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Jeanne-Marie Darre (1905 - 1999)

Darré studied first with her mother from the age of five, then at the Paris Conservatoire with Isidor Philipp and Marguerite Long, receiving a premier prix in 1919. She made her debut the following year at the age of fourteen at the Salle Érard in Paris, and by the age of sixteen was playing many concerts in France, England and Hungary. Her mother accompanied her, and whilst in Budapest around 1922 they attended a concert by Vladimir Horowitz. Darré later said, ‘Horowitz was really my inspiration. I realised then that music and the piano were the most important things. For me he is the greatest.’ Darré received guidance from István Thomán and Margit Vargas, both pupils of Liszt, and from Count Apponyi who was an intimate friend of Liszt. French composers of the time also helped her with the interpretation of their works: Fauré in his nocturnes and a barcarolle; Ravel, with his Ondine and Toccata; Saint-Saëns, in his piano concertos; and she even played Busoni’s completion of Liszt’s arrangement of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro to the great Italian pianist and composer. She in turn heard Busoni play Beethoven’s ‘Emperor’ Concerto Op. 73 and a good deal of Liszt.




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