28 March 1903, Eger, now Czech Republic – 8 May 1991
Rudolf Serkin was a Bohemian-born pianist. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest Beethoven interpreters of the twentieth century.
Hailed as a child prodigy, he was sent to Vienna at the age of 9, where he studied piano and composition, making his public debut with the Vienna Philharmonic at 12. He began a regular concert career in 1920 and performed throughout Europe both as soloist and with Busch and the Busch Quartet. With the rise of Hitler in Germany in 1933, Serkin and the Busches (who were not Jewish but who vehemently opposed the Nazi regime) left Berlin and immigrated to the United States, where Serkin taught several generations of pianists at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
He was awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom (1963), Ernst von Siemens Music Prize (1978), Grammy Award for Best Chamber-Music Performance (1984), National Medal of Arts (1988)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Piano Concerto No 21 in C Major, KV 467, Wiener Philharmoniker, Conductor: Eugene Ormandy