Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another


Pianist Charles Rosen (1927-2012)

Known for his performances, he also won a National Book Award

Print Email

Some sad news from the weekend, pianist Charles Rosen passed away at age 85. He was born in Manhattan, the son of an architect and an actress, and studied at Julliard when he was seven years old. One of his mentors was Moriz Rosenthal, who had been a pupil of Franz Liszt.

Rosen, in addition to collaborating with some of the finest composers of the 20th century, was also a renaissance man. Among his accolades, Rosen published the “The Classical Style” in 1971, something of a Talmudic disquisition on the works of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. He was awarded the National Book Award for it.

As a renowned writer and lecturer on music who was also a concert pianist of no small reputation, Mr. Rosen was among the last exemplars of a figure more typically associated with the 19th century: the international scholar-musician. If as a writer he was known for aqueous lucidity and the vast, ecumenical sweep of his inquiry, then as a pianist he tended to rate a similar description.

The LA Times added this:

In 2010, Rosen gave a lecture on Chopin, followed by a recital, at the Irvine Barclay Theatre for the Philharmonic Society of Orange County.

“He had no notes, nothing,” recalled Dean Corey, head of the Philharmonic Society. “He talked right to you. He loved what he was talking about, and he conveyed that right away. He had a great sense of humor.”

Speaking of Chopin, do your afternoon a favor and listen to him perform (quite stunningly) one of Chopin’s Nocturnes. And if you’re feeling saucy, note how he rolls the chords.

Charles Rosen Dies at 85 [LAT]

Print Email

Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

He did a well-regarded Hammerklavier, still recently available for about $7.99 from Sony Classical.


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Pianist Charles Rosen (1927-2012)

Known for his performances, he also won a National Book Award

More on Tablet:

A Tale of Three Twitter Feeds: Hamas Tweets in Arabic, English, and Hebrew

By Aaron Magid — Analysis of the social-media messaging of Hamas’ military wing reveals distinct voices for the West, the Arab Middle East, and Israel