The Musicians’ Voice

Volume 118, No. 5May, 2018

The Musicians’ Voice is an open forum for discussion about the state of union affairs. The letters here do not necessarily express the views of Local 802. E-mail letters to Allegro or write to Allegro, Local 802, 322 West 48th Street, New York, NY 10036. Letters must be no more than 300 words.

Aleck Karis

I was recently thinking of my friend, the pianist Aleck Karis, who is – I am happy to report – alive and well. He was a Local 802 member for over 30 years until he moved to California to become a distinguished professor of music at the University of California at San Diego, where he also serves as an associate dean. I had the great pleasure to meet Aleck as a young teenager. He struck me immediately as a fine person and an extremely talented musician. He was also a talented gymnast back in the day and was a fine clarinetist in addition to being a pianist. Aleck is all reflex and sensitivity, and he possesses a great mind. I particularly remember his Chopin and Beethoven. His musicality and prowess at the keyboard were always inspirational. For many years, Aleck was a regular performer in the New York concert scene and highly sought-after pianist. He is well known the world over for his excellent musicianship, which allows him to quickly decipher contemporary works that cause fear in many others. He is also a very fine composer who is able to synthesize the structure and get to the important music at hand. Most importantly, he is a very humble servant of the music and never one to toot his own horn. The music world needs more role models like him.

– Eric Shumsky