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Lev Pouishnoff (1891 - 1959)

Lev Pouishnoff showed musical aptitude from the age of three and at the age of five gave two public concerts. When he was only nine years old his father died, and the family moved to Kiev where he attended school and joined the State Opera Company at the age of fourteen. Apparently, it was the great Russian bass Chaliapin who suggested that Pouishnoff go to the St Petersburg Conservatory to study piano with Annette Essipov. By this time, he was already sixteen; and he also studied composition with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Anatole Liadov and Alexander Glazunov, graduating with a Gold Medal.

At the age of twenty Pouishnoff toured with the great violinist Leopold Auer, took a position at the Conservatory of Music in Tiflis (now Tbilisi), and during these few years preceding World War I, toured Europe giving many concerts. The Russian Revolution forced him into exile and he escaped to Persia, where he became the first pianist to tour that country. After difficulties re-starting his career, Pouishnoff decided to settle in Paris; but the audiences of 1920 there were not enthralled with him and so he went to London, where he played five recitals at the Wigmore Hall during February and March 1921. The first recital was of Bach and Beethoven, while others were of Schumann and Chopin and the ‘modern Russians’ Rachmaninov and Scriabin.




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