Historical interpretations of Friderick Chopin works

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Frank La Forge - biography


Frank La Forge, an American pianist and composer, was born on 22 October 1879 (or 1877 according to some sources) in Rockford, Illinois, and died on 5 May 1953 in New York. He received his first piano lessons from his sister Ruth La Forge Hall, also a talented pianist. At the age of seventeen he went to Chicago to study under Harrison Wild, an organist and choir conductor, for four years. He continued his musical education for a further four years as a pupil of Theodor Leschetizky in Vienna, and following this he studied composition under the Czech pedagogues Josef Labor and Karel Navrátil. His renown came not from being a soloist but a brilliant accompanist who could play by ear and worked with famous singers such as Frances Alda, Johanna Gadski, Margarete Matzenauer, Lily Pons, Ernestine Schumann-Heink, and Marcelina Sembrich-Kochańska. He also performed on stage as an accompanist to instumentalists. Being a much appreciated pedagogue he worked as a piano tutor with singers. His pupils included Richard Crooks, Marian Anderson and Lawrence Tibbett. In 1930 he began to organize concerts in his newly constructed house. He died during a concert at the Musicians’ Club in New York. La Forge composed and arranged many songs. He was also the author of a number of transcriptions and piano pieces (inter alia Valse de concert, Gavotte, Improvisation).

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