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Classicsonline Home » Artists » » Arrau, Claudio

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Claudio Arrau (1903 - 1991)


When Arrau was a year old his father died. His mother gave piano lessons to support her three children, and after Claudio made his debut at the age of five she moved the family to Santiago de Chile so that he could study with Bindo Paoli. By 1911 the Chilean government had decided to fund Claudio’s training in Berlin. At the Stern Conservatory he studied with Martin Krause (1853–1918), a pupil of Liszt. Krause became a father-substitute for young Claudio, guiding him toward art, literature and opera. The boy had little schooling, and Krause oversaw most aspects of his life and development. At the piano Krause laid a technical foundation based not only on physical stamina and endurance but also on technique being the means to a musical interpretation. It supported Arrau throughout his long career.

The eleven-year-old Arrau caused a sensation at his Berlin debut, and was only twelve when he played Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with Arthur Nikisch in Dresden. During this time Krause arranged many concerts for Arrau, but it was a privileged existence traumatically terminated when Krause died in 1918, leaving Arrau at the vulnerable age of fifteen.

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Discography


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