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Egon Petri (1881 - 1962)

Petri came from a Dutch family, his father Henri (1856–1914), being a professional violinist who had studied with Joseph Joachim. Henri’s work as a concertmaster took him and his family to many areas of Germany during Egon’s childhood. At the time of his birth the family was in Hanover where Henri was leader of the Royal Opera Orchestra. Two years later Henri was appointed leader of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra under the direction of Arthur Nikisch and later moved to Dresden to take a post at the opera house there. Young Egon was therefore born into an extremely musical environment and took his first lessons from many of the foremost musicians living in these cities. His father’s friends who passed though the family home included Grieg, Mahler, Anton Rubinstein, Brahms, Clara Schumann, Busoni and Teresa Carreño. Egon received tuition in piano from Richard Buchmayer and Carreño, although at this time it was thought that he would become a violinist. It was through the advice of Busoni and Paderewski that Petri eventually decided to concentrate on the piano in preference to the violin.




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