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George Szell (1897 - 1970)

George Szell’s music-loving family moved to Vienna in 1900, where four years later, already showing signs of exceptional musical gifts, he became a piano student of Richard Robert. In addition he studied composition and music theory with Foerster, Mandyczewski and Reger. Szell made his debut as both a pianist and a composer with the Vienna Tonkünstler Orchestra in 1908, and then, hailed as ‘the new Mozart’, he undertook a tour of Europe during the 1909–1910 concert season which included a visit to London. He signed a ten-year contract with the Viennese music publishing company Universal Edition in 1912, and in the same year gave the first performance of his Piano Quartet Op. 1, with the Rosé Quartet. His (unplanned) debut as a conductor came during the following year while staying with his family at the resort of Bad Kissingen, when the regular conductor of the spa’s summer concerts injured his arm.



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