B1397. OLGA SAMAROFF STOKOWSKI. The Layman’s Music Book. New York, Norton, 1935. 293pp. Musical Illus.
“In 1911, Olga Samaroff became the wife of Leopold Stokowski, then at the beginning of his brilliant career as a conductor. Their marriage also ended in divorce twelve years later.
An injury to her left arm in 1926 compelled Samaroff to cancel all concerts for the season, after which she accepted the position of chief music critic of the New York Evening Post which she continued for two years. Her broad knowledge, varied musical experience and clear style were highly praised. The Post attempted to retain her for three more years but she declined their offer to devote herself to educational work and lecturing.
When the Juilliard Foundation organized its Graduate School in 1925, Samaroff was asked to join the faculty. In 1927, she became head of the Piano Department of the Philadelphia Conservatory. She held both positions, traveling between New York and Philadelphia, until her death.
Samaroff's services as a lecturer were in great demand. She appeared at Yale, Harvard, Columbia and many of America's finest universities. Her lectures were prepared with extreme care and delivered eloquently. Realizing that one of the great needs of America was a layman's music course for listeners, she arranged, in 1935, with the W.W. Norton Company, to publish a series of books to bring together musical ideas and information to educate the layman. THE LAYMAN'S MUSIC BOOK resulted. Her success with ‘The Layman's Music Course’ was outstanding, resulting in several years of subscription lecture series given at Town Hall in New York.
Notwithstanding her eminent position as a virtuoso, a critic, an author, lecturer and organizer, Samaroff is perhaps best known for her distinguished career as a teacher. She was extremely dedicated to her students and would go to extraordinary lengths to provide for them the best, well-rounded education possible in preparation for a concert career. Some of her more distinguished pupils were William Kapell, Claudette Sorel, Rosalyn Tureck, Joseph Battista, Eugene List, Sigi Weissenberg and Raymond Lewenthal.”
- Zillah D. Akron