Oral Histories

Interview of Joanna Graudan

Concert pianist and University of Southern California professor of piano.
Concert Pianist
Interviews not in a series, part one
Biographical Note:
Concert pianist and University of Southern California professor of piano.
Hast, Sybil D.
Graudan, Joanna
Persons Present:
Graudan and Hast.
Place Conducted:
Graudan's home in Pacific Palisades, California.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by Sybil D. Hast, B.A., French, Smith College; M.A., French, University of Pittsburgh; M.A., German, UCLA. Lecturer in Music, UCLA.Hast prepared for the interview by conducting several pre-interviews with Graudan and read a copy of her unpublished memoirs.
Processing of Interview:
Cathy L. Chambers, Gold Shield intern, edited the interview. She checked the verbatim transcript of the interview against the original tape recordings, edited for punctuation, paragraphing, and spelling, and verified proper names. Words and phrases inserted by the editor have been bracketed. Graudan passed away before she was able to review the transcript. Consequently, the spellings of many proper names could not be verified.Alex Cline, editor, prepared the table of contents.Steven J. Novak, editor, prepared the biographical summary and interview history. Lisa Magee, editorial assistant, compiled the index.
6 hrs.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Childhood in Latvia; early piano training; deportation to Russia; political climate before the Russian Revolution; life amid civil war and starvation; studies piano with Pavel Kondratievich Luzenko; moves to Berlin; studies with Leonid Davidovitch Kreutzer at the Hochschule für Musik; difference between Russian and German musical approaches; studies with Artur Schnabel; marriage to Nikolai Graudan; political and cultural climate in Berlin during the 1920s; rise of the Nazis; Wilhelm Furtwängler; flees to London; European concert tour; moves to the United States; Walter Spiess; traveling in Bali, Java, and Sumatra; Nikolai Graudan's employment with the Metropolitan Opera; Dimitri Mitropoulos; moves to Minneapolis; the Graudans begin a joint concert career; summer music workshops; the Aspen Summer Festival; tensions at Aspen lead to the Graudan's departure from the festival; émigré culture of Southern California; travels to Israel and Europe; teaching at University of Southern California (USC); deterioration of USC's music department; the Young Musicians Foundation; Graudan pressured to leave the foundation; private teaching.