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Marcel Cuvelier
, °1899 - 1959
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Willem Andriessen
The Netherlands, °1887 - 1964
Willem Andriessen displayed his aptitude for music at an early age and his first teacher was his father, Nicolaas Andriessen, who was an organist and choral conductor. He then proceeded to the Amsterdam Conservatory where his teachers were J.B. de Pauw (piano), Bernard Zweers (composition) and Julius Röntgen (ensemble). He passed the final examination in 1906 and in 1908 he gained the 'Prix d'excellence' in piano playing. Willem Andriessen made a reputation as a concert pianist both at home and abroad. From 1910 to 1918 he taught piano at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague and until 1924 he taught the advanced piano pupils at the Rotterdam Music School. In 1924 he was appointed professor at the Amsterdam Conservatory, and then to its directorship which he held from 1937 to 1953. Willem Andriessen - elder brother of the composer Hendrik - wrote chamber music with piano, a Mass for choir and orchestra, a Concerto for piano and songs.
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Stefan Askenase
Poland, Belgium, °1896 - 1985
Stefan Askenase (1896-1985) began playing the piano at the age of five with his mother, a pianist and pupil of Karol Mikuli. Two years later he commenced lessons with Ksawera Zacharyasiewicz, Franz Xaver Mozart’s pupil, and next with Theodor Pollak, a professor and director of the Ludwik Marek School of Music in Lemberg (L'viv). In 1913, he left for Vienna to continue his piano studies under Emil von Sauer, a pupil of Franz Liszt's, and soon made his pianist debut there. In 1920 he debuted at the Warsaw Philharmonic Hall where on 1 February he played the Schumann Piano Concerto in A minor, and on 6 February he played the Brahms Concerto in B flat major and the Chopin Concerto in F minor. The performances were received with outstanding critical acclaim.

After his successes in Vienna and Warsaw, Stefan Askenase commenced concert touring in Austria, Germany and France. From 1922 to 1925 he lived in Cairo, where he worked as a piano professor at the conservatory. In 1927 he moved to Brussels taking up the position of a professor at the Conservatoire royal, where he taught for forty years. In 1950 he became a Belgian citizen.

Apart from teaching, he continued to perform in almost all European countries, North America, Africa, and elsewhere. His first concert in Poland after World War II took place on 17 May 1946. In 1965, he founded The Arts und Musik Society, whose aim was to preserve the historical railway station in Rolandseck upon the river Rhine. After its restoration the building became a venue for the studios of such artists as Pierre Fournier, Henryk Szeryng, Salvador Dali and Askenase himself.

Stefan Askenase also taught in summer master classes for pianists in Cologne and Bonn. He sat on the jury of the 1955 and 1960 International Chopin Competitions in Warsaw. In 1981, to celebrate his 85th birthday, he gave eighty-five performances in Europe. He was noted for his interpretations of Scarlatti, Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms Schubert, Schumann and Albéniz. His pupils included Martha Argerich, Andrzej Czajkowski and Mitsuko Uchida.
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Emile Bosquet
, °1878 - 1958
Emile Bosquet (1878-1959) effectue son apprentissage de piano dans la classe d'Arthur De Greef au Conservatoire royal de Bruxelles, où il obtient un premier prix avec la plus grande distinction et les félicitations du jury en 1895. En 1897, Eugène Ysaÿe l’invite à participer à un récital dont naîtra une amitié qui allait réunir les deux artistes à de nombreuses reprises. Un an plus tard il fait la connaissance de Ferruccio Busoni. Ce dernier l'invite à le suivre à Berlin afin de parfaire son jeu pianistique. Il parvient à le convaincre de prendre part au Concours Rubinstein, qu’il gagne à l'unanimité.

De retour en Belgique, il commence à enseigner par le biais de leçons particulières de piano. Confronté aux divers problèmes que rencontrent ses élèves, il publie chez Schott, dès 1904, La Technique moderne du pianiste virtuose, méthode qui suscite l'approbation de pédagogues tels que Louis Diémer, Raoul Pugno, Busoni et De Greef. En 1909, il fait également paraître chez Schott, deux autres ouvrages techniques, L'Ecole des doigts et une Ecole élémentaire du piano. En 1906 il est nommé professeur au cours supérieur de piano au Conservatoire royal d'Anvers. Sa nomination comme professeur de piano au Conservatoire royal de Bruxelles survient en 1919. L'année suivante, il est élu membre de la Libre Académie de Belgique.

