Bill Rancic Defends His Wife Giuliana After Fashion Police Controversy: 'I Tried to Get Them to Release the Footage' 41 years, 2,190 covers and 55,436 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- Donovan Leitch and Libby Mintz Are Married
- Read the Cover Story: At Home with Donald Trump and Family!
- Family of Oregon Shooting Victim, 18: 'Let Our Grief Be a Testament to How Much Rebecka Was Loved'
- Growing Up Trump: Donald Trump's Four Adult Children Open Up About Life with Their Controversial Dad
- Plus-Size Supermodel Tess Holliday: The Craziest Thing That's Happened Since My PEOPLE Cover Is...
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: In His Own Words
- Jessa Duggar's Wedding Album
- Brittany Maynard's Final Days
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- June 21, 1976
- Vol. 5
- No. 24
Piatigorsky the Master Cellist Is Also a Master in Class
Ever since he became first cellist of Moscow's Imperial Theater at the age of 15, fellow musicians have come to him for instruction. Now, at 73, long established as one of the world's great cellists, Piatigorsky is in his 14th year of teaching master classes at the University of Southern California to rave reviews from his students.
The role of teaching virtuoso is not without its problems. Piatigorsky recalls one especially talented student who seemed to play worse the harder the maestro tried to demonstrate proper technique. Then it occurred to Piatigorsky that he was intimidating the student, and he purposely began to make mistakes in his demonstrations. The student improved markedly and, after performing with brilliance at his graduation, he said to another student, "Mr. Piatigorsky is certainly a fine teacher—but what a lousy cellist."
Hardly. On his first American tour in 1929 his performance with the New York Philharmonic received exceptional notices. Though he was principally a soloist in his career, he achieved perhaps his greatest fame as a member of chamber music's all-star team, the "Million-Dollar Trio" of Piatigorsky, pianist Arthur Rubinstein and violinist Jascha Heifetz.
He has played with every major American orchestra and, while he has outlived many of his closest friends—composers Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Paul Hindemith and author Aldous Huxley—Piatigorsky has no plans to retire. He sees his teaching as mutually beneficial: "I gain talented young students; they gain an old friend they can trust."
He is besieged by musicians wishing to enroll in his classes. Piatigorsky asked one prospective student, a young woman who "played exquisitely," what her dream was. She replied: "I want to be the greatest woman cellist who ever lived." He turned her down, explaining later: "She would never realize her dreams, and I would participate in something hopeless."
Then a young man, "who looked and played like a truck driver," auditioned. His dream? "My uncle plays bass in the Oklahoma Symphony," he said. "Do you think I could ever play there?" Piatigorsky told him, "We're in business!"
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!