Louis Rowen

I started studying with Aldo  Parisot  in 1964, at the age of 15. At that time, for some reason, I was between cello teachers.  Adele Katz, a well-known musicologist who was a friend of the family, remarked that Mannes College of Music had just hired a renowned cellist from Brazil, and suggested that I play for him. At the audition, he agreed to teach me, and invited me to his house in Connecticut for the next weekend. My parents were somewhat taken aback, but agreed, and then Professor Parisot (whom I was embarrassed to call Aldo for many years) invited me to Norfolk over the summer. That was an exciting Summer. Don  Green and I stayed together at his place. In the morning Parisot would tell us to practice, and we could get out in the afternoons (or listen to a recording of Heifitz playing the Prokofiev violin concerto). I also met Elizabeth then for the first time. 

 

It was around that time that I learned about Parisot's unique teaching technique -- asking the student to express himself/herself musically instead of telling him what to do. This was the first time I had encountered a teacher who related to me as a person, and had a lasting impact on me and my approach to music. (Of course Parisot also had his phenomenal technique, which he also imparted to his students. But I never learned the trick of holding a cigarette between your fingers while bowing.)  

Parisot's cello seminar was amazing, with Ralph Kirshbaum, Don Green, and others participating, each with their own playing styles which he encouraged, and he continued to recruit top students over the years.

 

According to my recollection, there was a mandatory retirement age in those days. In 1973 Juilliard offered him a position, and he went to discuss the situation with the President of Yale, who promised, ``If you stay at Yale, you do not have to retire until you are 100.''

 

My cello studies with Aldo lasted many years, throughout my academic studies first in New York and then at Yale, and I got to know his special generosity.  Then in 1973 I finished my studies at Yale, met my wife Rachel, and moved to Israel, so we did not see as much of each other since then, only during my visits to Yale and Guilford and his visits to Israel (where he was a featured artist at the music center in Jerusalem).

 

I regret not being able to join this reunion, but plan to come in later this year and hope that these reminiscences might be somewhat of a compensation.