Obituary: pianist and conductor Seymour Lipkin, 88

Posted on: November 18, 2015

“Seymour Lipkin, 88, an eminent pianist and conductor, died Monday, Nov. 16, at Blue Hill Memorial Hospital in Maine,” report Peter Dobrin and David Patrick Stearns in Wednesday’s (11/18) Philadelphia Inquirer. “Born in Detroit in 1927, Mr. Lipkin was sent to Philadelphia by his family to study piano at the Curtis Institute of Music Curtis with David Saperton, Rudolf Serkin, and Mieczyslaw Horszowski. He was 11.” After a USO tour of Europe accompanying Jascha Heifetz, “Mr. Lipkin returned to Curtis after V-E Day, graduating in 1947.… He studied conducting with Serge Koussevitzky at Tanglewood, and became apprentice to George Szell at the Cleveland Orchestra in 1947-48 and assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic. He won first prize in the Rachmaninoff Piano Competition of 1948, and debuted as soloist with a string of major American orchestras. He took the podium for Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti at New York City Opera in 1958, led the orchestra of the Joffrey Ballet in the 1960s and ‘70s, and was music director of the Long Island Symphony from 1963 to 1979. As a teacher, he tended to students at Curtis (since 1969) and the Juilliard School (starting in 1986), and several other schools.… Information on survivors or memorial services was not immediately available.”

Posted November 18, 2015