Richard Gresko

Richard Gresko. Pianist, piano tuner, b Montreal 15 May 1942, d Montreal 16 Feb 1993; premier prix piano (CMM) 1958. His father Basil, a violinist of Ukrainian origin, was a member of the MSO.

Gresko, Richard

Richard Gresko. Pianist, piano tuner, b Montreal 15 May 1942, d Montreal 16 Feb 1993; premier prix piano (CMM) 1958. His father Basil, a violinist of Ukrainian origin, was a member of the MSO. Richard began to take piano lessons at five with Marie-Thérèse Paquin and studied 1952-60 with Lubka Kolessa at the CMM. In 1959 he made his debut with the Quebec Symphony Orchestra and in 1960 represented Canada at the Pan-American Union Concert Series in Washington. He toured 1960-1 for the JMC (YMC). The Canada Council, the Amis de l'art, and International Nickel awarded him grants, as did the Juilliard School, New York, where he studied 1961-2 with Rosina Lhévinne. He was coached by Jeaneane Dowis. After lessons in the summer of 1963 from Wilhelm Kempff in Positano, Italy, he worked 1963-5 with Irving Heller in Montreal. A frequent guest on radio and TV, he played Tchaikovsky's Concerto No. 1 in 1976 with the CBC Montreal orchestra. He appeared with orchestras in Halifax, Edmonton, Victoria, and Quebec City and performed Prokofiev's Concerto No. 3 with the MSO. He gave numerous recitals in the USA (including New York appearances at Town Hall in 1965 and Carnegie Hall in 1973) and in western Europe. In the New York Times on 27 Nov 1973 Donal Henahan wrote: 'The 31-year-old Canadian's performance left no question but that his talent and his level of artistic achievement are considerably above ordinary. He has excellent hands independent and flawlessly accurate at any tempo; a feeling for differing styles linked to an ability to define differences sharply, and a poetic imagination'. In 1967 Gresko became a piano tuner and technician, a craft he learned from Gilles Losier.


Further Reading

  • 'Début,' Toronto The Canadian, 22 Jan 1966