En 1923, Bosquet, Emile Chaumont et Maurice Dambois fondent le Trio belge, qui deviendra en 1924, sous le patronage des Souverains belges, le Trio de la Cour de Belgique. Pendant plus d'un quart de siècle, le trio jouera un rôle essentiel dans la diffusion des œuvres belges à l'étranger.

Emile Bosquet consacre les dix dernières années de sa vie à la réalisation de certains projets qui lui tenaient à cœur. Ainsi, fort de son expérience de pédagogue, il invente un nouveau clavier parce que selon lui, le clavier actuel ne correspondait plus aux exigences imposées par la technique moderne. Entre 1948 et 1953, il consacre la majeure partie de son temps à la rédaction de son unique ouvrage littéraire, La musique de clavier et par extension de luth. Manuel encyclopédique, historique et pratique (Bruxelles, 1953).

Emile Bosquet est invité à prendre place au sein de concours internationaux, tels le Concours Chopin, à Varsovie, ou le Concours Jacques Thibaud-Marguerite Long, à Paris.

Né dans la seconde moitié du XIXe siècle, il eut l'occasion de suivre l'évolution des concepts esthétiques propres à son temps. Plutôt que de ne s'intéresser qu'à une seule période de l'histoire de la musique, il manifesta un intérêt identique pour tous les courants et genres musicaux. Cette ouverture d'esprit se remarque d'emblée dans l'étendue de son répertoire pianistique, dont la richesse réside moins dans le nombre que dans la diversité des compositeurs que l'on y retrouve. Tant sur le plan de la musique ancienne qu'en ce qui concerne la musique belge, Emile Bosquet joua un rôle important dans la diffusion de ces œuvres. Il interpréta également plusieurs pièces en première audition en Belgique, notamment la Sonate n° 1, op. 28 et le 3e Concerto, op. 30 de Rachmaninov, les Valses nobles et sentimentales de Ravel, la Sonate pour violon et piano, op. 18 de R. Strauss.
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Robert Casadesus
France, °1899 - 1972
Robert Casadesus est aujourd'hui considéré comme l'un des grands pianistes français du 20ème siècle. Issu d'une famille de musiciens, il obtient à quatorze ans un premier prix de piano au Conservatoire de Paris et le prix Diémer en 1920. L'année suivante, il commence ses premières tournées en Europe entamant ainsi une carrière internationale qui durera un demi-siècle.
En 1935, Robert Casadesus se fait entendre pour la première fois aux Etats-Unis. Toscanini l'invite l'année suivante et le succès est immédiat ; ceci marquera le début de très nombreuses tournées, tout particulièrement aux Etats-Unis, mais aussi dans une quarantaine de pays en Europe, au Moyen-orient, en Afrique du Nord et au Japon.

Ses nombreuses apparitions en public (près de 3000 concerts) et sa discographie abondante (une centaine d'enregistrements) lui confèrent une renommée toujours vivace de nos jours. Il se produisit avec les plus grands chefs de son époque, tels Ansermet, Barbirolli, Beecham, Bernstein, Celibidache, Karajan, Krips, Mengelberg, Monteux, Munch, Mitropoulos, Ormandy, Rosbaud, Schuricht, Stokowsky, Szell, Toscanini, Bruno Walter, Weingartner. Il aimait également partager la scène avec sa femme Gaby, son fils Jean et le violoniste Zino Francescatti, son ami, avec lequel il forma un duo mémorable lors de nombreux concerts et enregistrements.

Pédagogue de réputation internationale, Robert Casadesus a été associé pendant près de trente ans au Conservatoire américain de Fontainebleau, en France et aux Etats-Unis, comme professeur et directeur général.

Compositeur confirmé, il laisse une œuvre importante constituée de 69 opus dont sept symphonies, plusieurs concertos (pour piano, deux pianos, trois pianos, violon, violoncelle, flûte) et de nombreuses œuvres de musique de chambre. Aujourd'hui, des enregistrements de plus en plus nombreux témoignent de la qualité intemporelle de son œuvre.

