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Alexander Brailowsky (1896 - 1976)

It was from his father, also a pianist, that Alexander Brailowsky received his first lessons at the piano. He attended the Kiev Conservatory, where he studied with Vladimir Puchalsky, a pupil of Theodor Leschetizky, and in 1911 moved to Vienna where, with his sister, he began taking lessons from Leschetizky himself. In 1916 Brailowsky went to France and in fact retained French citizenship throughout his life. Part of World War I was spent in Switzerland, and in Zürich he received advice from Busoni. He received instruction also from Francis Planté and made his Paris recital debut at the Salle Gaveau in 1919, having already performed Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 Op. 58 in the city with great success. In 1922 he gave a Liszt recital in Paris, and about a year later, after tours of Europe, Brailowsky devised a cycle of the complete solo works of Chopin which he played in six recitals. This cycle was first given in Paris in 1924, Brailowsky eventually playing it there three times, twice in Buenos Aires, and also in Brussels, Zürich, Mexico City and New York. This debut in New York in November 1924 was so successful that two further recitals at Carnegie Hall were scheduled for 10 January and 14 February 1925. Olin Downes in the New York Times wrote, ‘He is a born virtuoso in the highest sense of that word. He feels instinctively the resources of the piano and makes it an instrument that sings and throbs with color. The overwhelming temperament and sincerity of the artist compel respect and response in those who listen.’ A




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