Today’s entry continues the August birthday pattern of famous musicians, and on this day in 1924, Louis Teicher was born. For those of you in a certain generation bracket, the name by itself might not be familiar. But coupled with Teicher’s performing partner, Arthur Ferrante, and you’ll remember Ferrante & Teicher, the popular piano duo.
Teicher was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and met his future piano partner while they were both studying piano at Juilliard at the incredibly young age of 6 (and Ferrante was 9). Their career spanned over 40 years, both as a performing duo, but also as piano faculty at Juilliard. Their sound was iconic and immediately recognizable, from the easy listening music, to film theme songs and love songs. The New York Times profiles them –
“Eventually, with their hit recordings of the themes from the films “The Apartment” and “Exodus,” and “Tonight,” from “West Side Story,” among others, they became known as “the movie theme team.” And for their appearances onstage or on television in matching flashy outfits and at the keyboards of imposing instruments, they were called “the grand twins of the twin grands.”
Throughout their career, they performed more than 5,200 concerts; made more than 200 television appearances; entertained Presidents John F. Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon and Ronald Reagan; and from 1951 to 2001 recorded about 150 albums, garnering them 22 Gold and Platinum records, selling 90 million records. At the height of their career, they were playing over 100 concerts a year!
After their retirement, they move to FL and lived fairly close to each other until their Teicher’s death in 2008 and Ferrante’s death in 2009.
One could spend hours listening to their recordings, but here are links to a few of my favorites –
The theme to “Love Story”
The theme to “Exodus”
Ladies, get out your muu muus, gentlemen, put on your smoking jackets, pour yourself some martinis, and enjoy some Ferrante and Teicher!
Minister of Music