Historical interpretations of Friderick Chopin works

skip to menu

Janina Familier-Hepner - biography


Janina Familier-Hepner, a Polish pianist, was born around 1890 in Warsaw, and died around 1943 also in Warsaw. She started her piano lessons as a child prodigy with Włodzimierz Oberfelt, and made her first public appearance in March 1902 at a benefit concert organized by Zygmunt Noskowski, the leading Polish composer at that time. From 1906 to 1909 she studied piano under Aleksander Michałowski at the Music Institute in Warsaw (Aleksander Michałowski was a pupil of Moscheles, Tausig, Liszt and Mikuli). Even as a student, she was recognized by the Warsaw audience as a talented pianist with a bright future. In 1908 she played the Saint-Saëns Concerto in G minor, and one of the critics wrote: "she boasts great technical skills, a fiery temperament and artistic accomplishment". Between 1910 and 1911, Familier-Hepner completed two years of post-graduate studies in Berlin. Before the outbreak of World War II, she widely toured Poland giving concerts in Lodz, Krakow, Czestochowa, Vilnius and Warsaw. In 1930 she played in Budapest and Vienna, and in the subsequent year in Vienna again. As a solo pianist, Janina Familier-Hepner had a wide-ranging repertoire including solo pieces by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Haydn, Chopin, Scarlatti, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Rachmaninoff, Balakiriev, and chamber pieces by Arenski, Franck, Grieg and others. She was also an active chamber musician appearing with violinists such as Józef Ozimiński and Leopold Binental, and with the singer Ada Falk. She promoted works by Polish composers - Helena Łopuska-Wyleżyńska, Juliusz Zarębski, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Aleksander Michałowski, Ignacy Friedman, Henryk Melcer, Maurycy Moszkowski and Ludomir Różycki. During the Nazi occupation, Familier-Hepner initially went into hiding, but later she was arrested and placed in the Warsaw Ghetto. She died tragically around 1943 during the deportations of Jews from the Ghetto.

See also