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Len Vertefeuille was born and raised into a loving family on the East coast. He now lives in North Carolina and he and his wife Lisa have two children who mean the world to Len. He has been working in the Warren Wilson College kitchen since 1989. Len enjoys cooking for and working alongside ...


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Richard 's Story > Chapters > The Overview of My life...

Front Page overview of my bio.... 

 
Date Range: 05/20/1900 To 05/20/2048   Comments: 0 Views: 17499
Attachments: Yes [27 Images]    

Prelude to An " Artists Life"

Amidst the hustle and bustle of life,the functional business dogmatic, and the precidence of the casual, and formal, there is a place for art. The artist sees many things, and many will criticize, but this being has to live, quantify and enrich through his talents a world that is suspect of all good things, and pleasure which can be, or seem like, a complete distortion, but be an absolute measure of truth in ones journey. The artist is a traveler from his studio to the world. By being both the creator, facilitator, director and producer as well as the prophet, the life of the artist is often analogous to that of clergy in the cloister. God is seen from another viewpoint, where vanishing point meets the horizon, and plane becomes analogous with the context of perspective.
There are often many obstacles in the artists life that provide for insight into the truth of a natural "reality" and "things that are beautiful", however this artist is well aware of the certain dangers one sometime beholds in their craft. I use the word cautiously, but hold this word, (danger)in high regard as the reality that an artist may view is not necessarily the pedestrian or common  viewpoint. All who wish to become artists be warned of the beauty that one may perceive, the pleasure of ones craft, but also the dangers that may come to pass as a matter of taking on the creative perspective. 

 but which should echo 'conscience'....those things done by human hands in a world filled with alibi and replacement for the unreplacable)
In 2009 the requiem of time, that holds all things sacred to us at bay, ravaged the potential of total loss to my work as well as a life, etched in my personal work as an artist. as well as my parents truly historic works came to pass in a series of incidence that only a call for silence could be etched as a remark held in prayer.
I am encouraged by the help that came in needed time. There is promise and hope for a future through the venue of my life as it has been presented by work that can be continued. Nevertheless the artists rationalization is to continue without pass, and in the jurisdiction of creativity that is in their personal realm, regardless of restrictions otherwise imposed. I am deeply grateful for peoples help in this regard. Both materially as well as physically I had restrictions. During the recent months I had been in recovery, partially because of a medical incident which came...well lets just say....too close to the edge. It was a miracle just to be here today, to form my life again. Realization of heavens help through faith has been encouraging, even through some have seemed oblivious to my plight.  I realized the 'great silence', the bar we hold for ourselves and others, as well as what it is like to experience a truly great void in consciousness, and solitude in prayer-necessary prayer and re-rejuvenation.
Thoughts for work...and in conclusion life’s path as a teacher- as in... why teach? I would rather do my work in private now. That I could help students with learning the craft of art...degrees in the substantial...should be obvious, unfortunately not so obvious as some would contend, as teaching positions come in from as far away as China, Korea, Saudi Arabia etc. ...I have not found a singular account of an open and representative position in my homeland in over three years-nor the necessity for an experienced expert. Education-My dream is as follows: A new brand of educational system should be implemented in the US...for the sciences and arts immediately...guaranteed experts in their field given proper treatment and good pay without funky red tape. No more funny stuff. During the past year I have found too many positions that required 'graduates' in my field occupied by those with only...less than associates education (some only had high school diplomats and were teaching at accredited high schools..why the lines were up...why does one want to teach, if one cannot be paid well or paid less than a worker at hamburger inc. "hourly"?...or  the scapegoat in volunteer positions at a for profit motive by the companies that sponsor them...pay to work education positions and various ruthless scams), but tied in with an iron-clad friendship constituency (and bureaucratic red-tape) for protection-this is the reason . One cannot give up hope but work towards better standards...its a global embarrassment! We need a very dramatic change in our education system or its going to cost us generations. Needed: Less Paper and the paper pushers...Better Students who are not loaded with the answers before the professors speak...-were wasting our time giving out those degrees, we need a complete overhaul of our educational system from its dry-rot. I taught in Europe for over 7 years. Its a system of free education that should be looked at and examined. It took 1 month in Central Europe to find professional teaching, during which time I was offered positions all over Central and Eastern Europe as far away as Russia and Ukraine. One week in Italy for something to come to pass in teaching- (I did not really want to teach at that time. Question: Where is the backbone? Have we become complacent with our system of paperwork as an example of education or product as a element of education? Is it alright for students not to be able to read or write or have any knowledge or some competence of history, humanities, art... all across the mid-west as well as the west? Is this what we have become? We should demand better. We should invest in education better than we do the stock market...it insures profit of our future America.

