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James Friskin

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Nationality  Scottish, American
Name  James Friskin
Role  Composer

James Friskin wwwbachcantatascomPicBioFBIGFriskinJames
Born  3 March 1886Glasgow
Occupation  Classical music pianist, composer and teacher
Died  March 16, 1967, New York City, New York, United States
Books  Music for the piano, The Principles of Pianoforte Practice

James friskin plays bach prelude fugue in a minor bwv 944

James Friskin (3 March 1886 in Glasgow – 16 March 1967 in New York City) was a Scottish-born pianist, composer and music teacher who relocated to the United States in 1914.



Friskin studied at the Royal College of Music under Edward Dannreuther (for composition) and under Charles Villiers Stanford (for piano). After completing his studies, from 1909 to 1914 he taught at the Royal Normal College for the Blind. In 1914, he immigrated to the United States, where he taught at the Institute of Musical Arts. He was an original faculty member of the Juilliard Graduate School, and continued teaching there until his death.

He and the English-born composer and violist Rebecca Clarke (1886–1979) married in New York City in 1944.

In 1925, he was the first pianist to perform J. S. Bach's Goldberg Variations in the United States. He recorded that work in 1956. In 1934, he performed both books of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier in two recitals in New York.

His obituarist in The New York Times wrote, "he became known as a Bach specialist long before others began specializing in baroque composers", and "he doesn't exaggerate or distort the music and plays Bach in a way that goes to the heart of the music. Friskin was not pedantic in his approach to Bach. Nor was he overly Romantic, an accusation that has been levelled at some of his more famous contemporaries."


These include:

  • Ballade in C major for piano
  • Cello Sonata in F major
  • Concert Overture
  • Elegy for viola or clarinet and piano (1912)
  • Impromptu for cello and piano
  • Nocturne in E flat for piano
  • Phantasy for string quartet, winner of a Cobbett Prize in 1906
  • Phantasy for piano trio in E minor
  • Phantasy Quintet (for piano, 2 violins, viola and cello) (1910 or 1912)
  • Piano Concerto
  • Piano Quartet in G minor
  • Piano Quintet in C minor, Op. 1 (1907)
  • Romance for cello and piano
  • Romance for violin and piano
  • Scherzo for cello and piano
  • Sonata for piano in A minor
  • Suite in D minor
  • Three Pieces for piano
  • Three Sacred Motets for unaccompanied five-part chorus
  • Violin Sonata in G major
  • Publications

  • Friskin, James (7 August 2014) [1921]. The Principles of Pianoforte Practice. Literary Licensing, LLC. ISBN 978-1498169189. 
  • Friskin, James; Freundlich, Irwin (17 February 2011) [1954]. Music for the Piano: A Handbook of Concert and Teaching Material from 1580 to 1952 (Revised ed.). Dover Publications. ISBN 978-0486229188. 
  • References

    James Friskin Wikipedia

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