HASKIL, CLARA (1895–1960), Romanian pianist, of Sephardi background. Born in Bucharest, Haskil studied at the Conservatory in 1901 and made her debut in Vienna 1902 as a child prodigy. She studied with Richard Robert and later in Paris with Cortot.
Her technique and capacity for poetic expression won her a great reputation. Though a muscular disorder severely impeded her career, she continued playing concerts during periods of remission, making numerous appearances with Ysaÿe, Enesco, Casals, and Grumiaux and appearing as a soloist with major symphony orchestras in Europe and America. She lived in Paris from 1927 until 1940, when the German invasion forced her to flee the city. In 1949 she acquired Swiss nationality.
Haskil was made a Chevalier of the Legion d'Honneur in belated recognition of the inimitable clarity and eloquence of her playing. Her interpretation of Beethoven, Schumann, Schubert, and especially Mozart was profoundly sensitive and unique. She made memorable recordings of the complete Beethoven sonatas for violin and piano with Grumiaux as well as of several Mozart concertos. A Clara Haskil Prize was established at the International Music Festival in Lucerne.
Sources:NG2; MGG2; Melkonian, Martin. Clara Haskil: Portrait (1995)
[Naama Ramot (2nd ed.)]
Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.