     "Money-giving is a very good
      criterion of a person's mental
      health.....

          Karl Menninger

 I came to the conclusion an abbreviated essay on my life was indeed an involved project. Involvement means time and energy. To say one persons life is more important than another is egoistic, but to say that some experiences, and matters of "Truth" as they may be had are of importance on a different level. 
In our terrestrial existence we  live on a remote small planet revolving around a not so spectacular star, rather a star of size and variation, class and size that is rather typical (of a most common variety) in our universe. That our species has evolved to its current level of technology may be somewhat remarkable. This small blue planet 6.5 billion people in number, seems to have a legacy written upon it as well as the evolution of so many "experiences" with which are shared in the very evolution of the Genesis of ideas and compact of the Earth as a singular mind and minds among its greater numbers. That a free society, in being called free,  acting as free representatives among the numbers to share experiences is a blessing. Biography is an evolution of involvement of experience, singularly and collectively. Unfortunately many experiences are left to the lost arena, baited skillfully on the craft of economics and fixed historical reference points (history as it may conquested and revised according to point-of-reference, or relatively point-of-view) However, the static reference points, the article of ones life and experience concludes...one point of reference-the observer, and collective information to identify the status from what point is observed. Fact by fact is conclusive. Unfortunately not every system is free, and suppression and despotism do exist among the glass-houses which line the plexiformed environments which we can sometimes call are neighborhoods or parameters from which our observations are gained and information disseminated. The poetic and artistic spirit, among us is one of the last viewing points which allows some measure of freedom. More elastic than static, we are at once open to interpretation. The artist not only represents this through prose and expression, but though taste, and hopefully good example...or experiment. Where freedom exists, so should art...of all varieties, prospects, inclinations and viewpoints. The author of this study has the experience of visiting those less-free societies, hopefully that are lifting their reigns, as well as consciousness that mankind should be inalienably free in his attempt to think and hone his abilities without duress or attempt to squelch his/her dynamics in the course and term of a "living" example of what the tongues of true liberty should be allowed to sponsor consciously through their art and dynamics. Unfortunately we know the story of Socrates, as well as those of Ann Frank...those examples and many many others who challenged us to listen in desperation, and call to the act of discovery, the art of "DE jure" before "de facto" presses the abhorant example.
In the writing of biography, many things take place. Life is not a cozy flat table with which one can set ones wealth upon, nor is the art of biography as there are many metaphoric pressing examples of mountains and hills, and even valleys that one must encounter before setting into bound pages a glowing resonance...that this is "my" biography. I realize the metaphor and its power, reference and state as example both to be taken literally and misconstrued, sometimes purposefully. This is unfortunately an erring nature to read the words but not take the greater form of a statement into mind on an intellectual level. We are after-all an evolution in our existence after our nature. Education is seen as a life-learning curve rather than a segment...which it is...and process follows, singular, individual process to occur what is termed education in our systems of resolve into what is knowing from that...which it is not. The act of discovery is evolutionary, not linear. Education can take us through numerous Phds and still have us lacking, yet it is somehow known and undiscovered that there is no literal translation into what is termed knowledge or wisdom in a segment of events. The apostle of ignorance is wide and varied.  It is to ones own best interest...to not know, but know, as possession of knowledge can be its very epitaph in exploitation. Any biography would not be complete without the word exploitation written into the text which brings me into to realm of comparison and contrast among some beautiful examples of texts of genius. "An Experiment in Biography" by H.G Wells as well as the unfortunate, "Letter to Father" of a young Franz Kafka. "The Good Soldier Sweck" or Voltaire "Candide" a funny but remarkable setting which identifiably have the fabric of which biography is made. We can laugh with irony as sarcasm is a great leverage on occasion... of truth.
No great biography is without triumph and sorrow, wit and contrast. It may further be noted that ones life, if one lives it to full potential..might often ignored, a crisis of the human condition subjects each condition to a microscope, analysis, quasi-atomic level vetting ( all for something to do) and may I say...utter disbelief. If one has to classify it...fun intended:
 
"Neurotic means he is not as
sensible as I am, and psychotic
means he's even worse
than my brother-in-law."

