glbtq: an encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender & queer culture
home
arts
literature
social sciences
special features
discussion
about glbtq
   search

 
   Encyclopedia
   Discussion
 
 

   member name
  
   password
  
 
   
   Forgot Your Password?  
   
Not a Member Yet?  
   
JOIN TODAY. IT'S FREE!

 
  Advertising Opportunities
  Permissions & Licensing
  Terms of Service
  Privacy Policy
  Copyright

 

 

 

 

 
arts

Alpha Index:  A-B  C-F  G-K  L-Q  R-S  T-Z

Subjects:  A-B  C-E  F-L  M-Z

     
Cherkassky, Shura (1909-1995)  
 
page: 1  2  

In March 1946, Cherkassky married Eugenie Blanc, a concert manager, but divorced her in 1948. According to Elizabeth Carr, his biographer, Cherkassky decided to marry because, as he said, "everybody was doing it."

From 1949 to 1961, Cherkassky lived with his mother in the south of France. He toured widely during these years, performing frequently on all continents.

Sponsor Message.

In 1961, following the death of his mother, he moved permanently to the White House Apartment Hotel in London.

A modest and shy man, Cherkassky avoided publicity. His lifelong passion was travel. He loved vacationing in exotic locations such as Thailand, Madagascar, Tunisia, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, or Australia. In 1987, the seventy-eight-year-old pianist undertook a day trip to the North Pole.

Cherkassky was noted for his eccentricities and his undeviating routines. For example, he insisted that his hotel rooms had to be equipped with a piano; he practiced exactly four hours a day throughout his entire life.

Cherkassky's homosexuality was widely known, especially among fellow pianists, but discreetly practiced. Elizabeth Carr, a personal friend as well as his biographer, quotes him as saying, "I want a woman inside a man's body." She also states that Cherkassky was sexually active well into his eighties.

However, Cherkassky's attempts at establishing long term-relationships failed, and he often complained of loneliness. His most intimate and long-lasting friendships were with women.

Cherkassky blamed his inability to develop meaningful and intimate relationships with other men on his demanding travel schedule, his inflexible personal habits, and his practicing routine. While it appears from Carr's biography that Cherkassky chose a solitary existence (even while enjoying an active sexual life), it is nevertheless hard to believe that he was not influenced by the social stigma against homosexuality in making such a decision.

According to Carr, Cherkassky suggested that his homosexuality was a result of his life-long fascination with the personality and artistry of Vladimir Horowitz.

She intimates that Cherkassky was not happy about his sexual orientation, but acknowledges that he was never embarrassed by it. He regarded his homosexuality as simply part of his personality. He did not hide it, nor did he ever publicize it. He evinced no interest in joining the gay social scene.

During the last decades of his life, Cherkassky was recognized as one of the world's greatest pianists.

In 1991, he performed his so-called "eightieth anniversary" concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City. In October 1992, he was selected by Wanda Toscanini-Horowitz to perform a memorial concert in honor of Vladimir Horowitz at the Steinway Hall in New York City.

Cherkassky's last appearance took place on November 9, 1995 in Prague. He performed Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto with the Czech Philharmonic.

He died on December 27, 1995 in London.

Slawomir P. Dobrzanski

  <previous page   page: 1  2    

    
 interact  
   
Contact Us
 
Join the Discussion
 
 find 
   
Related Entries
 
More Entries by this contributor
 
A Bibliography on this Topic

 
Citation Information
 
More Entries about The Arts
 
 


   Related Entries
  
arts >> Overview:  Music: Classical

Classical music is an important component of Western culture to which glbt people have contributed significantly.

arts >> Bernstein, Leonard

For most of his life, the specter of the closet lurked threateningly behind the glamorous and often brash public image of American composer Leonard Bernstein.

arts >> Britten, Benjamin

The most acclaimed British composer of the twentieth century, Benjamin Britten created many works that were inspired by his long-time personal and professional relationship with his lover, Peter Pears.

arts >> Cliburn, Van

American pianist Van Cliburn became a national hero when he won the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1958, at the height of the Cold War, but his brilliant career as a performer stalled in the 1970s.

arts >> Horowitz, Vladimir

Russian-American pianist Vladimir Horowitz is widely regarded as among the greatest musicians of the twentieth century; his legendary artistry, preserved on recordings, remains a source of inspiration and delight.

arts >> Hough, Stephen

The British concert pianist Stephen Hough is among the most talented and most highly acclaimed classical musicians of his generation.


    Bibliography
   

Bündler, David. "Interview with Shura Cherkassky." (November 14, 1987). Davidsbundler Homepage: De-Mythologizing Music: http://www.angelfire.com/music2/davidbundler/cherkassky.html

Carr, Elizabeth. Shura Cherkassky. The Piano's Last Czar. Lanham, Md.: The Scarecrow Press, 2006.

"Cherkassky, Shura." Naxos.com (2008): http://www.naxos.com/artistinfo/Shura_Cherkassky/12269.htm

Schonberg, Harold C. The Great Pianists from Mozart to the Present. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987.

 

    Citation Information
         
    Author: Dobrzanski, Slawomir P.  
    Entry Title: Cherkassky, Shura  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
 
    Publication Date: 2008  
    Date Last Updated June 26, 2011  
    Web Address www.glbtq.com/arts/cherkassky_s.html  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
 
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2008 glbtq, Inc.  
 

 

This Entry Copyright © 2008 glbtq, Inc.

www.glbtq.com is produced by glbtq, Inc., 1130 West Adams Street, Chicago, IL   60607 glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.
Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.