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Grete Sultan


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Grete Sultan (June 21, 1906 in Berlin - June 26, 2005 in New York City), was a concert pianist.
Born into a musical family, she studied piano from an early age with American pianist Richard Buhlig, and later with Leonid Kreutzer, and Edwin Fischer. In 1933, after the National Socialists came to power, she was, as all Jews, banned from playing in public and could only appear in concerts of the “Juedischer Kulturbund” (Jewish Culture Association).

In 1941, she fled Germany via Lisbon, from where she emigrated to the United States by ship. Soon after her arrival in New York, she became a very close friend of John Cage’s, who dedicated his monumental Etudes Australes to her. Grete Sultan subsequently played these all over the world. She also performed the music of Tui St. George Tucker. Sultan was open to all forms of music and - as she said in a 1996 interview: “Music is music. That’s all.”
She gave her last recital in 1996, aged 90, in New York’s Merkin Hall, performing Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Grete Sultan died in a Manhattan hospital five days after her 99th birthday.

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