Karl Menninger

So many things happen as well as events, that in order of time, could not put the sequences together in a cohesive manner. Therefore I lay this document on line for your perusal. (Everyone’s life is interesting. Though I lay this forward, raw and in progress, I have had little assistance with any of this. (Spell check) has gone awry, and help from persons that have drifted my way have bowed out on many occasions to make it an even more exciting proposal...a continual dry run. Of course I am aware, as with any artistic work, that the metaphoric knife... is always perceptually aimed. This is a factual account as best as it can be described. Apologies for technical difficulties. Oh the many technical difficulties...

Although I wanted to nuance, I feel that it would somehow detract from the whole, yet I must mention names. Perhaps for the best facility in doing this, the names were changed and identities skewed to a near representation, but not missing the general idea. (I do this in the Road Across)

Maybe many of these are names you have never heard of when I mention missions of other artists. I only wish to give these as a reference point, a point that I feel is of importance for the issue of general discovery. My biography is printed in several books international. Biographical sketches of my career can be found in the Library of Congress and other libraries. Perhaps the one book that expresses the artists circumstance contains 2 pages of bio and an artist statement referencing a "Dedication" (Please inquire for yourself into the First Edition of Millennium Hall of Fame 1997 c.1999 at the Library of Congress-Special Collection-Washington DC) 

LC Control No.:

sn 98000355

LCCN Permalink:

http://lccn.loc.gov/sn98000355

Type of Material:

Serial (Book, Periodical, Newspaper, etc.)

Main Title:

Millennium Hall of Fame.

Published/Created:

Description:

v. : ports. ; 27 cm.

Vol. with c1999 called
"Premier World Edition."

[1st ed.]-

ISSN:

1098-3171

as well as other books in print )   However I am leaving out many things (on purpose) unless this biography would span more than 200 pages of padding that I feel would without purpose except to inform and perhaps entertain...maybe...enlighten (but this is a very misunderstood concept in current culture)  This is an experiment, a reference point where, I as an artist have come to the visualization of the need to write a biography, a full story in black and white for those, especially artists or those involved in the arts to read and think about. In our current culture I am afraid that "fame" of any type is harness only by the few who are pre-decided as exceptions. This bio is not in an attempt to become famous. To harness a biography is a difficult task. I wish to provide an informational structure to the events that happened in my life. "Interpretation is your game..." as the old story goes. Facts as they occur "are" so to speak. The story is true as the spirit of acceptance and to the word from the hands of the writer as well as interpretation for time and its isolation to resound in some spiritual essence..as even the most current events find them self history at some point.

"As I sit here writing it becomes quite obvious that I am of no special significance, a cog on a written podium writing what I know for the singular purpose of "doing something" in fact anything beyond shuffle papers...and this is perhaps just that...the winds of time, shuffling themselves...here. For only God knows the essence of each of us, and thus it is.."
Richard Ozanne
                     (09)

"What is big news now will someday become relatively inconsequential.  The sequence of events which lead to the present will always be kept a profound and harnessed inertia. Cause and effect can, in many sequences of events, sometimes be laid as a cornerstone to something laid as a perceptual form of influence and reaction.  This effect levied upon the future as well as history to unravel and unfold in a greater sense of consciousness of ...what is"
Richard Ozanne
                     08'

The "Tradition", History of the Family

 I was born into a family of musicians and artists, but not just "artists" as the general public knows the stigma to attach itself. 

