in search of ilona eibenschütz

Once in a long while, I have an experience that brings the distant musical past almost close enough to touch. That happened a few years ago when a friend of mine said to me “Have I ever told you about my grandmother?” I soon learned that his grandmother was a late 19th-century piano virtuoso, a protégée of Clara Schumann and friend of Johannes Brahms. My friend has memories of his grandmother from when he was a boy, along with radio interviews and a few — a very few — recorded performances. So only three degrees of separation — from me…to my friend…to his grandmother…to Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann. Almost close enough to touch.

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