Curtis piano teacher, 97, still going strong
RITTENHOUSE SQUARE - February 17, 2012 (WPVI) -- "I plan to teach until I drop," laughed master piano instructor Eleanor Sokoloff.
At 97 years young, Sokoloff is still a premiere piano instructor at the elite Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
"I came to Curtis when I was 16," she told Action News. "1930, and a miracle I got in."
Before she even graduated, Sokoloff was appointed to the faculty
"And I have been teaching there ever since. 75 years! This is my 76th year," she said.
17-year-old Andrew Hsu is one of Eleanor's students, or, as she calls them, her children.
Hsu says studying with Sokoloff in her Rittenhouse Square home is more than a piano lesson, it's a moment in history.
"She's known so many people: Rachmaninoff, Serkin.... She carries all of those traditions with her. She's seen so much more than everybody else."
Sokoloff hasn't played a note since she was in her 80s. But budding musicians tickling the ivories of the Boesendorfer piano in her sitting room are the sounds that keep her, as Hsu says, "sharp as ever!"
"I have the cream of the crop, these young people," said Sokoloff. She agreed that their energy and talent keep her young.
And when we asked if she has any thought of retiring, she just laughed.
"Noooo! I am aiming for 100. I hope I make it! I'm not going anywhere!"
philadelphia, pennsylvania, center city, music, 6at4, local/state, alicia vitarelli
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