Biography


From Acclaimed Flutist Eugenia Zukerman,
A Lyrical Memoir of Coping with Forgetfulness, Confusion, and a Dreaded Diagnosis

LIKE FALLING THROUGH A CLOUD

To Be Published in November 2019 for Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

Hailed by the Boston Globe as “an international triple threat...a published novelist, a television commentator and, most impressively, one of the finest flutists of our time,” Eugenia Zukerman worked hard and juggled it all—performing, writing, interviewing artists, directing concert series—with ease and grace. Until, in her early 70s, she became forgetful, misplacing papers, losing her words. Concerned, her daughters insisted she get tested. Eugenia, whose mother was sharp at 103, wasn’t worried. Until her sister, the doctor, reminded her: six of their mother’s siblings suffered cognitive decline and died in their 70s. Until the results of her neuro-psych exam and MRI confirmed: her cognitive impairment was real, and would only get worse.

Outraged and terrified, Zukerman vowed to do her best to handle her diagnosis “privately and purposefully.” She began to chronicle her unraveling, mostly in verse. Like Falling Through a Cloud (East End Press; November 5, 2019; $21.00) is the result—an intimate, courageous, heartbreaking, lyrical, and uplifting memoir of Eugenia Zukerman’s year of finding her way through the maze of confusion and brambles of loss. “I did seek help,” as she shares, “but what seems to have saved me from crumbling and falling apart was music, love, poetry, and, oddly, laughter.”

Like Falling Through a Cloud unfolds in fragments and rhymes, nightmares and revelations. Eugenia opens up about her childhood and therapy sessions; her fear of exposure, vulnerability, and public failure; her initial resistance (“I don’t want to have an evaluation about my devaluation.”) and creative coping strategies (“Instead of beating myself up when I can’t find a word, I’ll let it slowly emerge like the call of a distant bird.”) Gradually, Eugenia comes to accept the reality of living her life with a debilitating condition. In the process, she discovers her own remarkable bravery and resilience. What’s more, she recognizes how her story of going from terror and turbulence to giving thanks for another day and playing on might offer comfort to the millions of people grappling with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

EUGENIA ZUKERMAN is an internationally renowned flutist and writer. She was the artistic director of the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival in Colorado for 13 years and the arts correspondent on CBS Sunday Morning for more than 25 years. She is the author of two novels, two works of nonfiction, and numerous screenplays, articles, and book reviews. Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1944, she graduated from the Julliard School of Music and lived
in New York City for many years. A mother of two daughters and two grandchildren, she makes her home in upstate New York with her husband, two horses, three dogs, and assorted wildlife.

Published to coincide with Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, Like Falling Through a Cloud is a moving, courageous, lovely, and positive work. I hope you will be inspired to share Eugenia Zukerman’s story with your audience.

Best regards,

Emi Battaglia
emi@emibattaglia.com
914-584-8297

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Eugenia Zukerman is a true Renaissance woman. While maintaining an international concert calendar with more than thirty performances annually, her multi-faceted career also includes distinguished work as an arts administrator, author, educator, internet entrepreneur, and journalist. 

In demand from New York to China as an orchestral soloist, chamber musician and recitalist, Eugenia Zukerman has been praised by The New York Times for her performances — "Her musicianship is consummate, her taste immaculate and her stage presence a sheer pleasure." She has enjoyed musical collaborations with Emmanuel Ax, Yo-Yo Ma, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, the Shanghai String Quartet and fellow flutists Jean- Pierre Rampal and James Galway. This season, she made her heralded debut at the prestigious Verbier Festival in Switzerland, performing challenging chamber works by Hanns Eisler, Arnold Schönberg, Andreas Jakob Romberg and Behzad Ranjbaran.  She partnered with some of the world's finest musicians, including violinist Dimitry Sitkovetsky, violist Nobuko Imai, cellist Frans Helmerson, and pianist Elena Bashkirova, among others.  This season she will perform with the Manhattan Piano Trio in Pennsylvania, with the Symphony Space All-Stars in New York City in a festive concert of Brandenburg Concerti, and with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Lowell Liebermann's Concerto for Flute and Orchestra Op.39 conducted by Rossen Milanov, Music Director and Conductor.

As a recitalist, Eugenia Zukerman has been lauded not only for her playing, but also for her adventurous programming. As The Sunday Telegram observed, "Few major instrumentalists offer anything comparable to the intelligence and breadth of programming that she brings to her concerts, and this one was no exception." The Capital Times concurred, "What made this concert so noteworthy was not only the unusual music that Zukerman played with world-class virtuosity and musicality, but also her presentation and stage presence."  For twenty years she performed a yearly three concert series of thematic programs at the New York Public Library with harpsichordist. Organist and pianist Anthony Newman. This season she will collaborate with Mr. Newman in a flute and organ performance in Amarillo, Texas, and in over twenty recitals nationwide with pianist Milana Strezeva. 

Eugenia Zukerman has performed as soloist with many of the world's finest orchestras. Her numerous guest appearances have included engagements with the Tokyo Philharmonic, the Royal Philharmonic, the China Philharmonic, and the Israel, Moscow, Prague and Scottish Chamber Orchestras. The breadth of her appearances in North America is remarkable - with more than eighty orchestras nationwide, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony in Washington DC, the Montreal and Vancouver  Symphonies and the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico.  Performances and a recording of Lowell Liebermann's Concerto for Flute and Orchestra Op.39 with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andrew Litton (Delos) led to a rewarding connection between Eugenia Zukerman and the orchestra. Last summer, the relationship continued to flourish with her performance of Mozart's concerto for Flute and Harp (with Yolanda Kondonassis) in the opening concert of the Vail Valley Music Festival, conducted by Music Director Jaap van Zweden.

