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Classicsonline Home » Artists » » Czerny-Stefanska, Halina

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Czerny-Stefanska

Halina Czerny-Stefanska (1922 - 2001)


Czerny-Stefanska’s first piano teacher was her father who was a professor at the Kraków Conservatory and a descendant of Carl Czerny. At the age of ten she won the City of Warsaw Award and also won the Alfred Cortot Prize. This enabled Czerny-Stefanska to travel to Paris to study with Alfred Cortot for six months at his École Normale de Musique. Only twelve when she returned from Paris, Czerny-Stefanska completed her normal schooling at Saint Ursula’s Gymnasium in Kraków, meanwhile continuing her study of the piano under Józef Turczyński, a pupil of Paderewski, at the Warsaw Conservatory. Czerny-Stefanska appeared regularly in public and on Polish radio, but World War II interrupted her burgeoning career.

After the war Czerny-Stefanska, by now twenty-three, continued her studies at the State Higher School of Music with Zbigniew Drzewiecki. Her international career was launched by her winning of the joint first prize at the first International Chopin Competition in Warsaw. She shared the prize with Bella Davidovich and won the Polish Radio Award for the best performance of Chopin’s mazurkas. There followed a career in which Czerny-Stefanska toured throughout Europe, playing in Paris, Vienna, Brussels, The Hague, London, Prague, Moscow and Budapest and performing with such conductors as Adrian Boult, George Solti and Zubin Mehta. She also toured the United States and played in China and Japan. Czerny-Stefanska also spent much of her time teaching, particularly at Kraków University.

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