"...Artists'

There was no such word as "artists" as we generally know them today. The word was once considered in high esteem among many cultures of our civilization. The word is often felt of as a general term indicating a crafts person or hobbiest ( creating a general idea that everyone is an artist...but there are actually fewer and fewer by ratio to our population ) but better known yet is of the far reaching tradition of this craft. Of course it was generally the convention since the 19th century and the term "starving artists" was initiated out of a popular but poorly written drama (a play) set in Paris c.1850- that our stigma became a general catch phrase among the populace.

It was a sad time during the start of a period of wars that engulfed Europe where artists were hudled in Paris and other cities of Europe in the mid-19th century. Naturally the artists were many, and those who were known were generally members of the Academy as its tradition went back at least 200 years from ther into the guilds of artists from Italy and Germany who were trained, thus typifying a type of union of the arts. In this day and age it is generally unheard of. The typification of 'starving artist' only goes back to this age in Paris. Usually, as with this particular craft, academy and time the artists were not only well paid but sometimes better off than the culture surrounding them. Unfortunately the advent of photography in the 1830's shifted the impulse for the 'picture' to a new parameter outside painting or the consensus of the arts as being a superior craft. By the late 19th century many painters had drifted towards more ecclectic styles which could not really be caught by the camera. The advent of abstract art in the early 20th century defined a new thought process which has continued to this day. By the 1930-50s the conventional realistic image' in art was largely questioned, abstract forms generally predominated. Although there was a gigantic push ahead in the arts in the 1940's through the 1970's in all artistic medium, it still didnt seem likely that art in its formal terms would dissappear from the books as a serious study. Rather sadly in the late 1980's and 90's (similar to a period a century previous) there was a general opposition to the terms of art, its creation and the importance of the media to society bringing us to the present age where art in all forms is challenged in existence. 

Ages such as this had existed before. In the late 16th century, the world challenged by new ideas and standards changed its opinions of what came before it. Gigantic shifts in political structure laid many ideologies extinct and few for reference to this day. In the late 17th century (classical era changed) the same thing happened leading to a long period of 20 years before the Romantic era took shape (in this period of huge ideological shifts and wars, nations shifted and the motion was felt through the art) in its upgrade of vision that lasted well into the 20th century with the expressionist painters who were romantics. Now of course there is the same dynamic and the same problem as our world makes another metamorphosis and the age changes to new eras of discovery. 

With modern media, marketing and vast resources of internet, and television the future of the arts is left entirely unclear. In some cases one may come to some idea that there will not be any art for the future, in other cases we can we can summize that art is a function of a human ability to work in reference to his own expression and according to his own impulse of either trained or natural ability. But what is for sure at this time, and very clear that some implulse must be given to the arts to be able to survive this period.

     Traditionally, basically ever since the arts emerged out of the Renaissance, the arts as they were generally known had positively nothing of the free hand expression given today in a somewhat derogatory manner.  There has been and continued as a tradition, and a well respected tradition, as per the arts for many centuries. Unfortunately this has not been played out among popular media and culture of today. In some respects this tradition that has lasted well over a thousand years.. laying a pathway of many influences. 

In the visual arts there have been the painters of Europe who provided centuries of influence. Rembrandt and the Dutch masters each had their ateliers which produced many students who gave influences to different changes and referenced an evolution from what we can view in any book on art history. Even the modern artists of today have been influenced if studied, on the basis of history, in their arts or crafts. The painters of the Bauhaus didn't instantaneously become "artists". There was no respect historically for an artist that didn't study as well perform their craft. Many names of the artists have gone by the wayside but their influences can be clearly seen. What we have is the culture of art today, that is unaffected by the past because it is reflective of every action and reaction, neuron impulse and perception of beauty that is relevant to media but not necessarily 'art' in the higher sense as this realm has become an adage of sorts, for the ceiling has been removed and replaced by a new order and new diagrams of art as it may be considered, the art of the masses and the influence of decoration that proposes art of value.
In music we have the influences of the Germans, Italians, French, Austrians or English as well as many others. The schools of Bach, Mozart or Hayden are well known. From these schools the next generation of musicians were formed. The names are many and their influences still to this day among the perceptive youth which study the marks of "genius" that were represented.
Somehow I feel we have broken the arrow in our perception of what is considered good or bad. Art from 100 years ago cannot be in anyway compared even in a general way to that produced today. The essence of art meshed with philosophy seems lost in our culture. Skill in our current age has seemingly no bearing because it is outsmarted by the latest computer driven program, on an incremental level, but skill (true skill) can never be matched only augmented. Our world, filled with the remarkable achievements of mechanics and technology can never undermine the basic skill of recording thoughts on paper whether in the arts or in engineering. It is the development of this imaginative complex that drives achieved skill forward to new dimensions of progress. It is hoped that the person can remain an individual with his choices of artistic exploration. Classical music and classical art may have all turned to the basis of 'mass approval' in order for a concert or exhibition to be deemed progressive. It is clear that the arts of today are slowly diminishing in importance among the populace if it is not "popular art" or "art for the masses". For the civilizations of tomorrow we may ask: who are the artists who represent our time and age. Surely will these will be the popular icons of our media?

