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Michael von Zadora

Michael von Zadora was born in America of Polish parents. He first learnt to play the piano from his father and then at the age of seventeen he enrolled at the Paris Conservatoire. From there he travelled to Vienna for lessons with Theodor Leschetizky before continuing his studies with Ferruccio Busoni in Berlin. Periods of teaching followed at institutions including the Hochschule für Musik and the Klindworth-Scharwenka Conservatory in Berlin, but as World War I approached Zadora returned to America and took a post at the Institute for Musical Art in New York, later to become the Juilliard School of Music.

By 1923 Zadora was back in Berlin, where at the Beethovensaal he was the first pianist to give an all-Busoni recital. With Egon Petri he prepared the piano part of the vocal score of Busoni’s opera Doktor Faust and gave two-piano recitals. Zadora also set up a Busoni Society. In 1924, as Busoni lay on his death-bed, Zadora played a Mendelssohn Lied ohne Worte for him.




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