12 June 2001
MENUHIN, the pianist who has died aged 79, was the last survivor of
a celebrated family musical trio.
younger sister of the violinist Yehudi Menuhin, she often appeared with
him and with her elder sister the pianist Hephzibah Menuhin. They gave
concerts all over the world and were particularly associated in Britain
with the Bath Festival, of which Yehudi was artistic director in the
Yaltah was best known in America where she and her husband Joel Ryce
played either as four hands at one piano or at two piano's. She also
played with the violinist Michael Mann, son of the writer Thomas Mann.
Her specialities were Chopin, Mozart and Mendelssohn.
Menuhin was born in San Francisco on October 7 1921. Her parents were
Russian-Jewish emigrés and named their youngest child after the
Black Sea resort. She grew to dislike her tyrannical mother, who did
little to encourage her musical talent. Yaltah Menuhin began to play
the piano aged three and studied in Paris with Marcel Ciampi and at
Juilliard in New York with Carl Friedberg. The Menuhin children were
taught by governesses as they toured the world.
three performed together on occasions, as at the Royal Festival Hall
in 1966 at Yehudi's 50th birthday concert. He conducted and the sisters,
with Yehudi's son Jeremy, performed Mozart's Concerto for three piano's.
Menuhin's last recital was earlier this month at an Ipswich school;
she played Chopin and Debussy. Yaltah Menuhin married first, aged 18,
William Stix. She married secondly, Benjamin Rolfe. She married thirdly,
in 1960, Joel Ryce. She had two sons.