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Program notes from an unidentified piano recital

Tonight's page turner, Ruth Spelke, studied under Ivan Schmertnick at the Boris Nitsky School of Page Turning in Philadelphia. She has been turning pages here and abroad for many years for some of the world's leading pianists.

In 1988, Ms. Spelke won the Wilson Page Turning Scholarship, which sent her to Israel to study page turning from left to right. She is the winner of the 1984 Rimsky-Korsakov Flight of the Bumblebee Prestissimo Medal, having turned 47 pages in an unprecedented 32 seconds. She is also the 1983 silver medalist at the Klutz Musical Page Pickup Competition: contestants retrieve and rearrange a musical score dropped from a Yamaha. Ms. Spelke excelled in "grace, swiftness, and especially poise".

For techniques, Ms. Spelke performs both the finger-licking and the bent-page-corner methods. She works from a standard left bench position, and is the originator of the dipped-elbow page snatch, a style used to avoid obscuring the pianist's view of the music. She is the page turner in residence in Fairfield, Iowa, where she occupies the coveted Alfred Hitchcock Chair at the Fairfield Page Turning Institute.

Ms. Spelke is married, and has a nice house on the lake.



Thanks to Robert Forbes - originally attributed to the Edmonton Centre newsletter, but was transferred in 1991 to the Tau Beta Nu Compendium, a "reference" manual for trombonists at the University of Southern Mississippi.