Celebrating Elaine Kligerman (1933-2023)

On the occasion of the Society's 35th Anniversary, PCMS announced a very generous gift from Elaine Kligerman to create an endowment in support of our highly-acclaimed Piano Recital Series. This gift helps to ensure that we, our children, and our grandchildren will continue to enjoy the world’s finest pianists, and great works of the repertoire, every year in Philadelphia. We express our heartfelt gratitude to Elaine Kligerman, her children, and the rest of her family.

Elaine Kligerman

Throughout her long career as a distinguished pianist and educator, Elaine Kligerman shared her belief in the transformative power of chamber music as a way to bring people together to experience the beauty of world-class artistry. Music was central to her life since childhood. She was awarded top prize in a statewide piano competition as a high school student and entered The Juilliard School directly into her second year. She received a degree in piano performance from the Manhattan School of Music where she studied with Dora Zaslavsky.

For 30 years, as she raised her five children and while commuting from the New Jersey shore, Elaine accompanied Philadelphia’s Singing City Choir. Founded as a racially integrated choir in 1948, Singing City’s mission is one of celebrating differences and finding common ground through music. During her decades as a pianist with Singing City, Elaine worked with noted conductors including Eugene Ormandy, Arturo Toscanini, Erich Leinsdorf, and Leopold Stokowski. She accompanied the choir on tour in the Holy Land 1974, performing Handel’s Messiah both in Israel and at the pyramids in Egypt, under the baton of Zubin Mehta. Following her retirement from Singing City, Elaine taught piano at Temple University for 15 years. She continued to play chamber music, counting it as one of the great loves of her life. Her endowed sponsorship of the Elaine Kligerman Piano Recital Series ensures that future generations may share the same, transformative experiences that continue to shape the lives of so many people.

Ms. Kligerman was a close friend, devoted audience member, and generous patron of the Society since our early years. A gifted pianist in her own right, whose love of music greatly enriched her life, Elaine had a special fondness for the exceptional pianists who appear on this series.