'Potsdam Pianist' Eugene List Dies
Mar. 02, 1985
NEW YORK (AP) _ Pianist Eugene List, who gained fame when he was summoned to play for Winston Churchill, Harry Truman and Josef Stalin at Potsdam, was found dead in his home Friday by his secretary. He was 66.
List's secretary found the pianist's body at the foot of the stairs in his house when she arrived for work, said List's representative, Bernard Gurtman.
The pianist was scheduled for a concert in Carnegie Hall at the end of April, and was playing a number of concerts in the United States this season.
Born in Philadelphia July 6, 1918, List grew up on the West Coast, where his father was a teacher. He made his debut at age 12 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, playing Beethoven's ''Third Piano Concerto.''
At 13, his parents sent him to Philadelphia to compete for a scholarship to study with Olga Samaroff Stokowski. She took him as a pupil and entered him in a competition sponsored by the Philadelphia Orchestra. He won that, too, the prize being an appearance with the orchestra in the premiere of Dmitri Shostakovich's ''Piano Concerto.''
After the Potsdam performance, Stalin gave List a standing toast. Before the conference was over, List was asked to play four more times. President Truman frequently invited him to play in the White House after that.
He acted in one movie, ''Bachelor's Daughter,'' in 1946.
List was known for ''monster concerts,'' scheduling pieces requiring a number of pianos on stage. In 1970 he and nine of his students from the Eastman School of Music played a Gottschalk piece for 10 pianos on the Ed Sullivan Show. More recently, he has been on the faculty of Carnegie-Mellon University.
List married violinist Carroll Glenn, who died last year. He is survived by their two daughters and his father.