Ralph Berkowitz was born in New York City in 1910. In 1928, he enrolled at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. He later became a member of the Institute's staff, teaching form and analysis, directing the Historical Series (concerts), and coaching vocal students. He remained in that position until 1940 when he became the accompanist for cellist Gregor Piatigorsky. He continued in that role for 30 years, appearing with Piatigorsky in recitals throughout the world until the cellist's death in 1972.
Berkowitz was executive assistant to Serge Koussevitzky at Tanglewood from 1946 to 1951. He became Dean of the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood in 1951 and remained in that position until his resignation in 1964.
In 1953, he took on the dual role of executive director and principal pianist of the June Music Festival in Albuquerque. After commuting from the East coast, for five summers, he moved to Albuquerque in 1958 and became business manager of the Albuquerque Symphony Orchestra. He resigned that post in 1969.
In addition to teaching, lecturing, and performing, Ralph Berkowitz is also a painter. His paintings, pastels, woodcuts, and drawings are in numerous private collections in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Los Angeles and Albuquerque.
In Albuquerque, Berkowitz did a lecture series on television called The Arts consisting of 63 half-hour shows dealing with some aspect, of music, painting, or literature. He has also had articles published by Penguin Books (London), Etude Magazine, and The Juilliard Review.
As a composer, Ralph Berkowitz wrote "A Telephone Call," for singer and orchestra, based on a Dorothy Parker monologue.
In March of 1992, Ralph Berkowitz donated his personal papers, comprising photographs, correspondence, programs, and newspaper articles and clippings, to the International Piano Archives at the University of Maryland.
SERIES I - PHOTOGRAPHS
SERIES II - CORRESPONDENCE
SERIES III - MISCELLANEOUS