°1935 - †1991
United States of America
Malcolm Frager was a younger contemporary of Leon Fleischer (b. 1928), John Browning (b. 1933), and Van Cliburn (b. 1934). Like them he became a major prizewinner, starting with the Michaels Memorial Award in Chicago, followed by the Leventritt in 1959, and a year later the Queen Elisabeth Competition.
At the age of 14 Malcolm Frager undertook six years of study in N.Y.C. with Carl Friedberg, a pupil of Clara Schumann, and during that period was privately educated. He went on to Columbia University, majoring in Russian studies and graduating in 1957. The Leventritt Award opened doors both in the U.S. and abroad; he made his first concert tour in 1959. In 1963 he played not only in Central and South America, but in the U.S.S.R. for the first (but not last) time. In 1969, he added the Far East to his concert itinerary, and Australia in 1969.
His specialties included Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, and Schumann, but not at the expense of twentieth-century composers, Prokofiev and Bartók in particular. He spent considerable time in search of original versions of music, unearthing the Tchaikovsky Concerto No. 1
that Nicolas Rubinstein had damned so brutally in 1875, and the 1841 Fantasie in A minor
that later became the first movement of Schumann's only Piano Concerto
. He became interested in eighteenth-century fortepianos on which he played and recorded Haydn and Mozart and wrote scholarly articles in his free time.