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Gina Bachauer (1910 - 1976)

Daughter of an Austrian father and Italian mother, Gina Bachauer was born in Greece where her family had settled in the 1870s. She studied at the Athens Conservatory with Woldemar Freeman, but only part-time as her father believed success in the music world impossible for a woman. She studied law at Athens University for two years, but her progress at the piano was such that her father allowed her, as a teenager, to go to Paris to study at the École Normale de Musique with Alfred Cortot. After making her Paris debut in 1929 she had some lessons with Sergei Rachmaninov (a friend of Freeman) with whom she studied intermittently during the early 1930s. A year after her 1932 debut in London she won a medal at the International Competition in Vienna and went on to make her orchestral debut in Athens in 1935, playing the Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor Op. 23 by Tchaikovsky under Dimitri Mitropoulos. Bachauer toured Europe and played in Egypt, where she met and married John Christodoulou in 1936, living in Alexandria. Her career was interrupted by World War II, though she gave more than six hundred concerts for the troops in Northern Africa during this time.




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