Golden Flute and Piano Sounds of Julius Baker and Vladimir Sokoloff

Ghenady Meirson
Submitted: Fri, December 28, 2012 - 12:29pm EST

This is a rare footage of pianist Vladimir Sokoloff collaborating with flutist Julius Baker in live performance of Poulenc's flute sonata on 60s TV broadcast.

When I was a piano major at Curtis, I would try to attend every Dr. Sokoloff's performance possible. He was a humble person yet a masterful collaborator with both instrumentalists and singers.

One day I asked if I could study with him. He mumbled something which sounded like a rejection. It was. Next September, however, on the first day of school, Dr. Sokoloff approached me in the common room at Curtis and revisited my request. Then he ran into registrar's office and announced that I am now his student too. That year I studied with both Mieczyslaw Horszowski and Vladimir Sokoloff.

My first lesson was quite eventful and short. I played some Chopin. Then he asked me to put my right foot under the pedal and play the same thing, which revealed massive holes in my piano approach. "Now you know what you need to work on," he said and sent me home.

Julius Baker was a charming man. He always had a broad smile on his face. I can't remember him without a smile. While at Curtis, I collaborated with his flute students. He started his day teaching at 7 a.m. First order of business was a bagel with cream cheese, coffee and a couple of jokes.

Both Baker and Sokoloff were brilliant musicians. This re-mastered 60s audio doesn't come close to the true beauty of their sound.

This film was shown at Dr. Sokoloff's memorial concert. Julius Baker was in attendance. Post concert I came up to Baker and told him that after seeing the film I was convinced he had talent for playing flute and should consider developing it. He loved the joke and with a huge grin on his face he gave me big bear hug.

Music Genres: 
Poulenc Flute Sonata - Julius Baker, Flute; Vladimir Sokoloff, Piano