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Leopold "Lee" Godowsky, III
Birth: Jun. 7, 1938, USA
Death: Nov. 25, 2011
Manhattan
New York County (Manhattan)
New York, USA

Pianist, composer and teacher, Leopold Godowsky III, heir to a great musical tradition, is the nephew of George Gershwin and grandson of the legendary pianist-composer Leopold Godowsky. His father, Leopold Godowsky, Jr., was the co-inventor (with Leopold Mannes) of Kodachrome color photography. His mother, Frances Gershwin, was the only sister of Ira, George, and Arthur Gershwin.

Besides studying music with his father from the age of five, in his early twenties he studied piano with Wolfgang Rosť and composition with Charles Shackford. After graduating from Columbia College and Columbia Teachers College, Godowsky first worked in music publishing and then at Columbia Artists Management, only to discover that indeed his musical gifts warranted a place for him in the world of writing and performing music, and he began concertizing in the USA and abroad. He also devoted many years to teaching piano privately and as a member of the faculty at Hartt College of Music.

As pianist: his performance on the Gershwin "Centennial Edition" album was hailed in The Chicago Tribune as " ...one of the most romantic and heartfelt performances of the Concerto in F in the last three decades."

As composer: at age 40 after having several years of vivid, inspiring nocturnal dreams with original musical content, Godowsky felt compelled to compose. He wrote chamber music for string quartet, brass quintet, wind quintet, saxophone quartet, harpsichord, piano and an oratorio for vocal quartet. A primary goal was to compose music that has both contemporary and traditional sensibilities, and is highly contrapuntal and emotionally meaningful.

Godowsky served for many years as co-trustee of the Gershwin estate, with his cousin Marc George Gershwin (son of Arthur Gershwin).

In 1985, he contributed manuscripts of his grandfather (known as "the pianist's pianist") to the Leopold Godowsky Collection at the Eastman School of Music. In 2005, Godowsky established a collection of materials relating to his grandfather at IPAM (the International Piano Archive at the University of Maryland) and added to it each year.

The Leopold Godowsky, Jr. Color Photography Awards honor his father. Established in 1987, the international awards recognize excellence in the field of contemporary color photography and are gathered via nominations from a prestigious, international group of curators, critics, editors, and educators. The awards were made possible through the generosity of his mother Frances, in counsel with her son.

Godowsky was an advocate of the work of Zenph Sound Innovations, and was in the midst of planning new piano re-performances of both his uncle and grandfather.

His mother recorded an album titled "For George and Ira" in June 1973, at the urging of her son, Leopold. On the album, Frances sings 17 Gershwin songs, accompanied by pianists Alfred Simon and Jack Easton.


NY Times Obituary, Dec. 4, 2011:

GODOWSKY--Leopold, III. Pianist, composer and teacher, Leopold Godowsky III (b. 1938) was the nephew of George and Ira Gershwin and grandson of the legendary pianist-composer, Leopold Godowsky. He studied piano with Wolfgang Rose (student of Arthur Schnabel and Walter Gieseking) and composition with Charles Shackford (student of Paul Hindemith). After graduating from Columbia College and Columbia Teachers College, Godowsky first worked in music publishing and then at Columbia Artists Management. He began concertizing in the U.S. and abroad while in his 20's. He performed the Gershwin "Concerto in F" at Alice Tully Hall on the occasion of George Gershwin's Centennial. He also taught piano privately and as a member of the faculty at Hartt College of Music. He composed chamber music for string quartet, brass quintet, wind quintet, saxophone quartet, harpsichord, and an oratorio for vocal quartet. He is survived by his immediate family, wife, Mary Milton; his daughter, Leila Listo; and sisters, Georgia Keidan, Alexis Gershwin and Nadia Natali. Family will receive friends on December 12 from 5-7:30 at Frank E. Campbell, 1076 Madison Ave. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Leopold's memory to: Midori & Friends: 212-767-1300. www.midoriandfriends.org.


Cremated. Urn is in the Gershwin family mausoleum.
 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Leopold Saxe Godowsky (1900 - 1983)
  Frances Gershwin Godowsky (1906 - 1999)
 
Burial:
Westchester Hills Cemetery
Hastings-on-Hudson
Westchester County
New York, USA
Plot: Gershwin family mausoleum
 
Created by: Researcher
Record added: Nov 29, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 81215694
Leopold Lee Godowsky, III
Added by: Researcher
 
Leopold Lee Godowsky, III
Added by: Researcher
 
Leopold Lee Godowsky, III
Added by: Researcher
 
 
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- cv
 Added: Aug. 17, 2016

- R I P
 Added: Dec. 6, 2014
In Remembrance~
- Melissa
 Added: Jul. 12, 2014
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