Ruth Slenczynska Last Living Pupil of Sergei Rachmaninoff
The story of Ruth Slenczynska tells us an incredible amount about music. In 1925, Ruth Slenczynska was born in Sacramento, USA to two Polish parents. Slenczynska began as a child prodigy who performed her first piano recital at the age of 4, and some have even gone on to say that she is one of the greatest since Mozart. At just 5 years old, Slenczynska played a Beethoven piece that featured on television.
Slenczynska is the last living pupil of Russian conductor, composer and pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff. When Rachmaninoff was unable to perform on his tour due to illness, Slenczynska stepped in and played beautifully for the crowds, and they were not left disappointed.
Since then, Slenczynska has performed around the world, touring at some of the most reputable venues and has played for the likes of President Kennedy, Reagan and Carter, Michelle Obama, as well as playing duets with President Truman.
Her career has lasted for a massive 9 decades, but this star’s musical journey is not over. At the age of 97, Slenczynska has scored herself a global record deal with Decca Classics.
Despite formerly producing 10 albums with Decca records throughout her career, Slenczynska has not produced anything new for the past 60 years. During the Covid-19 lockdowns, Slenczynska ensured that she did not lose touch with her musical abilities or those who support her by posting videos of her playing the piano on YouTube.
Her newest album, My Life in Music, will be released later on in the year and will reflect her incredible journey and life experiences through the medium of music.
Rachmaninoff not only taught her how to play the piano incredibly, but he demonstrated how music can impact on greater life. Ruth says, ‘When I play a piece of music, I like to have it say something. A piece of music that doesn’t speak isn’t…it isn’t there. If I’m not speaking to my audience, they’re wasting their time and I’m certainly wasting my time. ’
In the end, music is more than just notes on a sheet of paper or sounds on a keyboard, but it tells a story and inspires us in ways we had never imagined possible. If you want to see more from Ruth go grab her latest album called “My Life in Music” and take a listen to her wonderful talents.