Charles Reiner

Charles Reiner. Pianist, accompanist, teacher, b Budapest 7 Apr 1924, naturalized Canadian 1956, d Montreal 19 Aug 2006. At a young age, Reiner was soloist with the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra.

Reiner, Charles

Charles Reiner. Pianist, accompanist, teacher, b Budapest 7 Apr 1924, naturalized Canadian 1956, d Montreal 19 Aug 2006. At a young age, Reiner was soloist with the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra. After his release from a concentration camp in Austria, Reiner attended the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, and in 1947 received a concert diploma. His teachers were Arpad Hanak, Arnold Szekely, and Bela Böszörmenyi-Nagy. He won the 1948 International Competition for Musical Performers in Geneva and in 1949 was awarded first prize for virtuosity by the Geneva Conservatory, where he had studied with Dinu Lipatti and Louis Hiltbrandt. After performing in various European centres, he won first prize (1950) in a United-Nations-sponsored competition of the International Refugees Organization.

Reiner moved to Montreal in 1951 and made his solo recital debut 27 Nov 1951 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, followed by around 40 concerts for Jeunesses Musicales of Canada. In an impressive career as accompanist he has performed with Colette Boky, Hyman Bress, Maureen Forrester, Antonio Janigro, Arthur LeBlanc, Igor Oistrakh, Joan Patenaude, Louis Quilico, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Ruggiero Ricci, Joseph Rouleau, Henryk Szeryng, Richard Verreau, and others. A favourite accompanist of Szeryng over the years, Reiner recorded with him many times (especially in the 1960s), toured South Africa and elsewhere, and played at Carnegie Hall. The Art of Henryk Szeryng (Radio Canada DVD) captures televised performances by them in 1960 and 1988.

Reiner also gave solo recitals in North America, Europe, and South Africa, and appeared innumerable times on radio and TV; his television debut was 11 Feb 1954. He was a founding member of the Canadian Piano Quartet (1963-6) - with Morry Kernerman (violin), Robert Verebes (viola), and Dorothy Bégin (cello) - and of Musica Camerata Montreal in 1971. In 1985 he was invited by the Shanghai Conservatory to teach the complete Beethoven and Brahms sonatas for violin and piano, which he performed with 14 Chinese violinists in five recitals.

Reiner performed or recorded the music of many Canadian composers, including Istvan Anhalt, Violet Archer, Hector Gratton, Otto Joachim, Kelsey Jones, Udo Kasemets and Arthur LeBlanc.

Teacher

While pursuing his performing career he has also acted as a jury member in various national and international competitions. He taught at McGill University 1954-94 and 1965-7 at the Conservatoire de Trois-Rivières. His pupils included Michael McMahon, André-Sébastien Savoie and Mikael Eliasen. He taught at the École normale de musique in Montreal as well. In 1982 he began to teach at The Quartet Program, a music camp held in different US cities.


Further Reading

  • Conférences, vol C-2, 1956-1957

    "Canadian pianists," La Scena Musicale, March 2000

    Kaptainis, Arthur. "McGill piano professor," Montreal Gazette, 21 Aug 2006