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Annie Fischer (1914 - 1995)


At the Liszt Academy of Music, Fischer studied with Arnold Székely and Ernő Dohnányi. During this period of study she was twice awarded the Liszt Prize. At the age of ten she made her debut playing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 Op. 15 and in 1928 played for the first time outside of Hungary in a concert in Zürich with the Tonhalle Orchestra. At this concert she played two concertos: Mozart’s A major K. 488 and the Schumann Piano Concerto Op. 54. It was in 1933 that her career was boosted by her taking the first prize in the first International Franz Liszt Piano Competition (where Louis Kentner was placed third). Apparently, it was Fischer’s performance of Liszt’s Piano Sonata in B minor that was so impressive: one of the judges on the panel was Liszt pupil Emil von Sauer.

This was the beginning of a European career interrupted by World War II, which Fischer and her husband spent in Sweden. Returning to Budapest in 1946, a city in which she spent most of her life, Fischer resumed her career. Three times she received Hungary’s highest cultural award, the Kossuth Prize, and was also awarded an honorary professorship at the Liszt Academy in 1965. Fischer did not like to travel much outside of Europe, make records, or be interviewed; however she did play in Australia and New Zealand, Japan and the USSR, and first visited America as late as 1961, playing a Mozart concerto at Carnegie Hall with George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra.

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