This summer’s upcoming International Keyboard Institute and Festival (IKIF) at New York’s Mannes College offers many prospective delights, not least being the scheduled July 22 recital by the brilliant young Israeli pianist Einav Yarden.
Piano buffs will also be thrilled to know that one of the deans of American music, pianist Gary Graffman, will be honored at a “Master’s series” event on July 25. Graffman, who will be 82 in October, is the author of a delicious and sadly out of print 1981 memoir, “I Really Should Be Practicing,” from Doubleday Publishers. Used copies of the book, or its 1982 Avon paperback edition, are worth hunting down online, as it is one of the most enchanting autobiographies ever penned by a musician, and urgently merits reprinting.
Graffman’s IKIF appearance in Manhattan coincides with new releases on CD from ArkivMusic.com of four of his long-unavailable recordings from the late 1950s and 1960s, featuring invigorating concertos by Brahms and Chopin conducted by Charles Munch, as well as more decorous solo discs of Chopin and Liszt. These CDs complement already-available, zesty recordings of Prokofiev Piano Concertos conducted by George Szell on Sony Masterworks.