Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Louis Teicher, Pianist (Ferrante & Teicher) (1924-2008)

Regular blog contributor (and my gorgeous esteemed colleague) Evelyn Gibbons left an article from this morning's Citizens' Voice on my shelf this afternoon; the article announced the passing of Louis Teicher, a pianist best known as one half of the legendary piano duo Ferrante & Teicher. My parents had several of the duo's LPs in their collection when I was a child (including an album with a sexy 1960s era model posed against a gold background on the cover and a killer samba-like version of Chopsticks on the vinyl), so I have known of them as a child in the 1970s. But I have absolutely no idea that Louis Teicher was a Wilkes-Barre native until I read that he passed away this past Sunday (August 3rd) of heart failure.

Louis Teicher was born in Wilkes-Barre on August 24, 1924; he lived there until he was 5 years old, but he continued to spend his summers and even took his first piano lessons in W-B. Furthermore, his first concert was at the age of 8 at what is now Wyoming Seminary.

A child prodigy, Teicher attended the Juilliard School of Music at a mere 6 years of ageand receivied his diploma at the age of 16. He joined the Juilliard faculty when he was a mere 20 years old.

Teicher met his musical partner Arthur Ferrante (b. September 7, 1921) at Juilliard and began performing together while still in school, where Ferrante also became a faculty member.

The two pianists officially launched their professional partnership as Ferrante & Teicher in 1947. They became famous for their film themes (such as The Apartment and Exodus) and toured extensively for over 50 years, even playing several concerts in Scranton.

Sadly, Louis Teicher passed away on Sunday, August 3, 2008 from heart failure at his summer home in Highlands, North Carolina. He was 83 years old.

To read the article from the Citizens Voice, click here. For the article in the Times Leader, click here. Click here to read his obituary from the New York Times.

The Lackawanna County Library System includes 2 CDs by Ferrante & Teicher in our collection. Feel free to place holds on either 1990's The Greatest Love Songs of All or 1997's reissue of their 1959 album Blast Off! (featuring another sexy version of Chopsticks).

A great big THANK YOU to the incandescent Evelyn Gibbons for this reference.

Also, a special thank you to Mark Anthony Ferrante for clarifying via email the place where Mr. Teicher passed away.

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