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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » G » Gulda, Friedrich



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Friedrich Gulda (05/16/1930 - 01/27/2000)

Gulda’s first tuition was at the Grossman Conservatory where between the ages of eight and twelve his teacher was Felix Pazofsky. At twelve he entered the Vienna Academy of Music where he studied piano with Bruno Seidlhofer and theory with Joseph Marx. After making his debut at the age of fourteen, Gulda went on to win the Geneva Piano Competition in 1946, subsequently touring Switzerland, Italy, Hungary and Czechoslovakia. Gulda rapidly gained an international reputation and gave his Carnegie Hall debut in 1950. His repertoire at this time concentrated on Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert; he gave complete cycles of the Beethoven sonatas, and played chamber music. During the 1950s he made a series of recordings for Decca, but in 1962 his career took a very different turn.

Disillusioned with the life of a virtuoso, Gulda turned his attention to jazz. He had already appeared with the Austrian All Stars on radio in 1956, and in the same year at New York’s famous Birdland, as well as at the Newport Jazz Festival. However, by the early 1960s Gulda had formed a small jazz group and a big band called the Eurojazz Orchestra. He played the wooden flute and baritone saxophone and composed his own works for jazz combinations. Gulda gave up the leadership of the Eurojazz Orchestra in 1966, founding a jazz competition in Vienna and opening a school of improvisation in Ossiach.

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