Invitation to visit the USSR in 1980
In mid August at the ISME International Musical Educators conference in London Ontario I met Dimitri Borisovitch Kabalevsky, a personal hero of mine since a youth. I loved his piano and symphonic works and truely felt his works were some of the finest classical compositions in the 20th century. My father Ozan Marsh had know him for many years and had played his 2nd Piano Concerto numbers upon numbers of times with orchestra during his 60's tours with Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops, Henry Ellis Dickson Boston Symphony, and during the summer at Chautauqua with a special appearance of Kabalevskys work with the Chautauqua Symphony, Walter Hendl Conducting (Wonderful flaw free performances)
I remembered Kabalevsky from childhood. It was at the composers convention in Washington DC that both my father and mother first introduced several composers to me. Of course it is somewhat of a blur today and I was a young child at the time, but I do remember meeting Aram Katcheturien, Kabalevsky, Dmitri Shostokovitch quite well as composer Roy Harris, who gave me a present in the lobby of the hotel where we were staying. Of course my parents had a great many associations with numerous composers over the years, and I frequently remember meeting some of these classical luminaries over the years, either after a concert or during a convention.
Of all of them...Kabalevsky seemed to stand out.
In September of 1979 my father received an invitation from Kabalevsky to come and be the celebrated American pianist for the 75th Anneversary of Dimitry Kabalevsky in the USSR. He was thrilled, and I was given the honorary-but supported post (payed) to be his assistant on the tour of the USSR, which would commence in January 1980.