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Pianist Eugene List, 66, Dies in New York

March 05, 1985|From Times Wire Services

NEW YORK — Pianist Eugene List, who gained fame when he was summoned to play for Winston Churchill, Harry Truman and Josef Stalin at Potsdam, was found dead in his home, apparently of natural causes. He was 66.

List's secretary found the pianist's body at the foot of the stairs in his house when she arrived for work, said List's representative, Bernard Gurtman.

The pianist was scheduled for a concert in Carnegie Hall at the end of April, and was playing a number of concerts in the United States this season.

Born in Philadelphia July 6, 1918, List grew up in the Los Angeles area, where his father was a teacher. He made his debut at age 12 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, playing Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto.

Scholarship Competition

At 13, his parents sent him to Philadelphia to compete for a scholarship to study with Olga Samaroff Stokowski. She took him as a pupil and entered him in a competition sponsored by the Philadelphia Orchestra. He won that, too, the prize being an appearance with the orchestra in the premiere of Dmitri Shostakovich's Piano Concerto.

After the Potsdam performance, Stalin toasted List and he was asked to play four more times. Truman and other Presidents frequently invited him to play in the White House.

He acted in one movie, "Bachelor's Daughter," in 1946.

List was known for "monster concerts," scheduling pieces requiring a number of pianos on stage. In 1970 he and nine of his students from the Eastman School of Music played a Gottschalk piece for 10 pianos on the "Ed Sullivan Show." More recently, he had been on the faculty of Carnegie-Mellon University.

List married violinist Carroll Glenn, who died last year. He is survived by their two daughters and his father, a Santa Monica resident who, at the age of 89, still works as a substitute teacher of languages in Los Angeles and Glendale city schools.

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