Congratulations to Lynn Habian…plays Chopin with verve and personality… She caught the spirit of things that many other recitalists miss… Horowitzian daredevilry… Along the way was a good deal of genuine excitement, some very fast and clear octaves, a fair amount of playful high spirits and an occasional touch of poetry. There is a real talent here…
American pianist, raised in Munsey Park, Manhasset, Long Island. LYNN HABIAN earned her Bachelor and Master degrees from the prestigious conservatory, The Juilliard School at Lincoln Center in 1973 and 1974.
She began the study of piano at age six with Henri Noël, Paris-trained teacher. Her technique and musical interpretation were formed very early on. A Child Prodigy, her first public recital was at the age of eight at Carnegie Recital Hall as a First-Prize Winner of the Music Education League Competitions. At age ten, she appeared on the Young Artists Series on New York’s radio station, WNYC, and also performed at Judson and Town Halls. Through the American College of Musicians/National Guild of Piano Teachers. Ms. Habian was judged in Carnegie Hall by Van Cliburn’s Mother, Rildia Bee Cliburn on several occasions.
At age eleven, as a winner of competitive auditions, through the Leschetizky Association, she shared programs with André Watts. There, in New York City, many elite groups attended these concerts, as well as renowned concert artists, such as the Brazilian pianist, Guiomar Novaes. During the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair a recording was made of her performance accompanying the St. Mary’s 110-voice Concert Choir from Manhasset, which was conducted by Sister M. St. Jane.
The recipient of many awards and scholarships, Ms. Habian studied with such eminent pedagogues as Ernesto Berúmen (pupil of Leschetizky), Dr. Clarence Adler (pupil of Reisenauer and Godowsky), who taught Gershwin, Copland and Richard Rogers. Dr. Adler was the father of Richard Adler, co-composer and lyricist of the Tony Award-winning musicals, Damn Yankees and The Pajama Game. Richard Adler said this of Ms. Habian, “A pianistic whirlwind . . . Lynn Habian’s technical approach to the piano reminds me of both the late and great Vladimir Horowitz and Josef Hofmann .”
Other teachers included Frank Glazer (pupil of Schnabel) at the Eastman School of Music, where she received a four-year scholarship. She left after completing her first year to audition for The Juilliard School, where she worked with Beveridge Webster (pupil of Isidor Philipp, Nadia Boulanger and Schnabel). All of these prominent coaches have been written up in Harold C. Schonberg’s book, The Great Pianists. Lynn Habian frequently appeared as solo piano recitalist at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall on Juilliard’s Concert Series on both Wednesday One O’clock and Friday evening concerts. Many of these concerts consisted of a full house of 1,090 seating capacity. She was a First-Prize Winner of the Saint-Saëns Concerto Piano Competition, playing his Fifth Concerto,(The Egyptian) at Juilliard during her Master’s degree program. As a member, serving as Vice-President and President of Epsilon Psi Chapter of Mu Phi Epsilon Sorority at Juilliard, she gave many performances in Michael Paul Hall and the Juilliard Theater. She also appeared as soloist on Keyboard Artists on WYNC-FM and WFUV. She also worked with James Chambers, who was the Principal horn player and General Manager of The New York Philharmonic. Chamber music studies were also taken with William Lincer, Principal violist of the The New York Philharmonic and Felix Galimir, violinist. Theory classes were conducted by such renowned composers, as Robert Starer, Lawrence Widdoes, Hal Overton and David Diamond to name a few. Although she was never able to schedule any classes with Vincent Persichetti, the two became friends and developed a mutual respect for each other’s talent.
Further studies were taken with Nadia Boulanger in Paris at the Écoles D’Art Américaines at Palais de Fontainebleau. Upon her return from the Pablo Casals Festival in Puerto Rico in 1971, Ms. Habian took Art History classes in Romanticism and Impressionism in the Fogg Museum at Harvard University. In high school Ms. Habian was one of the winners of an ink drawing competition throughout the United States. As a result, her art work and those of other students were published in a special art book.
LYNN HABIAN made her New York Debut in 1987 to a ‘SOLD OUT’ Audience at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall to critical acclaim by The New York Times, whose reviewer, Will Crutchfield, proclaimed her a “real talent.” She has participated in programs with Samuel Sanders and John Corigliano. She has also performed in New York several times at Gracie Mansion before the former Mayor Edward I. Koch and guests. In addition, she has given piano recitals in New York at The Harvard Club, The Harmonie Club, St.Peter’s Church for a Benefit for Eve Queler’s Opera Orchestra, Bruno Walter Auditorium, Farkas Auditorium, The Donnell Library, Paul Recital Hall, The Juilliard Theater, Merkin Concert Hall, and The English Speaking Union, where she is a member.
Her style of playing is that of the Romantic School, very much like Ruth Laredo. Her concerts consist that of compositions by Rachmaninoff, Schumann, Chopin and Liszt. One year, she was asked to rehearse the Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto #2, during a rehearsal for Ms. Laredo with the Westchester Symphony.
