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Mischa Levitzki (1898 - 1941)

Although Mischa Levitzki’s parents were from the Ukraine, they had taken American citizenship and simply happened to be on a visit to their homeland when Mischa was born. Neither of his parents was particularly musical but all the children had successful careers. Mischa’s brother became Principal Professor of Economy at Washington University, and another brother gave up his career as a civil engineer to become a partner in the Daniel Meyer Concert Corporation of America. At the age of three Mischa began studies on the violin and at six began to learn to play the piano. He studied with the great Polish pianist Aleksander Michałowski in Warsaw when he was seven, and gave his concert debut a year later in Antwerp. He then travelled with his parents to New York in 1908 where his father arranged for him to play for Frank Damrosch, brother of Walter Damrosch, at that time director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Frank Damrosch was director of the recently opened Institute of Musical Art in New York which was later to become the Juilliard School of Music. The eleven-year-old Levitzki won a scholarship to study there for two years with the Polish pianist and teacher Sigismond Stojowski who had been a pupil of Paderewski.




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