Eleanor Sokoloff has been teaching piano at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia since 1936. At the ripe young age of 102, she shows no sign of slowing down. Some of her most esteemed students have included the likes of Keith Jarrett, Lambert Orkis, Susan Starr, Leon McCawley, Meng-Chieh Liu, and countless others.
This year, Eleanor Sokoloff will be turning 103 years old, and remarkably, she is still teaching piano at The Curtis Institute of Music and pouring tea at one of Curtis’ most beloved weekly Wednesday tea time traditions. This interview was originally recorded 2 ½ years ago as a 2 part video that was significantly edited down for time purposes, but thanks to the long form medium of podcasts, I thought it would be fitting to provide the full version of this wonderful interview with one of the most important piano teachers of our time. By the way, Mrs. Sokoloff was my piano teacher when I was 8 years old, and thanks to her I was able to enroll at Curtis under her tutelage at the age of 13. I should mention that at the time of this interview, there was a construction crew doing some repairs in an adjacent apartment, so I apologize for the drill and hammer sounds you’ll hear at times.