Gwendolyn Koldofsky

Gwendolyn Koldofsky (b Williams). Piano accompanist, vocal coach, born Bowmanville, Ont, 1 Nov 1906, died Santa Barbara, Ca 12 Nov 1998.

Gwendolyn Koldofsky

Gwendolyn Koldofsky (b Williams). Piano accompanist, vocal coach, born Bowmanville, Ont, 1 Nov 1906, died Santa Barbara, Ca 12 Nov 1998.

She studied piano in Toronto with Viggo Kihl, in London with Tobias Matthay and (accompanying) Harold Craxton, and in Paris with Marguerite Hasselmans. She married the violinist Adolph Koldofsky in 1943 and lived in Toronto until 1944. After spending a year in Vancouver she settled in 1945 in Los Angeles, where she was engaged to teach accompanying - a position created for her - at the School of Music of the University of Southern California. She also taught chamber music and song literature, and achieved the status of distinguished professor emerita at the school, which she held until her retirement in 1990.

Koldofsky gave master classes for singers and accompanists at other universities and music schools in North America. She has accompanied (in North America, Europe, and the Far East) Rose Bampton, Jeanne Dusseau, Herta Glaz, Jan Peerce, Hermann Prey, Martial Singher, and her own pupil Marilyn Horne. She assisted Lotte Lehmann on many tours during the latter's last 8 years of performing and for 11 years was Lehmann's accompanist and coach-assistant at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara. Koldofsky was the director of vocal accompanying at this school 1951-89. A recording of a recital given in 1951 by Lehmann and Koldofsky was released in 1977 by Aquitaine. In 1961 she accompanied singer Salli Terri on an album of folk songs. She moved to Santa Barbara in 1991. The University of Southern California offers the Gwendolyn and Adolph Memorial Scholarship, and in 2012 the University of Toronto inaugurated a Gwendolyn Williams Koldofsky Prize in Accompanying.