In Sunday’s (1/24) New York Times, Allan Kozinn reports, “Earl Wild, an American pianist and composer who was renowned for his performances of the virtuoso showpieces of the grand Romantic tradition but whose enormous repertory included everything from Baroque works and Mozart concertos to contemporary scores, died Saturday at his home in Palm Springs, Calif. He was 94. … Mr. Wild, with his shock of white hair and his high-energy performance style, could seem a flamboyant presence on the concert stage. But although he reveled in bravura works—splashy Liszt operatic transcriptions, for example, and concertos by Rachmaninoff—his performances consistently combined a deeply considered interpretive approach and an ironclad technique. … After leaving the Navy in 1944, Mr. Wild became a staff pianist, conductor and composer at ABC, a position he held until 1968. … During his years at ABC, Mr. Wild also toured regularly as a soloist. He gave the premieres of Paul Creston’s Piano Concerto (1949) and Marvin David Levy’s Piano Concerto No. 1 (1970). … Mr. Wild recorded copiously, starting in 1939, when he accompanied the oboist Robert Bloom in a set of Handel sonatas for RCA. All told, his discography includes more than 35 concertos, 26 chamber music recordings and more than 700 solo piano scores.”

Posted January 26, 2010