2003-2004 Academic Year

Adam Chefitz '04 Receives Rudolph Polk Memorial Award in Music

April 23, 2004 - Pitzer College student Adam Chefitz (2004) has been named the recipient of the 2004 Rudolph Polk Memorial Award in Music, in recognition of his technical and musically impressive performance of works by Bach, Mozart, Liszt, and Prokofiev, following the award auditions recently held at The Claremont Colleges.

Adam Chefitz

The Rudolph Polk Memorial Award in Music was established in 1958 by Rudolph Polk’s widow, Mrs. Pauline Polk (Claremont), Professor Kenneth Fiske (Pomona College), Dr. Robert Bernard (Claremont University Consortium), and with gifts from Jascha Heifetz, Gregor Piatigorski, and the Los Angeles art dealer Dazell Hatfield.   Mr. Polk, a noted violinist, was influential as a concert impresario and promoted the musical careers of a number of concert artists. The Award is administered by Claremont University Consortium (CUC) and was presented by Brenda Barham Hill, CEO of CUC.

Adam Chefitz, 22, only recently began studying classical music. When he was 17 the only song he knew from his brief childhood studies was Billy Joel’s Piano Man and when he heard the piano solo again in a recording he tried to see if he could play it. A week later, after learning it by ear with the stereo on top of the piano, he was looking through a friend’s piano bench and found the sheet music for Beethoven’s familiar Fur Elise, and decided to learn to read music again. He took lessons again and the next year he was invited to Miami’s old classical radio station, WTMI, to play the final movement of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.

During his academic career at Pitzer College, Adam has studied with Hao Huang, Preethi de Silva, and Richard Cionco. While attending the prestigious Aspen Music School summer program, he studied with Jean-David Coen and while attending the Institute for European Studies in Vienna, he studied with Gerald Stofsky. This semester Adam performed Liszt’s Totentanz with the Claremont Concert Orchestra and in May he will perform Bach’s Goldberg Variations.

Adam plans to return to the Aspen Music School this summer and is considering graduate study in music.