A creative and dynamic administrator, Eugenia Zukerman enjoyed thirteen distinguished years as Artistic Director of the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival.  During her tenure, the festival in Vail developed an international profile through the annual residencies of the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Dallas Symphony. Yo-Yo Ma, Lang-Lang, Yefim Bromfman and Jean-Yves Thibaudet were among the many internationally renowned artists who appeared during her directorship, further elevating the reputation of the Festival.  

Recognized with an Emmy nomination as an important broadcast journalist, Eugenia Zukerman interviewed and created more than three hundred portraits as an Arts Correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning.  Her interview subjects included James Levine, Seiji Ozawa, Leontyne Price, Marilyn Horne, Helen Frankenthaler, Al Hirshfeld, Julie Taymor, Dame Maggie Smith, David Hyde Pierce, Mikhail Barishnikov, Savion Glover, Peter Martins, Daniel Barenboim and Isaac Stern. For more than twenty-five years she introduced viewers to the most outstanding creators in fine art, music, dance and theater.  It is through her lens that a generation of viewers came to appreciate the arts. She has also been the invited guest on NBC's Today Show, CBS's Morning Show, the Charlie Rose Show and appeared in numerous specials on PBS. 

An innovator, she embraced the internet early on and founded ClassicalGenie, an internet company that provides video content to music schools, artist, managers, orchestras and other institutions for use on their websites.  The video material helps promote reputation, attendance, interest and fundraising.  Recent clients include the Manhattan School of Music's Fiftieth Anniversary celebration and The Harlem School of the Arts million dollar fundraising appeal.

She continued her role as an arts journalist in the summer of 2011, creating the first vlog (video blog) for the MusicalAmerica website.  Thousands of internet viewers tuned in to Eugenia Zukerman's Verbier Vlog as she introduced the world to the Verbier Festival from her inside perspective as a performer. Festival participants, from Founder and Executive Director Martin Engstroem to performers Gautier and Renaud Capuçon, Julian Rachlin, David Garrett, as well as local merchants and audience-members, responded to Eugenia Zukeman's warm invitation to share their insight and experience on the Verbier Vlog. She has the rare ability to make the foreign feel familiar.  

In 2012 the Boston Symphony Orchestra hired her to create The Tanglewood Vlog, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the BSO's summer residencies in the Berkshires. And in the summer of 2013, she returned to the Verbier Festival in Switzerland to create another Verbier Vlog for the festival and to perform with artists such as clarinetist Martin Frost, violinist Ilya Girngolts, pianists Yuja Wang and Michel Beroff, the great German actress Barbara Sukowa, and other extraordinary artists

In addition to her television appearances and on-line presence, Eugenia Zukerman's discography is impressive.  She has over two dozen discs to her credit, including releases on the Delos, SONY Classical, Pro Arte, Vox Cum Laude and Newport Classic labels.  Her most recent recording, Flesh & Stone: The Songs of Jake Heggie was released on the Americus label with all proceeds benefitting Classical Action; Performing Arts Against AIDS.

The author of the New York Public Library's Award-winning non-fiction book In My Mother's Closet, and also Coping with Prednisone (which she co-authored with her sister Dr. Julie R. Ingelfinger), Eugenia Zukerman has enjoyed success in the humanities as well as the arts. The release of Coping with Prednisone resulted in an invitation to appear on The Discovery Health Channel. Her first two novels were well received: Deceptive Cadence was published by Viking Press and Taking The Heat was published by Simon and Schuster. Today, Miss Zukerman is a regular contributor to The Washington Post book review and continues her journalist assignment for Musical America, which was begun with the Verbier Vlog, writing a signature article for the 2012 edition of the annual directory.

Eugenia Zukerman has a generous spirit and has given benefit performances for causes close to her heart.  In summer 2011, she performed with her singer-songwriter daughter Natalia Zukerman, and percussionist Mona Tavakoli, in a benefit concert for Roundup River Ranch, an organization which was founded by Paul Newman and "provides camp experiences to children with life-threatening illnesses." She also performed and served as host for Young Concert Artists' 50th Anniversary musical marathon at Symphony Space in New York, showing her gratitude to the organization that launched her career with their coveted award.

Not only was Eugenia Zukerman a Young Concert Artists Award-winning flutist, but in addition, she received their Lifetime Honor Award in 2006.  In 2009, she also received Concert Artists Guild Virtuoso Award for Dedication to the Arts - one of a handful of artists to be so honored by both organizations. Other honors include a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Open University of Israel in NYC, a Woman of Achievement Award from the National Hadassah Organization, and she is a recipient of the Exceptional Achievement Award from The Women's Project.

Miss Zukerman studied English at Barnard College and received a B.M. from The Juilliard School where she studied with the renowned flutist Julius Baker.  She received an Honorary Doctorate from Knox College in Illinois and was elected to the New York Institute for the Humanities. Her genuine curiosity and ability to connect with others has made her a desired teacher.  She is an adjunct faculty member at New York University's Steinhardt School of Music and a frequent guest teacher at conservatories nationwide.  Most recently she created and taught a multi-disciplinary two week residency at The Hartt School which was unprecedented in the breadth of its scope. The 2010-2011 academic program spanned the disciplines of creative writing, music, education and health sciences.

A Massachusetts native, Miss Zukerman makes her home in New York City and in upstate New York where she shares a small farm with her husband, broadcaster Richard Novik, two horses, two dogs, and a cat named Lulu.

 

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