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James Friskin (Piano, Arranger)

Born: March 3, 1886 - Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Died: March 16, 1967 - New York, NY, USA

The Scottish-American pianist and composer, James Friskin, studied with E. Dannreuther (piano) and Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (composition) at the Royal College of Music in London..

After finisghing his studies, James Friskin taught at the Royal Normal College for the Blkind from 1909 to 1914. In 1914 he emigrated to the USA. Based in New York, he taught at the Institute of Musical Arts. Later he was an original faculty member of the Juilliard Graduate School, where he taught until his death. His editions of Bach's music were highly regarded for pedagogical purposes, and he similarly gained renown for his own Bach pianism. In 1934 he gave two recitals in New York consisting of the complete Well-Tempered Clavier of J.S. Bach. Nearing his 70th birthday, Friskin recorded a series of three Bach LP's in 1954 and followed up with the Goldberg Variations (BWV 988) two years later. In 1944 he married the English-born American composer and violist Rebecca Clarke.

Among James Friskin's compositions were: Phantasie for String Quartert; Phantasie for Piano Trio; Phantay for Piano, 2 Violins, Viola and Cello (1912); Quintet for Piano and Strings (1907, frequently performed in London before the World War I); Sonatas for Cello, Violin and Solo Piano, Piano Concerto, Concert Overture, and many short instrumental pieces and songs. He published The principles of Pianoforte Practice (London, 1921; nwe edition, New York, 1937); also (with Irwin Freundlich) Music for Piano (New York, 1954).

Source: Mostly Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Classical Musicians (1997); Bits & pieces from various websites
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (January 2007)

James Friskin: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works
Reviews of Instrumental Recordings:
Bach Keyboard Music from James Friskin
Bach-Friskin: PT - Works | PT - Recordings

Links to other Sites

James Friskin (Scottish Music Center)



James Friskin: The Principles of Pianoforte Practice (Library Reprints, 2001). Buy this book at:
James Friskin, Irwin Freundlich: Music for Piano (Dover Publications; Revised edition, 1973).
Buy this book at:

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