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Zola Mae Shaulis (Piano)

Born: 1944 (?) - Lancaster, New Jersey, USA

The American pianist, Zola Mae Shaulis, began playing the piano at the age of 3. As a child she studied with Elsie S. Glaspey of Salem, New Jersey, and at age 7 she completely memorized repertoiree of 30 classical selections. At the age of 7 she made an astonishing debut performance with the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Alexander Hilsberg, playing W.A. Mozart's Piano Concerto in A. The youngest soloist ever to appear with the Orchestra, her performance amazed critics and the Associated Press captioned her "the greatest child pianist since Mozart." As she became a mature artist, critics unanimously proclaimed that the development of her talent fulfilled the exciting promise she exhibited as a small child. She has won first place in three International Competitions: the International Bach Competition at Washington, 1960 (when she was 17); the International Piano Competition of Guanabara, Rio de Janeiro, 1969; and the Naumburg Award, New York City, 1971, which resulted in the album "Naumburg piano award winner Zola Shaulis plays Samuel Barber, Louis Gruenberg, Ernest Bloch " (Composers Recordings, 1972).

Zola Mae Shaulis' career spans three continents. In Europe she has played before sophisticated audiences of over 3,000. She has appeared with most of the major orchestras in the USA. Her highly successful New York debut took place in Tully Hall of Lincoln Center in 1971. In South America, during performances in Rio de Janeiro, it was reported that "audiences streamed forward to the stage to applaud and yell bravos for 15 minutes." Her Deutsche Grammophon "Debut" 1971 recording of J.S. Bach's imposing Goldberg Variations (BWV 988), has been greeted with acclaim and she became known as the new J.S. Bach interpreter in Europe. In 1975 she recorded another J.S. Bach's album with 5 Toccatas (BWV 911-915)

Zola Mae Shaulis was the protegé of Agi Jambor for 10 years and continued her studies with Jacques Abram at the University of Toronto. She is married to poet William Kollock. She suddenly and mysteriously disappeared from view in the 1980's. Later it was found that she retired from the concert scene in the late 1970's to raise her daughter, Mila Kollock. As of 2009, she was living most of the year in St. Petersburg, Florida. Peter Zelchenko wrote in 2009: "She still plays, teaches and thinks about music, and perhaps she may surprise us again with her musical intelligence and elegant technique".


Source: Liner notes to the album "Naumburg piano award winner Zola Shaulis plays Samuel Barber, Louis Gruenberg, Ernest Bloch" (Composers Recordings, 1972); Article in Peter Zelchenko and Gapers Block ([July 24, 2009); Bits & pieces from other sources
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (November 2006)

Zola Mae Shaulis: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

Zola Shaulis (New World Records) [PDF, 1972]
Lost and Found: Prodigy Pianist (Peter Zelchenko and Gapers Block) [July 24, 2009]

Girl, 7, Wins Praise As Pianist With Philadelphia Orchestra (Reading Eagle - Apr 23, 1950)

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Last update: żNovember 19, 2015 ż07:51:43