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Mieczyslaw Horszowski (1892 - 1993)

Horszowski’s father owned a piano store and his mother was a pupil of Mikuli, who was a pupil of Chopin. She gave her son his first piano lessons and it was obvious from the beginning that he was a child prodigy, as at six years old he was transposing Bach’s two-part inventions. At the age of seven Horszowski began lessons with the great Theodor Leschetizky in Vienna, made his recital debut in Vienna at the age of eight and his orchestral debut, playing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 Op. 15, at ten. He then toured extensively throughout the capitals of Europe, and at the age of fourteen played for Queen Alexandra at Buckingham Palace in 1906, as well as making his London debut at Steinway Hall (where he was reported as being eleven years of age); played for Pope Pius X at the Vatican in Rome, and toured Brazil and Uruguay. In December of the same year Horszowski made his American recital debut at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

By the age of nineteen Horszowski realised that he needed time away from the concert circuit to explore repertoire and study non-musical subjects such as literature, philosophy and art. He did this in Paris, where he also received advice from Edouard Risler, but was back on the concert stage by 1913. He decided to settle in Milan, and from here made major tours of Europe, as well as America in 1926–1927 and South America in 1924, 1934 and 1940. At his London recital in 1926 at Aeolian Hall he played a partita by Bach and a sonata by Schubert, plus some Szymanowski and Chopin.




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