Abbey Simon (b. 8 January 1922, New York) is an American classical pianist.
Simon began lessons with David Saperton at the age of five. At the age of eight, Simon was accepted by Józef Hofmann as a scholarship student at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where he trained with fellow classmates Jorge Bolet and Sidney Foster. Simon also took lessons from Leopold Godowsky and Harold Bauer. Shortly after graduation, he debuted at the Town Hall and Carnegie Hall in New York City. He was the winner of the Naumburg International Piano Competition in 1940.
Simon has been hailed as a supervirtuoso and is recognized as one of the grand masters of the piano. Boston Globe critic Richard Dyer wrote, "Simon's recital offered more than a glimpse into the fabled golden age of piano playing… His virtuosity is marked not only by speed, power, lightness and accuracy but also by intricate interplay of voices and lambent colors." His recordings include the complete piano works of Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Chopin, and most of the works of Brahms and Schumann on the Vox Records label. He has toured in Europe, the Middle East, and the Pacific. He has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and London Symphony Orchestra.
Simon has given masterclasses at the Royal Academy of Music in London, Royal Conservatory of The Hague, and the Geneva Conservatory. He has served on the faculties of Indiana University, Manhattan School of Music, and the Juilliard School of Music in New York City. His students include pianists Frederic Chiu, Karen Shaw, John Kamitsuka, Erika Nickrenz, Richard Dowling, Roger Wright, Andrew Cooperstock, David Korevaar, and Martha Argerich.
He is a long standing jury member of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, the Geneva International Piano Competition, the Leeds International Piano Competition, the Sydney International Piano Competition, and the South Africa International Piano Competition.
Simon currently lives in Geneva, Switzerland, and Houston, Texas where he is currently Distinguished Cullen Professor of Piano at the Moores School of Music.
Abbey Simon is a Yamaha Artist.
Awards and honors:
Walter Naumburg Prize, (1940)
National Orchestral Award
Federation of Music Prize
Harriet Cohen Medal
Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Medal
Ford Foundation Award
Distinguished Teacher Award at the Moores School of Music
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