Robert Casadesus a été élevé aux grades de Commandeur de la Légion d'honneur, Commandeur de l'Ordre de Léopold (Belgique), Commandeur de l'Ordre de Nassau (Pays-bas).
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Marcelle Cheridjian-Charrey
Switzerland
Marcelle Cheridjian-Charrey, a student of Leschetizky in Vienna, was a professor at the Geneva Conservatory. She developed a career both in Switzerland and abroad, including Madrid, Vienna and Strasbourg. During the 1930s, she recorded several disks, especially with the works of Jaques-Dalcroze. In addition, she wrote the book L'Enfant et la musique.
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Harriet Cohen
Great Britain, °1895 - 1967
English pianist Harriet Cohen studied at the Royal Academy of Music (1912-17) and at the Matthay School, where she also taught. Small hands limited her repertory, but she quickly made a reputation as a Bach player and as a persuasive advocate for the English music of her time. She played at the Salzburg Contemporary Music Festival in 1924, at the Coolidge Festival, Chicago, in 1930 and gave the first performance of Vaughan Williams's Concerto, dedicated to her, in 1933. She injured her right hand in 1948 and played one-handed until 1951, but her injury was never completely cured and in 1960 she reluctantly retired. She was made a Commander of the British Empire in 1938, a Freeman of the City of London in 1954, and received many honours from other countries. The Harriet Cohen International Music Prizes were founded by Sir Arnold Bax among others in 1951.

Harriet Cohen was chosen by Edward Elgar to record his Piano Quintet, and she made many first recordings of music by Arnold Bax, most of whose piano works, including a left-hand Concertante, were composed for her. In 1932 twelve leading British composers published transcriptions in A Bach Book for Harriet Cohen. She herself published some Bach transcriptions and a small book on interpretation, Music's Handmaid (1936, 2/1950), while her memoirs, A Bundle of Time (1969), are valuable for letters from friends eminent in all walks of live.
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Marta de Conciliis
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René Defossez
Belgium, °1905 - 1988
René Defossez, componist en vermaard dirigent, is een van de markante figuren van de twintigste-eeuwse Belgische muziekwereld. Nadat zijn vader Léon Defossez de basis legde van zijn muzikale ontwikkeling, vervolmaakte hij zich aan het Conservatorium van Luik en ging hij reeds aan de slag als soloviolist in zijn geboortestad Spa en in Luik. In 1935 mocht hij de prestigieuze Prix de Rome in ontvangst nemen voor zijn cantate Le vieux soudard. Het jaar daarop werd hij geëngageerd als dirigent aan de Koninklijke Muntschouwburg, een functie die hij gedurende 22 opeenvolgende seizoenen zou behouden en waarin hij bijna 120 opera’s zou dirigeren. In 1946 werd hij aangesteld als docent orkestdirectie aan het Conservatorium van Brussel. Toen hij in 1951 het verplichte vioolconcerto voor de finale van de Koningin Elisabethwedstrijd componeerde, oogstte hij veel bijval; vijf jaar later schreef hij het verplichte werk voor de pianosessie. Hij werd tot lid van de Académie royale de Belgique verheven in 1970.
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Eduardo del Pueyo
, °1905 - 1986
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Olin Downes
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Rudolf Firkusny
United States of America, °1912 - 1994
Rudolf Firkusny studied both piano and composition with Janacek; from 1920 to 1927, at the Brno Conservatory with Ruzena Kurzova; and at the Prague Conservatory with Vilem Kurz and Rudolf Karel. From 1929-1930, he also studied composition with Suk. He made his debut in Prague in 1922 and pursued an active career in Eastern Europe until 1933, when he first played in England, and 1938, when he made his United States debut. His compositions include a piano concerto, premiered in 1930, a string quartet, and various piano pieces and songs.

After his American debut, Rudolf Firkusny established an international career as a pianist, later teaching at the Juilliard School and the Aspen School of Music. Although best known for the standard nineteenth century repertory, he was also known for his chamber performances and his championing of both contemporary and lesser known works. He gave premieres of works by Menotti, Barber, Ginastera, Hanson, and Martinu, among others, and championed the works of Dvorak and Janacek in particular.
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Walter Kerschbaumer
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Kathleen Long
Great Britain, °1896 - 1968
English pianist Kathleen Long (1896-1968) studied with Herbert Sharpe at the Royal College of Music in London from 1910 to 1916 and taught there from 1920 to 1964. Early in her career she performed a wide repertory of chamber works. An artist of enduring catholic tastes, she introduced music by, among others, Bloch, Bridge, Holst and Finzi. Her Mozart playing, for which she was particularly admired, showed a satisfying balance of just proportions and tender phrasing, and she gave notable performances of Mozart and Bach with the Boyd Neel Orchestra.

