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.
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