Ludmilla Lifson, a long-time member of Longy’s faculty, passed away, on Friday,
Ludmilla will be remembered for her dedicated service to Longy. On our faculty since the late-70’s, Ludmilla was a consummate teacher. She could teach all types of students—children, avocational adults, Conservatory students preparing for professional careers. No matter where their ultimate aspirations lay, each one of Ludmilla’s students was the beneficiary of her passion and commitment. To each student, she devoted every ounce of her imagination, skill, and experience, working tirelessly to ensure that each mined the beauty and mysteries of making music. How we will remember Ludmilla’s quiet joy—always couched with modesty and a characteristic pragmatism—when one of her students played well.
For years, Ludmilla was one of the first teachers to arrive at Longy, starting her teaching day at 8AM and going well past 7pm, rarely taking breaks, except to have the occasional rehearsal, attend a meeting, or hear a pre-recital. Her love for Longy was immense and the pride she felt in her association with the school will always be inspiring.
We will also long remember Ludmilla’s wonderful playing, especially the annual two-piano recitals she and faculty emerita Eda Mazo-Shlyam presented, for over twenty five years, where Pickman Hall would be set ablaze with the orchestral sonority, colors, lyricism, and expressivity coming from their hands.
As Eda Shlyam wrote, “I am thankful to America, Longy, and Roman Totenberg (former Longy Director) for meeting Ludmilla in 1979. She was more than just a colleague; performing together, we brought truth to our artistic goals and dreams.”
We send our deepest condolences to Ludmilla’s husband, Jacob, to her son Alexander, his wife Jacqueline, and their three children, Ludmilla’s grandsons. In addition to her family, Ludmilla leaves a generation of students who carry forward the integrity and devotion of their teacher. Indeed, a great legacy.
Karen Zorn, President Wayman Chin, Dean of the Conservatory