French music was another speciality, and she made Fauré particularly her own; under the elegance of her playing the composer's elegiac note sounded clear. She also performed the more speculative of Beethoven's sonatas, such as opp. 109 and 110, and played Scarlatti sonatas with swagger and intensity. Her tonal range, though not wide, was precise, but none of her recordings, among them Mozart's K491 with the Concertgebouw Orchestra under van Beinum, quite captured the bloom of her sound.

Kathleen Long founded her own quartet, the English Ensemble, before World War II, and played on occasion with such artists as Pablo Casals, Albert Sammons and Guilhermina Suggia; she also formed a partnership with the violinist Antonio Brosa (1948-66). As well as in Europe, she performed in Canada, the USA and South Africa. She was awarded the palmes académiques in 1950 and was made a Commander of the British Empire in 1957.
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Marguerite Long
France, °1874 - 1966
Born in Nîmes, Marguerite Long (1874-1966) began her pianist career at the age of seventeen, then went on to become a teacher in the Conservatoire de Paris in 1906. She devoted her whole life to her career as a performer and to finding new talent. She was a teacher in the Ecole Normale de Musique from 1921 onwards. Friend of Debussy, she also championed the music of Fauré who dedicated his Fourth Impromptu to her. With Ravel she shared in the glory of the Concerto in G in 1932. In 1943, after having taught in the Paris Conservatoire for thirty-four years, she called on her friend Jacques Thibaud to create the contest which is named after them. Her students included Samson François, Yvonne Lefébure, Jacques Février and Nicole Henriot, etc. Until her death, Marguerite Long devoted herself completely to the contest which she had founded.
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Arthur Rubinstein
Poland, United States of America, °1887 - 1982
Warm, lyrical, and aristocratic in his interpretations, Arthur Rubinstein performed impressively into extremely old age, and he was a keyboard prodigy almost from the time he could climb onto a piano bench. He came from a mercantile rather than a musical family, but fixated on the piano as soon as he heard it. At age three he impressed Joseph Joachim, and by the age of seven he was playing Mozart, Schubert, and Mendelssohn at a charity concert in his hometown. In Warsaw, he had piano lessons with Alexander Róóycki; then in 1897 he was sent to Berlin to study piano with Heinrich Barth and theory with Robert Kahn and Max Bruch, all under Joachim's general supervision. In 1899 came his first notable concerto appearance in Potsdam. Soon thereafter, just barely a teenager, he began touring Germany and Poland.

After brief studies with Paderewski in Switzerland in 1903, Arthur Rubinstein moved to Paris, where he met Ravel, Dukas, and Jacques Thibaud, and played Saint-Saëns' G minor Concerto to the composer's approval. That work would remain a flashy Rubinstein vehicle for six decades, and it was the concerto he offered in his American debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra in New York's Carnegie Hall in 1906. His under-prepared American tour was not especially well-received, though, so he withdrew to Europe for further study. He became an adept and sensitive chamber musician and accompanist; his 1912 London debut was accompanying Pablo Casals, and during World War I he toured with Eugène Ysaÿe.

Arthur Rubinstein gave several successful recitals in Spain during the 1916-1917 season, and soon toured Latin America. Along the way he developed a great flair for Hispanic music; Heitor Villa-Lobos went so far as to dedicate to Rubinstein his Rudepoema, one of the toughest works in the repertory. Although he would later be somewhat typecast as a Chopin authority, his readings of Falla, Granados, and Albéniz would always be equally idiomatic.

Arthur Rubinstein's international reputation grew quickly, although he was by his own account a sloppy technician. In the mid-1930s he withdrew again and drilled himself in technique. By 1937 he reemerged as a musician of great discipline, poise, and polish -- qualities he would mostly retain until his farewell recital in London in 1976, at the age of 89. His temperament had sufficient fire for Beethoven but enough poetry for Chopin; his tempos and dynamics were always flexible, but never distorted. His 1960s recordings for RCA of nearly all Chopin's solo piano music have been considered basic to any record collection since their release, and his version of Falla's Nights in the Gardens of Spain is another classic, as are his various late collaborations with the Guarneri Quartet.

