Historical interpretations of Friderick Chopin works

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Teodor Leszetycki - biography


Theodor Leschetizky, a Polish pianist and composer, original name Teodor Leszetycki, was born on 22 June 1830 in Lańcut, and died on 14 November 1915 in Dresden. He began piano lessons at the age of five with his father, a music teacher at Count Alfred Potocki's estate. He made his debut at the age of nine performing the Czerny Concertino in C major with Mozart's son, Franz Xavier, conducting (in Lemberg, now L'viv). In 1841, in Vienna, he became a pupil of Carl Czerny in his piano class, and studied composition under Simon Sechter. Moreover, as a fifteen-year-old he took up philosophy at university. He gave many concerts in Russia, Poland, Germany and Austria gaining a reputation as an accomplished interpreter of, inter alia, Beethoven's works. In 1864 he debuted in England. He boasted an exceptional gift in sight-reading, and in immediate transposing a piece into any key. As a chamber musician, he performed with the greatest violinists of his time including Wieniawski, Auer, Sarasate and Ysaÿe. His superb pedagogical talent showed at an early age, and he began giving lessons as a fifteen-year-old. In 1862, Anton Rubinstein entrusted him with the piano class at his conservatory in St Petersburg. In 1878 Leschetizky settled in Vienna, where he devoted his time to private teaching and composing. In 1887 he gave his last concert. In 1896, Robert Becker, Leschetizky's pupil, wrote about his teacher: " Leschetizky [...], upon giving up his performing career a long time ago, has devoted his great pedagogical gift to shaping young talents; and the number of virtuosos is constantly rising. [...] Leschetizky's private lessons are the most interesting and educating I have ever happened to hear in my life. I have been to lectures by Tausig, Bendel, Jensen and Teodor Kullak; compared to Leschetizky, all the other teachers are superficial, or [...] even unscrupulous". His compositions comprise more than 50 opuses, the opera Pierwsza zmarszczka (Die erste Falte), the Piano concerto in C minor, a cycles of piano pieces, as well as mazurkas, intermezzos, preludes, studies, characteristic miniatures and others. His pupils included Wincenty Adamowski, Aleksander Brailowsky, Ryszard Byk, Antoni Dobkiewicz, Bolesław Domaniewski, Seweryn Eisenberger, Ignacy Friedman, Ossip Gabrilowitsch, Wojciech Gawroński, Alfred Grünfeld, Mark Hambourg, Mieczysław Horszowski, Katarzyna Jaczynowska, Franciszek Łukasiewicz, Henryk Melcer, Benno Moiseiwitsch, Helena Morsztyn, Elly Ney, Ignacy Jan Paderewski Włodzimierz Pachulski, August Radwan, Artur Schnabel, Paulina Szalitówna, Józef Śliwiński, Ignacy Tiegerman and Paul Wittgenstein.

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