. He received his B.A. summa cum laude in 1947; his M.A, in 1949, and his Ph.D. in 1951 -- the year he made his New York piano debut. In addition to concertizing, Rosen taught Modern Languages at M.I.T. (1953-1955), returning to academe in 1971 as Professor of Music at SUNY in Stony Brook. In 1976-1977 he served as Ernest Bloch Professor of Music at UC Berkeley; held the prestigious Charles Eliot Norton Chair at Harvard in 1980-1981; was George Eastman Visiting Professor at Oxford in 1988, and from 1986 until his retirement in 1996, was Professor in the Committee on Social Thought and Music at the University of Chicago.

In three farewell concerts there on successive nights he played Elliott Carter's Night Fantasies (as a guest of the Contemporary Chamber Players); a solo program of Beethoven (Op. 110 Sonata), Schumann (the original manuscript version of Fantasie in C), and Chopin (one of whose pupils had been the first teacher of Rosen's own beloved teacher, Moriz Rosenthal); and finally the Brahms First Piano Concerto with the University of Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Three years later in London he broadcast Rosen on Chopin, a series of programs on BBC Radio 3 commemorating the sesquicentennial of the composer's death.

Concurrently with concertizing, he recorded for Columbia/CBS Masterworks -- Bach's Art of the Fugue, original editions of music by Schumann and Chopin, the Liszt First Piano Concerto (to the surprise of many unaware of his pedagogical heritage), Beethoven's last six sonatas (Opp. 90-111) and "Diabelli" Variations. He also recorded the complete solo piano music of Pierre Boulez, Stravinsky's Movements for Piano and Orchestra at the composer's request (with the composer conducting), and a CD of Elliott Carter's piano music: Night Fantasies, the Piano Sonata, and 90+ (composed in 1996). He also recorded Webern's Op. 7 Violin Pieces with the late Isaac Stern.

Pianism and pedagogy were not Rosen's only areas of concentration, however. In 1971 he published the provocative first edition of The Classical Style, later reprinted in five languages, and revised in 1997 with an additional chapter. This was marketed with a CD of the author playing Beethoven's Opp. 106 and 110 sonatas. In 1995 he brought forth The Romantic Generation, which included a spirited and eloquent defense of Berlioz, and in 2000 published a selection of essays as Critical Entertainments. Among twentieth century artists he was been an intellectual of the first order -- perhaps the most authentic of all -- not excluding Alfred Brendel or Maurizio Pollini. If Rosen's piano tone was not always ingratiating or his style unbending, at his best he illuminated the keyboard music of Western history's most "serious" composers -- from Bach to Stravinsky, Carter and Boulez, by way of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, and Brahms. Nothing in his art was ever trivial. As a performer, educator, and writer in one package, Charles Rosen is likely always to be recognized as unique. Read less
Browse 1-17 of 17 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Bach: Goldberg Variations / Charles Rosen
    Label: Newton Classics   Catalog: 8802206 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Charles Rosen
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  • 2.
    Elliott Carter Edition, Vol. 9
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9396 Release Date: 05/14/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Elliott Carter
    Performer:  Tony Arnold,  Steven Beck,  David Starobin,  Rosalind Rees  ... 
    Conductor:  Scott Yoo,  Joel Smirnoff
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Colorado College Festival Orchestra,  Basel Sinfonietta,  Slowind Wind Quintet
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  • 3.
    Carter: Variations For Orchestra, Double Concerto, Piano Concerto / Jacobs, Rosen, Lateiner
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 49994 Release Date: 05/07/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Elliott Carter
    Performer:  Paul Jacobs,  Charles Rosen,  Jacob Lateiner
    Conductor:  Frederik Prausnitz,  Erich Leinsdorf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 4.
    Franz Liszt - Master & Magician
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 775542 Release Date: 07/26/2011   Number of Discs: 26
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein,  Van Cliburn,  Byron Janis,  Philippe Entremont  ... 
    Conductor:  Alfred Wallenstein,  Eugene Ormandy,  Fritz Reiner,  Seiji Ozawa  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 5.
    The Romantic Generation
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 2559 Release Date: 06/08/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Charles Rosen
    CD: $11.99
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  • 6.
    Stravinsky - Final Chorale; Schoenberg - Five Orchestral Pieces
    Label: Juxtapositions   Catalog: 13 Release Date: 09/20/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arnold Schoenberg,  Igor Stravinsky
    Performer:  Charles Rosen
    Conductor:  Michael Gielen,  Reinbert De Leeuw
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra,  Netherlands Wind Ensemble
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  • 7.
    Bartok: Concerto For Orchestra, Etc / Ormandy, Et Al
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 94726 Release Date: 08/30/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Béla Bartók
    Performer:  Robert Casadesus,  Jean-Claude Casadesus,  Jean-Pierre Drouet,  Gaby Casadesus  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 8.
    The Music Of Elliott Carter Vol 5 - Nine Compositions
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9128 Release Date: 06/24/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Elliott Carter
    Performer:  Charles Neidich,  Ayako Oshima,  Charles Rosen,  Fred Sherry  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Speculum Musicae
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  • 9.
    Original Jacket Collection - Stravinsky Conducts Stravinsky
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64136 Release Date: 12/07/1999   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  John Stafford Smith,  Igor Stravinsky
    Performer:  Joseph Szigeti,  Igor Stravinsky,  Loren Driscoll,  John Horton  ... 
    Conductor:  Igor Stravinsky,  Elmer Iseler,  Gregg Smith
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toronto Festival Singers,  C. B. C. Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
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  • 10.
    Carter: The Complete Music For Piano / Charles Rosen
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9090 Release Date: 11/18/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Elliott Carter
    Performer:  Charles Rosen
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  • 11.
    Take 2 - Bach: The Keyboard Album / Tureck, Rosen
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 63231 Release Date: 11/18/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Georg Philipp Telemann
    Performer:  Charles Rosen,  Rosalyn Tureck
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  • 12.
    Liszt: Piano Sonata, Etudes, Etc / Watts, Rosen
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 62664 Release Date: 09/10/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Charles Rosen,  André Watts
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  • 13.
    Isaac Stern - A Life In Music - Bartok: Sonatas;  Webern
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64535 Release Date: 04/09/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Webern,  Béla Bartók
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Charles Rosen,  Alexander Zakin
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  • 14.
    Baroque Piano - Greatest Hits
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 68455 Release Date: 08/22/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Domenico Scarlatti,  Louis-Claude Daquin  ... 
    Performer:  Glenn Gould,  Philippe Entremont,  André Watts,  Charles Rosen  ... 
    Conductor:  Vladimir Golschmann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
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  • 15.
    Bach: Goldberg Variations Bwv 988 / Charles Rosen
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 48173 Release Date: 06/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Charles Rosen
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  • 16.
    Webern: Complete Works Op 1-31 / Pierre Boulez
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 45845 Release Date: 02/08/1991   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Anton Webern
    Performer:  Halina Lukomska,  Charles Rosen,  Daniel Majeske,  Abraham Weinstein  ... 
    Conductor:  Anton Webern,  Pierre Boulez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir  ... 
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  • 17.
    Chopin: Piano Works / Charles Rosen
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: CD609 Release Date: 09/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Charles Rosen
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