She married in 1987 and moved from Manhattan and Bridgehampton to Palm Beach, Florida. David White, longtime sales agent at Steinway & Sons, in NYC, who knew Lynn for many years, referred to her now as Madame Habian. The prior year, while renting a home from Lilly Pulitizer and commuting from New York to Palm Beach, while working on her piano debut for a May concert for 1987 in N.Y., she made her West Palm Beach Debut at The First United Methodist Church. The concert got reviewed by Juliette de Marcellus in the Palm Beach Daily News – “SWIFT-FINGERED PIANIST” This swiftness is sometimes quite marvelous, as was seen in several variations from Book 2 of Brahms’ Variations on a Theme by Paganini.” She has performed in chamber music recitals at The Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, Florida. These were sponsored by The Palm Beach Symphony through competitive violin auditions, with young artists from around the world. John Gander, a music critic for The Palm Beach Post, said “Lynn Habian gave a passionate accompaniment on the piano.” She has performed in many venues throughout southern Florida. Throughout the year she has entertained and displayed her musical versatility at various events in New York and other cities throughout the United States. One of the events was for Trish Nixon’s Mother-in-law, the late Mrs. Anne Cox, at the exclusive Everglades Club, where she has often performed. She has also given solo recitals on radio station WXEL in Boynton Beach, Florida. As well as, performing in many solo recitals during the “Mozart Bicentennial” in Miami.
As an international artist, appearing in Musical America’s International Directory of Performing Artists, Madame Habian has given tours in France, England, Belgium, Spain and Germany among other countries. Her orchestral performances have taken her to Prague, where she performed Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 in d minor, K.466,the “Grande”, with the Virtuosi di Praga, under the baton of Oldrich Viček in Rudolfinum Hall in 1992.
Madame Habian has also worked on Cunard’s QE-2 giving concerts in the Theater from New York to England on the Transatlantic trips.
Lynn Habian is also a recording artist. She specializes in Romantic music – Chopin, Schumann, Rachmaninoff and Liszt, although she performs repertoire from every century. Most of her discography are from live performances dating back to when she was eight years old to the present. One very special CD was of a recording Commemorating Franz Liszt’s 200 Birth Anniversary in October of 2011. Since then, Madame Habian has added many recordings to her collection, including recordings of all of her European performances while on tour. These are on her own CD label, Lynn Habian Classics.
Besides Lynn Habian’s love of the piano, she has had many other interests. She studied dance from age six to eighteen. Initially, she first studied ballet with Virginia Wheeler in Plandome, N.Y. She then went on to study with Mr. Kreiser, a German-born instructor, who travelled from NYC to Manhasset. With him, she took ballet, tap, modern dance and acrobatics. It was there, she shared her ballet classes with Terry Como, Perry Como’s daughter. And she also learned a lot about having the confidence and trust, that he would always catch her during the most difficult acrobatic maneuvers. He taught her Flamenco dancing and she learned to also play the castanets. When Mr. Kreiser moved back to Stuttgart, she studied for 2 years with Serge Ismailov, famous Ballet dancer, who had his own school in Great Neck, Long Island. When she was offered a piano scholarship, in 1960, along with her brother, Bruce, to study with Mexican-born teacher, Ernesto Berumen in New York at his Carnegie Hall studio at age ten, she continued her dance classes of ballet, tap and acrobatics at the famous June Taylor’s School of Dance, as well as modern dance with well-known instructor Matt Mattox. He was one of the world’s most influential teachers of jazz dance as he called it “free style dancing.” He taught Lucille Ball and did a lot of her choreography. She also had eight years of figure skating with Sonja Henie’s instructor.
She enjoyed a complete cultural education in every sense of the word. Credit is due to Lynn’s Mother, Doris, also an accomplished pianist, for all her guidance in selecting the very best training for her.
She took horseback riding lessons, jumping and Dressage for many years. And is an excellent equestrian.
Madame Habian took up golf in 1997. Two years later, she won a golf tournament at Admiral’s Cove, in Jupiter, Florida.
Madame Habian at an early age became fascinated with foreign lands. She had travelled to Paris and England, but since a little girl, she had a desire to travel to Egypt. This she did Christmas of 1978. Her love of photography grew then and she took over 1,000 photos many of which are framed and displayed in her home. So, combining her love of the piano and love of travel makes Madame Habian’s career the perfect artistic endeavor for her. And what also makes her happy during these concerts, is having her enthusiastic audiences experience great joy. She has been interviewed by the press many times, here and particularly abroad. One foreign newspaper’s headline in Spain wrote of her, “When Audiences Enjoy My Music, That Brings Great Joy To Me!”
“Most outstanding was the performance of the Brahms-Paganini Variations in which details and musical values were beautifully outlined. Miss Habian obtains in her playing an intense rhythmic life full of elegance and sensitivity. She provided piano playing of extraordinary distinction.”
“What a meaningfully lyric and rhythmically brilliant performance of my Second Piano Sonata!”
“It is always a privilege to lend one’s enthusiastic support to someone in whom one believes very sincerely! Such is my support of Lynn Habian who, in my opinion, is a truly talented pianist with a lot of performing capacity and an impressive ability to project to an audience.”
“It gives me great pleasure to write on behalf of Lynn Habian. Ms. Habian came to New York Recital Associates approximately two year ago (1987) to manage her New York debut recital in Carnegie Recital Hall, which was a great artistic success. She performed with musical depth and communicates strongly with her audience.
“It was a pleasure to work with Ms. Habian. With her warm personality, intelligence and dedication, she should make an outstanding contribution to the music scene. Ms. Habian is a most deserving and special artist and has my complete and unqualified endorsement.”
“A gifted pianist, Lynn Habian combines vituosic flare with emotional intensity. Her playing is dynamic, full of vitality, and definitely expressive of her own individual personality.”
“With admirable composure and spellbound technic Lynn Habian made this Huelweiler piano event the highlight of the 4th Schwalbacher Cultural Days. Not only did she convincingly represent her Nation as Ambassador of Cultural Events in USA, but she also spoiled her thankful audience musically. The audience was spellbound already after a few chords of ‘Nachstücke’ (Op. 23) by Robert Schumann.”
“It has been my great pleasure to hear the pianism of Lynn Habian. She is an uncommon musician: a finely honed technique wedded with innate poetry. She would be a notable asset to any concert series.”