History of sara compinsky and the SCMC

Sara Compinsky was born May 12, 1904 to Louis and Ada Compinsky,  Russian immigrants to England, while traveling in Russia. She showed a  talent for the piano at age two and was given her early instruction by  her father. A prodigy at age 5, she won a national sight-reading contest  in England.  Sara received her formal musical training in London, where  she was awarded the Bainbridge piano scholarship and various chamber  music scholarships.  Her major piano studies were with Benno  Schönberger, assistant to Theodor Leschetizky.  Her musical training  lineage traces back to Beethoven.

With her two brothers,  violinist, Manuel,  and cellist, Alec, a trio was formed by their father, and he trained them in ensemble playing. The young trio, named  "The Compinsky Trio" concertized widely in Europe, and was honored by  command performances before King George, Queen Mary, and members of the  royal family.

In 1937, Sara married Ferdinand Rosenbaum, a law  student whom she met at Green Mansions, a summer resort on Lake George  in New York State. For several years, the Compinskys were given  vacations there in exchange for performing for the guests in the evenings.

Sara concertized as a soloist as well as with the  Compinsky Trio and other noted artists, in England, Canada, and  throughout America, making numerous tours throughout the United States,  and giving recitals in Carnegie Hall and Town Hall in New York, and at leading colleges and universities.

For eight years, the Compinsky  Trio was featured in a live performance every Sunday on the CBS radio  network coast to coast and, in Los Angeles, they performed weekly live broadcasts over classical radio station, KFAC for one and a half years.

The  Compinsky Trio performed their repertoire of over 40 works by memory, a challenge that was never before, or since attempted by any other  ensemble. They also performed requests from their repertoire at  concerts. For their artistry in ensemble work, The New York Times  proclaimed them "An aristocrat among trios."

As a  pianist, Sara Compinsky was praised for her highly refined technique and musicianship.  Her strength, sensitivity and support, combined with her fine artistry made her the perfect partner in chamber music.  She was a  flawless reader, and could navigate the entire keyboard at great speed  without ever looking down.  This enabled her to cover vast amounts of  repertoire and focus on the ensemble with her brothers. 

In  addition to performing with the Compinsky Trio, Sara taught private  students at her home and was widely known and well loved for her gentle,  encouraging style of inspiring excellence.

Sara was an honorary  member of Sigma Alpha Iota.  She was on the adjudicating panel for the  Young Musicians’ Foundation televised concerts, and she also adjudicated  for the Coleman Chamber Auditions, Santa Monica Music Guild Piano  Scholarships, and West Los Angeles Music Teachers Association  competitions.

She was on the faculty of the University of  Southern California, Los Angeles Conservatory of Music, and the Pacific  Institute of Music and Fine Art, a school that was founded by her  brother, Alec.  She was later affiliated with Mt. St. Mary’s College and taught privately in her home for many years.

In 1972, Sara  initiated these monthly master classes to give her students an  opportunity to perform their repertoire in an informal setting, and  receive valuable feedback and participate in an open discussion with the  members of the class.  She continued the master classes for 15 years.  Sara Compinsky passed away in Los Angeles on November 24, 1992.  We are proud and honored to continue The Sara Compinsky  Master Class with guest artist leaders, to carry on her legacy and the  high standards that she set.