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Walter Klien (1928 - 1991)

Son of a well-known artist, Erika Giovanna Klien, Walter Klien began playing the piano at the age of five. He first studied piano, composition and conducting in Frankfurt, then Graz. In 1946 he began studies with Josef Dichler at the Vienna Academy of Music and completed his piano studies with Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli. Klien also took lessons in composition from Paul Hindemith. During the early 1950s Klien participated in competitions, winning prizes at both the 1951 and 1952 Busoni Competitions in Bolzano.

By the time of his debuts in Britain and America, Klien was already known through his recordings. His London debut in February 1968, made in the Purcell Room, the smallest of the three concert halls on the South Bank, was a great success. ‘The Purcell Room can rarely have heard a finer recital than that given on Friday by the Austrian pianist Walter Klien.’ The critic of The Times went as far as to say, ‘Everything he played was marked by extreme refinement, profound intelligence, and near-perfect clarity—sustained by an impressive technique.’



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