Pianist Ruth Laredo, Known for Rachmaninoff Recordings, Dies

Classic Arts News   Pianist Ruth Laredo, Known for Rachmaninoff Recordings, Dies
Ruth Laredo, a pianist known for her recordings of Rachmaninoff and Scriabin, died May 25, the New York Times reports.

She was 67 years old, and had cancer, her manager, James Murtha, said.

In the 1970s, when she made those recordings, there were few female piano soloists, and even fewer undertaking the difficult Rachmaninoff oeuvre. Laredo recorded the composer's entire solo repertory.

Laredo had studied at the Curtis Institute of Music with Rudolf Serkin, who had not wanted her to play Rachmaninoff; instead he focused her studies on Mozart and Beethoven. Years later, however, when Laredo asked him whether or not she should take on the Rachmaninoff repertory, he told her, according to a 1987 interview Laredo gave the Times, "You must do it."

In the interview, Laredo said, "I had to learn the many, many Rachmaninoff pieces that no one plays, and I found out why no one does. It's because they're so hard."

Born in Detroit, Laredo made her debut in 1962 with the American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leopold Stokowksi, at Carnegie Hall, and her New York Philharmonic debut in 1974. In 1981 she made her solo-concert debut at Carnegie.

Laredo was married to violinist Jaime Laredo, whom she later divorced.

She played her last concert on May 6, one of a series of "Concerts With Commentary," at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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