Family "Ozanne"

(Based in part on original documents from England (College of Arms, Normandy and France from the 13 century and 19th century as well as written and oral notes)

The name surname "Ozanne" comes from my fathers side of the family, and the name, almost common on the islands of Guernsey and Jersey, is many centuries old from the records that were kept.  The surname has quite a number of different relationships. It is primarily a Norman (Normandy France) name but also English, French sides of this family. Some of the Ozanne, Ozan can be found as far away as Poland and central Europe. Ironically I personally met a Slovakian and Pole that had the first name as Ozan. This name is a name of a river in Turkey. It means Troubadour in Turkish, and for some twist of the language sounds similar to Azen in Arabic which means "Time". Ozanne, some have said comes from the name of the "Hosannas" which were a call to herald. The Hosannas were the ones that according to some legend carried the Palm Branches and sang praise during the life of Jesus. Similar in a sense to "Azen" declaring a time for worship. With some irony this word translates into Hebrew meaning "Ear". Thoughts of Troubadours and singing praise can be applied with the imagination.
A Cote of Arms in copper plate (as an etching) was passed from generation to generation as well as papers on parchment of the history of the family "Ozanne". This is an interesting legacy as it leads to the direct descendants of William the Conqueror (sister Matilda) as well as many other nobles in England and France. Hear-say legend passed through the family basically what was known by descendants before as well as on paper. Whether reasons to be proud or feel irrationally significant added to the legend that our branch of the family were direct ancestors of William the Conqueror. A ring was passed from generation to generation...diamonds set deeply in sapphire occurring in a star design were said to be the ring passed on to his sister upon Williams death as proof.  In any case it was said that this was the testament of his death...the delivery of the ring. (In a bank vault, I ponder over the history of this...fact or fiction who knows...only a relic of the past but quite intact and beautiful) There is some written record of the Ozanne existing in Poland, as well, as the first democratically elected King of Poland "Stanislas Augustus" under the Pontitowski Dynasty. This I was mentioned in my family charts of a Richard Ozanne born in Krakow c.____ having an ambassador present at the great church  with the King Stanislas Augustus as godfather. (little is known about the Polish roots or lineage from there...) There was a "Richard Ozanne", born in Poland via a family Zukowska hence the added interest. *Later upon a visit to Krakow Poland(1996) I had an interesting time. I was doing some research on the history etc in the old archives (the ones left after the war that still had some history preserved) and came across an old man and his wife with many interesting commentaries about the history of Poland, Pontitowski and apparently the name Zukowska. He gave me a small token of interest (later researched over the internet) Some interesting commentary about this article (a cross of sorts) of art and designed enameled with the words "Poland Restored" as a token memento from the organization he had been part of, after dinner at his home the night before my trip down to Zakopane where I spent a week in the Tatras...something to do with Polish history as well as my own visits to Zakopane in the past. Not much comment, just some interest.

Of course this information was passed along via old papers from generation to generation and when in London I visited the College of Arms, as it is known, that confirmed some records as to my descendants. Genealogy is a novelty. At one point long ago it was considered something of science. The question is Who knows exactly, except to have somewhat pointed reference to ones history in documents, some which have held the prism of time only to dwindle with age and neglect. At this point I hold both the copper plate etching of the cote of arms and a ring which once belonged to William the Conqueror, its stones set in sapphire blackened by time. I did research. This research lead to the nostalgic, a lesson in history from where I came. The Marsh family was very close in kin (name on my great grandmothers side) as well business dealing with the Ozanne family at one point during the early part of the 20th century through the Great Depression. One of my uncles, "Ozanne" a deeply spiritual and sentimental man founded the Rhine foundation towards psychic research.

