Born: October 29, 1926 (Chicago, IL)
Died: August 24, 2003 (Concord, NH)
Theodore Lettvin, born and raised in Chicago, made his debut at age 12, as a piano soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Frederick Stock playing the Mendelssohn's Concerto No. 1, beginning a career that would span decades and extend worldwide. Three years following his Chicago Symphony debut, Lettvin won a scholarship to the Curtis Institute where he studied for seven years under Rudolf Serkin and Mieczyslaw Horszowski. After serving in the Navy he returned to Curtis earning a bachelor's degree in music.
As a recitalist, he toured Europe and North Africa and appeared as soloist for more than four decades with major orchestras. In 1951-1952, he made his European debut touring France with violinist Sidney Harth in a concert series organized by the National Music League and the Jeunesses Musicales International.
Letttvin was a winner of the 1948 Walter W. Naumburg Foundation's piano award.
Lettvin also held numeorus positions as a music teacher including at the Cleveland Music School Settlement, New England Conservatory, University of Michigan and Rutgers University. He also served as Artist in Residence at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
His last public perfomance was in 1998 at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA.
Excerpt from The New York Times review, March 14, 1961
Recital: A Prize Winner
Theodore Littvin, Pianist Who Received Naumburg Award, Still in Top Form
"Theodore Littvin, who was heard last night at Town Hall, is a prize-winner who has fulfilled the promise for which his original prize - a Naumburg in 1948 - was bestowed. And last night he gave another fine recital. It was a measure of the pianist's combined artistry and technical facility that he succeeded best with a composer with whom most young Americans come to grief -- namely, Mendelssohn... And listening to Mr. Littvin play Mendelssohn provided pleasure on three levels simultaneously...And all the time one admired the playing just for its purity of sound, its clarity of articulation and its sheer physical ease and grace." Ross Parmenter