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Paul Badura-Skoda (b1927)

Paul Badura-Skoda intended to become an engineer but, after hearing an Edwin Fischer recital, decided instead to become a musician. He had begun piano lessons at the age of six, and his mother’s second husband (Skoda) supported young Paul’s decision to enter into the field of music. At the Vienna Conservatory he studied piano and conducting under Viola Thern. In 1947 his prize upon winning the Austrian Music Competition was a scholarship to attend master-classes in Lucerne given by Edwin Fischer, who influenced Badura-Skoda’s playing. In the same year the young pianist made his debut with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra; in 1948 he gained second place in the Liszt Competition in Budapest, and, a year after that, third place in the Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud Competition in Paris. By the time he appeared at the Salzburg Festival in 1950 he had already performed with Herbert von Karajan and Wilhelm Furtwängler. Tours of Europe followed, and in 1951 Badura-Skoda made his London debut. The following year saw a tour of Australia as well as his debut in the USA, with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. He made tours of the USA during the 1950s but after that played mainly in Europe, returning to tour the USA in 1978 and thereafter.



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