Seymour Lipkin considered it a “moral responsibility” to stay true to the intentions of the composer and to not take a piece in a direction of one’s own choosing. He took this to such lengths that he would have actual dialogues with dead composers, as recounted in his New York Times obituary from an interview originally published in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Lipkin (May 14, 1927-November 16, 2015) came to fame in 1948 when he won first prize in the Rachmaninoff Fund Piano Contest at Carnegie Hall. But he had already received some acclaim three years before, when as a teenager he entertained the Allied troops with violinist Jascha Heifetz.
Lipkin turned to conducting after his initial success as a pianist. He served as assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic and was conducter of The Long Island Symphony and Joffrey Ballet. He also served on the faculty of the Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute of Music.