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Leonid Kreutzer (1884 - 1953)


Leonid Kreutzer began piano studies at the age of five with Blumberg. He also studied the violin, but his father, a lawyer, made sure that his son had a good all-round education. After preparatory school, Kreutzer entered the St Petersburg Conservatory where he studied piano with Annette Essipov and composition with Alexander Glazunov. At his debut he played Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor Op. 18 with the Moscow Philharmonic Society Orchestra. The concert was a great success, and from 1906 Kreutzer toured Europe giving concerts.

Kreutzer decided to go to Leipzig where he stayed for two years, making his debut as a conductor and giving some first performances of the music of Reger. He then went to Berlin, and was appointed professor at the Hochschule für Musik in 1921. His pupils included Franz Reizenstein, Peter Stadlen, Władysław Szpilman and Karl-Ulrich Schnabel.

At his American debut Kreutzer performed with an orchestra conducted by Willem Mengelberg and in the late 1920s also appeared with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ossip Gabrilowitsch and the Cincinnati Orchestra with Fritz Reiner. In 1935 Kreutzer was offered a post in Japan and he settled there teaching, performing and conducting.

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