Born: December 29, 1918 - USA
Died: February 9, 2013 - Newton, Massachusetts, USA
The American harpsichordist, Irma (Rose) Rogell, begged for piano lessons long before she received them as a present for her eighth birthday (her parents thought she needed to know fractions first). She studied music at Radcliffe and began lessons with pianist Lillian Page that continued through her graduation, her marriage, and her husbandís military service overseas. Page had studied with Wanda Landowska, the great Polish-French harpsichordist credited with reviving popular interest in that instrument, and took Rogell to a master-class Wanda Landowska offered, the first harpsichord performance Rogell had attended. Wanda Landowska became Rogell's teacher and mentor. Actually Rogell was Landowska's last student.
In 1960, a year after Wanda Landowskaís death, Irma Rogell played her debut concert at Boston's Jordan Hall, with her husbandís encouragement, asking for minimum publicity because she meant to give only one performance. When she was so well-received, concert manager Dimitar Zachareff suggested that she consider a career. The concert embarked on a successful career as a performer and teacher. She toured throughout Europe, South America and the USA. She has appeared with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Erich Leinsdorf and the Brazil Symphony Orchestra under deCarvalho; she has also played with the Camarata of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
As a teacher, Irma Rogell served on the faculty of the Longy School of Music, the York College of the City University of New York and the New England Conservatory of Music. She presented master-classes at Harvard University and was a soloist and lecturer at the Aegina Arts Centre in Greece.
Irma Rogell premiered suites and sonatas for harpsichord composed and dedicated to her by the American composer Nicholas Van Slyck; she also received compositions from composers such as Willi Pelemans, Josip Andric, Frank Martin, Dalibor Vackar and Ernst Levy.
In here late years, Irma Rogell recorded on the AFKA label. After years of touring, recording (Songs of Celebration and Iberia were remastered as CD's), and teaching, she again played mainly for her own enjoyment. She wrote a memoir of her studies with Wanda Landowska, and listened to her old tapes for new recording projects. She died on February 9, 2013, at the age of 94. She was preceded in death by her husband Bernard.