Rosalyn Tureck: A Centenary Tribute

This exhibition marks the centenary of the birth of Bach specialist, Rosalyn Tureck, born December 14, 1913. The exhibition opens with childhood photographs of Rosalyn Tureck in Chicago with her sisters and her mother. There is a small poster for an early Rosalyn Tureck piano recital given at Lyon & Healy Concert Hall in Chicago, April 27, 1924. There is an early music notebook, belonging to Ms. Tureck from this period, with her Chicago address on its cover.

The exhibition includes Rosalyn Tureck's holograph transcriptions of two Scarlatti pieces, written on the back of the dust jacket of Paintings on Parade (1939) by Donald Jenks; along with a holograph transcription of Bach's Sarabande from the "Suite in C Minor." There is also a small scrap of an original composition by Ms. Tureck entitled, "Helford Village," with another, "La Jolla Bird Calls," on the verso.

The exhibition includes a number of photographs of Ms. Tureck: onstage, as both performer and conductor, as well as in more casual moments. There are holograph draft pages from Rosalyn Tureck's An Introduction to the Performance of Bach, shown with the 1960 edition of Book I published by Oxford University Press, alongside it sits a Chinese edition. Ms. Tureck's more iconoclastic side is represented with a 1969 photograph of the noted pianist seated at the keyboard of a Moog synthesizer, alongside its inventor, Robert Moog. It is shown with a draft of an article by Rosalyn Tureck, commissioned by Life magazine in 1969 entitled, "A Case For Open-Mindedness," discussing the invention of an electronic piano and its hyper-critical reception.

There is correspondence on exhibition to Ms. Tureck from Leonard Bernstein, John Cage, Edward Albee, Pablo Casals, and Marc Blitzstein. There is also a series of letters on view to Ms. Tureck from conservative author and commentator William F. Buckley, Jr., tracing the growth of their friendship from an appearance by Ms. Tureck on his television interview program, Firing Line, in the fall of 1970, onward.

Scattered throughout the exhibition are several small examples from Ms. Tureck's personal collection of exotic instruments: a kalimba, an intricately carved wooden flute, and a pair of lozenge-shaped painted wood percussive blocks.

The exhibition concludes with a printed essay by Ms. Tureck entitled, "Authenticity," a modified version of a paper she delivered at the Boston Conversazioni, a symposium of lectures presented by a number of distinguished scholars in 1993.


This exhibition is no longer on view.