The Marshes were from a prominent family in upstate New York , who once owned a seat on the New York Stock Exchange and a city block on Wall Street (circa 1900), who have been in the United States since before 1776. My uncle James Marsh was present on the cover of the New York Herald Tribune during the Stock Market Crash of 1929 owning a seat on the New York Stock Exchange at one time. Of English origin they came from the vicinity of Kent. Other families too  have consolidated themselves in to my own. Marlowe was my great grandmothers name, of English-Austo-Hungarian origin. Tchereginska of Russian origin. (My grandmothers name) who was a noted Russian actress on stage and movies, went by the last name of Edwards (her uncles name) to clear the censors. She disappeared in the late 20’s (?) and was never seen of nor heard of again.  Austro-Hungarian, Czech Ancestry from Prague (c.1910) the name of Bernhardt. ( perhaps Sara Bernhardt was a relative)

My mothers family came from Germany. Not the Germany as we know today, but a deeply divided Germany under 19th century rule during the wars between separatists states under Otto Von Bismark. There name was Benkman, or Benkmann, a once noble family that had the title of "Von" or "Count." , bankers of the empire. Who knows what happened! My great grandfather was a violinist, a master musician who was looking for safety in the new America and for the liberty that called this his home. He settled in California, the approximate date 1880, a date of a refuge because of his beliefs, on a passenger manifest ,by the same name, on a vessel headed towards New York.

Existing in northern Germany near the Lithuanian border in German Held territory they migrated south to the area of Bayren near Munich. One part of the family stayed in Germany, my great grandfather came to America on strong convictions. My grandfather on my mothers side was a concert flutist (Herbert Benkman) who worked for the San Francisco Symphony from the 1930’s -60’s. His Brother Siegfried Benkman was a skilled composer of classical and liturgical music for the Catholic Church. He was most noted for his Yosemite Suite.

Our family pursued excellence in their craft of art and music, which is beyond definition by most standards of  today. Our new art is reflective of  rapid moving popularity, a culture  based on mass consumption...and  the of fleeting moment.



Photograph Circa 1938/9




My Father

Ozan  (Ozanne) Marsh:

Biography in International Who's Who of Music, Available Online or at the Library of Congress Washington DC-His many recordings, perhaps over 100 in number of various composers are not available through commercial venues except for a very select few...he purposely wanted it this way. To this day I have the original masters from many concerts on tape-paper and acetate-reel to reel, wax disc, and commercially done digital "Beta" as well as many videos.

He was a brilliant pianist, a student of Horowitz, Rachmaninoff, Egon Petri and Emile Von Sauer. His bio had been listed so many times, and boxes of material (newspaper, books, article and letters)exist to this day which I have gone through and discovered, making him a personal hero of mine.

Ozan Marsh (June 25, 1920 in Pasadena, California - March 15, 1992) was a pianist active in concert performances throughout the world as well as across the United States.

A disciple of Rachmaninoff, Horowitz, Petri, Casadesus and Von Sauer, the late Ozan Marsh has received the plaudits of audiences and critics around the world, particularly for his performances of Liszt and Chopin. For more than five decades Ozan Marsh has won critical acclaim in recital appearances and as soloist with the world’s most distinguished orchestras. Among these are the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Pops, Boston Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Vienna Philharmonic, Warsaw Philharmonic, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra and the London Philharmonic Orchestras, to name a few.

Before the second world war he studied in Europe at Fountainbleau with Robert and Gaby Casadesus, Isidore Phillipp and other noted figures of this musical period. He traveled to Vienna and worked with Emile Von Sauer (one of the last surviving pupils of Franz Liszt) and continued study with Econ Petri during summer sessions in Zakopane Poland. Marsh gave his Paris and Warsaw debut (Warsaw Conservatory) in 1938 only months before the outbreak of the war. His first Town Hall New York debut was in 1939 and received fine praise from the New York Times. During WWII he served in the Navy’s "Lighter than Air" dirigible squadron as well as a final post as chaplains assistant because of a disability caused by the war.

