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Roberto Szidon


Roberto Szidon, although born in Brazil, is of Hungarian descent. Even though a remarkably gifted child, he avoided the life of a child prodigy, studying medicine alongside his musical education and becoming a medical officer in the Brazilian army. He first appeared in public at the age of nine and completed his studies with Claudio Arrau in New York, receiving tuition and encouragement also from Felicja Blumental and Arthur Rubinstein. Szidon’s career was launched when he was awarded the São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro Prize. As a young man he toured the United States, South America and Europe as a recitalist and as soloist with many orchestras. At his debut in London he played Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor Op. 30 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Jerzy Semkov at the Royal Festival Hall. By the late 1960s Szidon was playing the piano sonatas of Alexander Scriabin and beginning to concentrate on contemporary and twentieth-century music. He recorded the ‘Concord’ Sonata by Charles Ives and in 1980 in London he gave the première performance of Henze’s Sonatina for Violin and Piano, a work based on his own Pollicino, with violinist Jenni Abel. Three years later he was the soloist in a performance of the Piano Concerto by Loris Tjeknavorian given in Brighton with the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by the composer. Today Szidon appears as a judge on many piano competition panels and gives master-classes in chamber music and piano.

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