Arthur Rubinstein became a naturalized American citizen in 1946, but he maintained residences in California, New York, Paris, and Geneva; two of his children were born in the United States, one in Warsaw, and one in Buenos Aires. He had married Aniela Mlynarska in 1932, but womanizing remained integral to his reputation as an irrepressible bon vivant. He maintained that the slogan "wine, women, and song" as applied to him meant 80 percent women and only 20 percent wine and song.

Still, there was a serious side to his life. After World War II, he refused ever again to perform in Germany, in response to the Nazi extermination of his Polish family. Arthur Rubinstein became a strong supporter of Israel; in gratitude, an international piano competition in his name was instituted in Jerusalem in 1974. His honors included the Gold Medal of the Royal Philharmonic Society of London, the U.S. Medal of Freedom (1976), and membership in the French Legion of Honor.
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Naum Sluszny
, °1914 - 1979
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Magda Tagliaferro
, °1893 - 1986
Magda Tagliaferro’s (1893-1986) parents were French, of Alsatian and Bavarian stock. Her father, who had studied piano with Raoul Pugno, was a professor of singing and piano at São Paulo Conservatory, and he was young Magda’s first teacher. She played in public for the first time at the age of nine, and was heard by cellist Pablo Casals who encouraged her to continue her studies in France.

She enrolled at the Paris Conservatoire where she joined the class of Antoine Marmontel, receiving a premier prix eight months later at the age of fourteen. After winning this prize and making her adult debut at the Salle Érard in Paris, Magda Tagliaferro became one of the first students of Alfred Cortot ‘for the rest of her days’. He was the most important pianistic influence on her and she became part of his circle, often playing with violinist Jacques Thibaud and cellist Pablo Casals, as well as with the Capet Quartet.

Having begun her concert career in 1908 at the age of fifteen with the aforementioned recital at the Salle Érard in Paris, not long afterwards Magda Tagliaferro was selected by Fauré to tour with him, performing his works. She also performed with Edouard Risler in the early 1920s and regarded him as another teacher. During the 1920s and 1930s she championed the music of French composers whom she knew personally, including Vincent d’Indy, Maurice Ravel, Francis Poulenc and Gabriel Fauré. One of her closest associations was with composer Reynaldo Hahn, and she gave première performances of many of his works including his Piano Concerto in 1930. A year earlier her compatriot Heitor Villa-Lobos dedicated his Momoprecoce for piano and orchestra to her. She performed with many great conductors including Wilhelm Furtwängler, Ernest Ansermet, Charles Munch, Pierre Monteux, Felix Weingartner and Paul Paray.

In the years preceding World War II Magda Tagliaferro taught at the Paris Conservatoire, but at the outbreak of the war was sent by the French government to New York on a mission of propaganda to promote French music abroad. She gave her debut at Carnegie Hall and continued on to Brazil, remaining there for nine years and founding schools in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. After returning to Paris from Brazil in 1949, she divided her time between the two cities.

At a music school she opened in Paris in 1956, Magda Tagliaferro would give master-classes for more than thirty years, and at this time she founded a competition bearing her name. She was also active on many juries of piano competitions, and between 1937 and 1965 served on the jury of the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, being vice-president of the jury in 1955. In 1979 she published a volume of memoirs entitled Quase Tudo.

Magda Tagliaferro loved to perform and teach, and at the age of eighty-six, she returned to New York and gave a recital that included Schumann’s Carnaval Op. 9. At the age of ninety she was giving concerts in London, Paris and New York, and even in the year of her death when she was ninety-three she was still performing.

Her repertoire was wide, but she was at her best in the music of Schumann and that of French and Spanish composers. As early as 1913 she was playing Goyescas, which composer Enrique Granados had introduced to Paris only two years before, and Manuel de Falla made an arrangement for piano of a dance from his La vida breve for her.

Magda Tagliaferro’s recording career spanned more than fifty years, from 1928 to 1981. At both her first and last sessions she recorded Fauré’s Ballade for piano and orchestra Op. 19, which she had played with the composer on two pianos.
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Theo van der Pas
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Carlo Zecchi
, °1903 - 1984
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