Ruth Slenczynska: the pupil of Rachmanivov still releasing music at 97

Pianist who has played for five US presidents says great composer taught her to incorporate colour in music

The greatest lesson Ruth Slenczynska learned from the Russian composer Sergei Rachmanivov was that sounds have colour.

Nearly 90 years ago, the nine year-old Slenczynska was practising one of Rachmaninov’s preludes when he asked her to join him at the window. It was springtime in Paris, and the avenues were lined with mimosa trees laden with fluffy, golden blossoms.

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