- Ben Arnold
(b Florence, SC, May 23, 1917; d Boston, Feb 7, 1977). American pianist and teacher. He began his studies with Walter Goldstein in New Orleans. At the age of ten he entered the Curtis Institute, where he was a pupil of Isabelle Vengerova and David Saperton (diploma 1938). In 1940 he became the first winner of the Leventritt Award, and in 1941 he made his début with the New York PO in Carnegie Hall, performing Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto. He then embarked on an international career, making tours of the USA, Europe, Israel and Japan; in 1964 he performed 16 concerts in the Soviet Union. One of the first internationally renowned pianists to teach at an American state university, Foster held positions at Florida State University (1949–51) and then at Indiana University (1952–77), where he developed a reputation as an outstanding teacher. His playing was remarkable for its virtuosity and his repertory notable for including lesser-known works of the 19th and early 20th centuries. He made several recordings for the Musical Heritage Society, including two Mozart Concertos, Beethoven’s ‘Appassionata’ Sonata and Schumann’s ...