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Raoul Koczalski (1884 - 1948)

Raoul Koczalski’s first piano lessons were from his mother, but he changed teachers and began to take instruction from Julian Gadowski. He then made his debut at the age of four in 1888 at a private salon in Warsaw and immediately embarked on a tour of Russia, playing sixty concerts between September 1888 and April 1889. During the tour he met and played for Anton Rubinstein who was greatly impressed. Koczalski was, of course, a child prodigy, and by the age of seven had composed forty-six works; at the age of eleven, by which time he was playing the standard repertoire of Chopin and Liszt, he had given over one thousand concerts. Aged nine, he had conducted his own Légende Symphonique in Berlin and Leipzig and was playing the first movement of Beethoven’s ‘Waldstein’ Sonata Op. 53 in recital, a reviewer referring to the fact that Koczalski had studied it with Hans von Bülow. The same year he played Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in Hamburg.




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