Adele Marcus



Competition Winner

Born: February 22, 1906 (Kansas City, MO)

Died: May 3, 1995 (New York, NY)

Adele Marcus was an American pianist and renowned pedagogue at The Juilliard School, making teaching the center of her career. Born in Kansas City, MO, the youngest of 13 children of a rabbi and wife, the family moved to Los Angeles while Marcus was still a young girl. In LA, with her sister Rosamund, they became a piano duo, the Two Prodigies, studying with Desider Josef Vecsei and Alexis Kall. At age 15, Marcus studied with Josef Lhevinne in NY, subsequently becoming his assistant for seven years. She also studied with Artur Schabel in Vienna. Following winning the Naumburg Award in 1928, she played with most of the major American orchestras and gave recitals in Town Hall, Carnegie Halll, Avery Fisher Hall and Alice Tully Hall.

On the faculty at The Juilliard School from 1954 to 1990 she taught: Jeffrey Biegel, Louise Barfield, Tzimon Barto, Cy Coleman, Horacio Gutierrez, Stephen Hough, Byron Janis, Norman Krieger, Panayis Lyras, Ken Noda, Jon Kimura Parker, Peter Orth, Neil Sedaka, Daniel Epstein, Jeffrey Swann, Jennifer Hayghe, among many others. She was also renowned for her master classes given throughout the world, and in 1980, she established a summer piano festival in Norway.

She was the author of "Great Pianists Speak with Adele Marcus."

She made her New York debut recital under the auspices of the Naumburg Foundation on February 35, 1929 in Town Hall. Her program included works by Bach, Brahms, Liszt, Albeniz, Medtner, Scriabine and Chopin.

Reviews from Adele Marcus's debut concert:

Herald Tribune, February 26, 1929

Miss Adele Marcus American Pianist, Gives Debut Recital

Naumburg Foundation's Winner, Pupil of Lhevinne, Displays technical skill

"Showed assests last night that may win her note among our contemporary recitalists. Her technical skill proved impressive, with marked dexterity, sureness and polish while her playing throughout told of spirit sometimes of temperament. Interpretive ability was displayed." F.D.P.

Musical Digest, March 10, 1929

Adele Marcus

"Adele Marcus, pianist, Naumburg prize-winner, gave what was by all odds (so far as this writer is concerned) the best debut of the season in the Town Hall on February 25. There is hardly a reservation to be made or an exception to such music-making as that to which she treated her listeners. She is at the outset of her career, and as one learned afterwards, she arose out of a sickbed to give this recital. If circumstances favor her continued development there seems no limit to the heights to which she has a right to aspire.

She began with a performance of the G major French Suite of Bach which has not often been surpassed in the experience of this reviewer. The gigue of this suite has become almost the personal property of Myra Hess, but Miss Marcus played it with an authority and an understanding quite her own. There was something very compelling about the Liszt Sonata, but there are great pianists who are not adapted to this work than, perhaps Miss Marcus. Albeniz, Medtner, Scriabin, Chopin followd, and with all of them Miss Marcus did a workmanlike, and at times brilliant job. Few prizewinners are able to justify so completely, in public performance, the verdict of the judges. In a day when accomplished pianists grow up like weeds it is a more than pleasant experience to come upon one who gives promise of becoming infinitely more than that." A.M.


1928 Naumburg Competition

First Prize

Commissioned Works

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Naumburg Performances

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Recording Awards

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