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23-11-2012, 14:34
Category: Piano Pedia
José Vianna da Motta (sometimes spelt 'Viana da Mota') (22 April 1868 – 1 June 1948) was a distinguished Portuguese pianist, teacher, and composer. José Vianna da MottaHe was one of the last pupils of Franz Liszt. The José Vianna da Motta Music Competition was founded in 1957 in his honor.

José Vianna da Motta was born on São Tomé Island, a Portuguese territory at the time where his father, also a great amateur musician, had opened a pharmacy. Moving with his family to Continental Portugal, he settled in Colares, near Sintra, where he soon showed his unusual skills in music, and in playing and composing works for the piano.
In Berlin he had lessons from Xaver Scharwenka and Philipp Scharwenka before studying with Franz Liszt at Weimar in 1885 and with Hans von Bülow two years later. In the following years he undertook many concert tours all round the world. Although he was renowned for his virtuosity he was also dedicated to the music of J. S. Bach and Beethoven - playing all of the latter's 32 piano sonatas in a series of concerts in Lisbon in 1927. He also included lesser known composers in his recitals, playing, for example, works by Charles-Valentin Alkan at the Wigmore Hall in London in 1903. He also made a number of transcriptions of Alkan's pedalier pieces into two hand versions.
Vianna da Motta was also close to his fellow virtuoso Ferruccio Busoni, and wrote the programme notes for Busoni's major series of piano concerto concerts in Berlin...

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23-11-2012, 13:39
Category: Piano Pedia
Alexander Uninsky (Russian: Александр Юнинский, Aleksandr Yuninskij, pronounced You-nin-skee; 2 February [O.S. 20 January] 1910 – 19 December 1972) was a Russian-American classical pianist. Alexander Uninsky

Alexander Uninsky was born in Kiev (then in the Russian Empire, now in Ukraine). He initially studied piano there in the conservatory which had been opened in 1913, and whose other graduates included Vladimir Horowitz and Alexander Brailowsky.
He subsequently moved to Paris in 1923, where he studied with Lazare Lévy. He was awarded the conservatory's first prize for piano. In 1932 he won the second International Frédéric Chopin Piano Competition. In fact, Uninsky tied for first place with the blind Hungarian pianist Imre Ungar, and the judges decided to award victory on the basis of the toss of a coin. Ungar lost.

In 1955, he took up a teaching post at the Toronto Conservatory of Music, where he numbered among his pupils the Canadian composer Bruce Mather. Mather commemorated his teacher in his 1974 composition In memoriam Alexander Uninsky
Subsequently he taught at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. His pupils included Jeffrey Swann, David Morgan, Carmen Alvarez, Boaz Heilman, Henry Doskey, David Golub and Dubravka Tomšič Srebotnjak...

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23-11-2012, 12:22
Category: Piano Pedia
Olga Samaroff (August 8, 1880 – May 17, 1948) was a pianist, music critic, and teacher. Her second husband was conductor Leopold Stokowski.Olga Samaroff

Samaroff was born Lucy Mary Agnes Hickenlooper in San Antonio, Texas, and grew up in Galveston, where her family owned a business later wiped out in the 1900 Galveston hurricane. There being then no great teachers in the United States, after her talent for the piano was discovered she was sent to Europe to study, first with Antoine François Marmontel at the Conservatoire de Paris, and later with Ernst Jedliczka in Berlin, where she married, very briefly, Russian engineer Boris Loutzky.
After her divorce from Loutzky and the disaster which claimed her family's business, she returned to the United States and tried to carve out a career as a pianist, but she soon discovered she was hampered both by her awkward name and her American origins. Her agent suggested a professional name change, which was taken from a remote relative.
As Olga Samaroff, she self-produced her New York debut at Carnegie Hall in 1905 (the first woman ever to do so), hiring the hall, the orchestra and the conductor Walter Damrosch, and making an overwhelming impression with her performance of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1. She played extensively in the United States and Europe thereafter.
Samaroff discovered Leopold Stokowski (1882–1977) when he was church organist at St. Bartholemew's in New York and later conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. She played Tchaikovsky's 1st Piano Concerto under Stokowski's direction when he made his official conducting debut in Paris with the Colonne Orchestra on May 12, 1909.
She married Stokowski in 1911 and their daughter Sonya was born in 1921. At that time much more famous than he, Samaroff lobbied her contacts to get Stokowski appointed (in 1912) to the vacant conductor's post at the Philadelphia Orchestra, launching his international career. Samaroff made a number of recordings in the early 1920s for the Victor Talking Machine Company...

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23-11-2012, 12:10
Category: Piano Pedia
Steffen Schleiermacher (born Halle, 3 May 1960) is a German composer, pianist, and conductor.
Steffen Schleiermacher
After studying at the Leipzig Music School with Siegfried Thiele, he continued working there as a music theory and ear training assistant. At the same time, he did his post-graduate studies at the Köln Music School with Aloys Kontarsky.
In 1988, he was a founder of the Ensemble Avantgarde, which is devoted to contemporary classical music.

Schleiermacher's prizes and fellowship awards include the Gaudeamus Competition (1985), Kranichstein Music Prize (1986), Hanns Eisler Prize of the East German Radio for his Concerto for Viola and Chamber Ensemble (1989), Christoph and Stephan Kaske Foundation Prize, Munich (1991), Mendelssohn Scholarship awarded by the East German Ministry of Culture (1988), German Music Council Fellowship (1989/90), Fellowship of the Kulturfond Foundation (1992–94, 1997), Fellowship of the German Academy at the Villa Massimo in Rome (1992), Japan Foundation Fellowship (1997) for study for several months in Japan, and Fellowship of the Cité des Arts in Paris.
His recording releases include works by composers such as Erik Satie, Philip Glass, Morton Feldman and Arnold Schoenberg. He also plays pieces by Asian composers - such as Toshio Hosokawa and Ichiyanagi (Japan); and Slamet Abdul Sjukur, Michael Asmara and Soe Tjen Marching (Indonesia).

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