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Magda Tagliaferro (1893 - 1986)

Magda Tagliaferro’s parents were French, of Alsatian and Bavarian stock. Her father, who had studied piano with Raoul Pugno, was a professor of singing and piano at São Paulo Conservatory, and he was young Magda’a first teacher. Tagliaferro played in public for the first time at the age of nine, and was heard by cellist Pablo Casals who encouraged her to continue her studies in France.

Tagliaferro enrolled at the Paris Conservatoire where she joined the class of Antoine Marmontel, receiving a premier prix eight months later at the age of fourteen. Camille Saint-Saëns presented the award, and Isaac Albéniz, who was also on the jury, wrote of her as an ‘…exceptionally gifted, remarkable technician, already an artist and one with an enviable future’. However, after winning this prize and making her adult debut at the Salle Érard in Paris, Tagliaferro became one of the first students of Alfred Cortot ‘for the rest of her days’. He was the most important pianistic influence on Tagliaferro and she became part of his circle, often playing with violinist Jacques Thibaud and cellist Pablo Casals, as well as with the Capet Quartet.




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