During his career he played over 200 concert appearances with the Boston Pops Orchestra (in Boston and on nationwide concert tours), Appeared a number of times with the New York Philharmonic and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra as well as gave literally hundreds of solo concerts throughout the United States under Columbia Artists Management, on their Community Concerts Series. During his life he had the opportunity to tour Russia (former Soviet Union 1980)at the invitation of the Soviet Government and at the invitation of one of that nations foremost senior composers Dmitri Kabalevsky. He toured South Korea three time and China PRC twice playing solo concerts as well as appearing with orchestra with the Beijing (China) Opera Orchestra.

Ozan Marsh coupled an outstanding performing career with an equally distinguished academic one. "As a teacher he was tireless- the activity was as much a passionate necessity for him as practicing or performing. With Ozan Marsh teaching was a vast workshop of ideas.[citation needed]

Ozan Marsh was characteristic of the finest of his kind. An artist of restless energy, attracted to the piano as though by a magnet. He was a tireless craftsman , constantly mixing, blending, and researching the qualities of sound with and acute inner ear. Marsh possessed a huge repertory augmented by research. He stemmed from the grand manner of the keyboard, when the pianist was the heroic personage. Ozan Marsh played in a monumental style graced by elegant virtuosity with refinement and subtle coloring that was uniquely his own.

He served on the faculties of such major institutions as Indiana University, Manhattan School of Music, Butler University, St. Lawrence University, University of Arizona and the Chautauqua Institution. He participated in judging various international piano competitions including the Van Cliburn, the Franz Liszt, the National Federation of Music Clubs and many others. Some of his students include Donna Amato, Edgar Coleman, and David Syme among others. He was also the President of the Pianist’s Foundation of America, (formerly the Southwest Pianists Foundation) an organization devoted to furthering of the careers of promising young pianists. He gave a great deal of his time to the much needed project of furthering the goals of those pianists, many whom have gone on to wonderful careers themselves.

Ozan Marsh has recorded for RCA (His Masters Voice), CBS (Columbia), PFA and VLR Records, the Voice of America and the Boston Symphony Transcription Library.

Although these may just be names today, they in fact represented some of the greatest pianistic giants of the 2oth Century.



My Mother Patricia Benkman (Pianist and Professor)

Patricia Benkman was a pianist of remarkable character (Patricia Benkman).

She was born into a pianistic and musical family and began studies at an early age. Her father was chair flute of the San Francisco Symphony from the 1930’s through his retirement in the early 1960’s. My mother was seemingly destined to be a star of the pianistic stage. She gave one of the first premiers of Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue at a young age in San Francisco as a child prodigy and went on to perform across the country, with the New York Symphony (before it was the NY Philharmonic), the Indianapolis Symphony and many other concert dates across the United States and in Europe. She was a pupil of Isabella Vengerova as well as Egon Petri in New York, Europe and Poland. As a young pianist she was dynamic and took the concert stage by storm being encouraged by conductors and composers such as Walter Damerosch and Pierre Monreaux as well as many musicians and audiences across the US.

She made numerous recordings in her life although she had reserves about 'recording' a performance in general. Her style was technical brilliance of a caliber that is even rare today, with an edge of grace that was sturdy yet passionate and extremely educated in music.

My parents met during a summer in Zakopane Poland in the late 1930’s slightly before world war II. My father had been studying with Egon Petri during his summer courses in Zakopane and was concertizing in Warsaw as well as attending the Music conservatory at Fontainebleau under Robert Casadesus. Isadore Phillip, (Under lecturers) Igor Stravinsky, Leopold Godowsky (the names abound to this history as I remember he used to talk endlessly of his studies in Europe before the World War)

During my parents first meeting I remember my father’s comments on my mothers playing. " As though a roman candle were sitting at the piano burning with brilliance,security, musical  talent and tone...and certainly I was intimidated, jealous and set back by this beautiful young lady who I had to know", and quite obviously she was impressed by my father who was able to establish incredible technique, raw emotion and thunderous speed on the keyboard




 



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