Simon Kovar (nee Kovarski)
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Simon Kovar (May 22, 1890 – 1970) was a 20th century bassoonist and
one of the most renowned teachers of the instrument.
Simon (rhymes with persimmon) Kovar was born Simon Kovarski in
Vilnius, Lithuania, then a part of Russia, in 1890. He took up the
bassoon at age 20 after originally studying the violin. Kovar came to
the United States in June of 1922, settling in New York City where he
was a member of the New York Philharmonic. He was highly regarded as a
teacher and was head of the bassoon faculty at the Juilliard School of
Music for 28 years. Kovar also taught at Teachers College at Columbia
University, the Curtis Institute of Music, the Manhattan School of
Music, Mannes College of Music, and the Conservatoire de musique du
Québec in Montreal, Canada. His students ranged from top orchestra
bassoonists, including Sol Schoenbach and Bernard Garfield to jazz
musicians, including saxophonists Stan Getz and Ray Pizzi.
His 24 Daily Studies for Bassoon written in the late 1950s are
considered the first practice exercises written for the bassoon.
In the 1950s, Kovar moved to Encino, California where he continued
teaching almost until the time of his death in 1970 from complications
related to emphysema. He was survived by his wife Rose Kovar and two
daughters, Elinore Imber, also a professional bassoonist, and Leah
Marvin Roth Bassoonist - Remembrances of Simon Kovar
In lovely whispers and piercing wails, saxophonist Stan Getz found the
bittersweet heart of jazz and bossa nova San Francisco Chronicle. May
Ray Pizzi The Pizza Man TimPriceJazz.com January 1991
International Double Reed Society Who's Who
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Categories: American musician