Historical interpretations of Friderick Chopin works

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Henryk Neuhaus - biography


Henryk Neuhaus, a Polish-Russian pianist, was born on 12 April 1888 in Elisavetgrad, (now Kirovograd), and died on 10 October 1964 in Moscow. His father, Gustaw, was a pianist of German origin, his mother, related to Karol Szymanowski, was Polish. He began music lessons with his father, and continued them with his uncle Feliks Blumenfeld. At the age of nine he made his first public appearance, and in 1904 he debuted at the festival in Dortmund, which was followed by concerts in Bonn, Cologne and Berlin. In 1906, in Berlin, he studied composition under Paul Juon, and piano playing under Leopold Godowsky. He worked under Godowsky again between 1912 and 1914 at master classes in Vienna. Some of his biographers mention that he was a pupil of Aleksander Michałowski in Warsaw, whereas Michalowski's pupil was his older sister, Natalia. In 1915, he graduated from the St. Petersburg Conservatory as an extramural student. In the following year he began his teaching career. He taught in Tiflis (now Tbilisi) from 1916 to 1918, in Kiev from 1918 to 1922, and in Moscow from 1922 to 1964, where he also was Chancellor of the Academy from 1935 to 1937. Apart from a few concert tours of Germany and Italy in his youth, he did not perform much in his adulthood. After the Second World War he gave concerts only in Moscow. His repertoire included all Scriabin sonatas, a complete set of Debussy’s preludes, pieces by Russian composers and works by his cousin, Karol Szymanowski: Masques, which he played in Vienna in 1912, Variations in B flat minor and Variations in B minor, Fantasy in C major, which was dedicated to him. He was also an active chamber musician, appearing with many instrumentalists such as the Polish violinist Paweł Kochański, with whom he performed Szymanowski's pieces for piano and violin: the Sonata in D minor, the Nocturne and Tarantella, and Mythes. In 1937 and 1960 he sat on the jury of the Warsaw International Chopin Competitions. His journalistic output for music periodicals comprise articles on composers, selected works, performers and performing, as well as on music life in general. His pupils included Julitta Ślendzińska, Leonid Brumberg, Emil Gilels, Radoslav Kvapil, Radu Lupu, Evgenij Malinin, Evgenij Mogilevskij, Aleksej Nasedkin, Stanislav Neuhaus, Sviatoslav Richter, and Igor Zhukov.

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