Name: Bardas, Stefan (1915-2008)
Stefan Bardas was born in Berlin, Germany on June 27, 1914. Bardas was from a musical family; his father was pianist Willi Bardas, and his mother, Therese, was a singer. Stefan Bardas studied piano with Edwin Fischer, Artur Schnabel, and Ignaz Friedman, and at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome with Alfredo Casella. His studies in Italy allowed him to exit Germany and survive the Holocaust. He then relocated to the United States in 1938, and was director of the music department at Carroll College in Helena, Montana from 1939 until 1942, when he became head of the piano department at Illinois Wesleyan University. He was appointed as professor of music at Northwestern University in 1944, and from 1947 until 1950, he was the official pianist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, serving as soloist in premiere performances under conductors including Artur Rodziński, Ernest Ansermet, and Rafael Kubelík. He made his debut at Town Hall in New York in 1949, and in 1952 became artist in residence at the University of Tulsa.
Bardas joined the faculty of what is now the University of North Texas in 1954, and retired in 1980. He was renowned for his performance of the entire set of Ludwig van Beethoven's piano sonatas. After retiring from North Texas, he also taught at El Paso Community College and New Mexico State University at Las Cruces. Stefan Bardas died in El Paso, Texas, on April 29, 2008.
Stefan Bardas in the U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947, via Ancestry.com, viewed December 16, 2020.
F. Christlieb, "An unexpected connection, and the captivating story of a piano maestro," A Life of Words, November 27, 2019, viewed December 16, 2020. https://alifeofwords.blog/2019/11/27/an-unexpected-connection-and-the-captivating-story-of-a-piano-maestro/
"Stefan Bardas Leaves Carroll for Illinois Wesleyan Post," Great Falls Tribune, August 31, 1942, page 4, via Newspapers.com, viewed December 16, 2020. https://www.newspapers.com/image/239868761/
Jack Guerry, Silvio Scionti: Remembering a Master Pianist and Teacher, Denton: University of North Texas Press, 1991, page 136.
Russian-language Wikipedia article on Willy Bardas, viewed December 18, 2020. https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%91%D0%B0%D1%80%D0%B4%D0%B0%D1%81,_%D0%92%D0%B8%D0%BB%D0%BB%D0%B8
Obituary for Stefan Bardas via Legacy.com, originally published in the El Paso Times, June 27-29, 2008, viewed December 16, 2020. https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/elpasotimes/obituary.aspx?n=stefan-bardas&pid=112317068
"Recent Deaths," The North Texan Online, 2008, viewed December 16, 2020. https://northtexan.unt.edu/archives/s08/untnews.htm
"New Pianist Takes Place On NT Staff," Denton Record-Chronicle, September 19, 1954, page 21, via Newspapers.com, viewed December 16, 2020. https://www.newspapers.com/image/22851509/