Jorge Bolet



Competition Winner

Born: November 15, 1914, Havana, Cuba

Died: October 16, 1990, Mountain View,  CA

Jorge Bolet was born in Havana, Cuba and came to the United States to study at Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music. His teachers included Leopold Godowsky, Josef Hofmann, David Saperton, Moriz Rosenthal and Fritz Reiner.

In 1942, Bolet joined the US Army and was sent to Japan as part of the Army Occupation. While there, he conducted the Japanese premiere of "The Mikado." Bolet made his first recordings for the Boston label and later on the Remington label, including Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 2 Op. 16 with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Four Scherzi of Chopin.  In 1978, he recorded for Decca/London records producing his eight-volume Liszt anthology.

From 1939 to 1942 Bolet taught at Curtis. From 1968 to 1977 he was Professor of Music at Indiana University. In 1977, he became Head of Piano at Curtis, succeeding Rudolf Serkin, leaving the post to concertize. Bolet first achieved international fame in the 1970s when in his 60s, and played in the following years up to 150 concerts per year.

In 1984, the A&E Network broadcast a series of three programs, entitled "Bolet Meets Rachmaninoff." Bolet is particularly well remembered for his performances and recordings of large-scale Romantic music, particularly works by Liszt, Franck and Chopin. He also specialized in piano transcriptions and unusual repertoire, including works by Godowsky.


1937 Naumburg Competition

First Prize

Commissioned Works

No items found.

Naumburg Performances

No items found.

Recording Awards

No items found.

Social Media