Born:   February   16,   1896   -   Kiev Died: April 25, 1976 - New York City, New York, USA The   noted   Russian-born   French   pianist,   Alexander   Brailowsky,   studied   first   with   his   father,   a   professional pianist;   then   continued   his   training   at   the   Kiev   Conservatory,   graduating   with   a   gold   medal   in   1911. Following   advanced   studies   with   Theodor   Leschetizky   and   Florence   Trumbull   in   Vienna   from   1911   to   1914 and   Ferruccio   Busoni   in   Zürich.   The   French   pianist   Francis   Planté   invited   Alexander   Brailowsky   to   his   home in Paris. “Im    folgenden    Konzert    ergoß    sich    Otto    Klemperers    tiefes    musikalisches    Empfinden    in    Beethovens    7. Symphonie,    und    Alexander    Brailowsky    glänzte    in    Liszts    Es-dur    Konzert,    das    er    mit    gewaltiger    Breite anpackte    und    mit    hervorragender    Technik    durchführte,    durch    Otto    Klemperers    ebenfo    glänzende Begleitung unterstützt.” - Signale für die musikalische Welt (June 8, 1927). On   November   9,   1913   at   age   of   17   Alexander   Brailowsky   made   his   debut   in   the   Kleinen   Saal   des   Konzert- hauses   in   Vienna   (Beethoven:   B-dur-Sonate   op.   22,   Schumann:   Faschingsschwank,   Leschetizky:   Tarantella E-moll,   Chopin,   Liszt)   and   he   performed   Saint-Saens’   G   minor   Concerto   with   the   Wiener   Konzertvereines Orchestra   conducted   by   Hellmesberger   (Grosser   Saal   of   Konzert-hauses   in   Vienna)   on   14   December   1913. On   May   7,   1919   Alexander   Brailowsky   made   his   concert   debut   in   Paris;   he   performed   Fauré’s   Impromptu No.   3,   Debussy’s   L'Isle   Joyeuse   and   Pierné’s   Jeux   d'Enfant.   In   1926   he   became   a   naturalised   French   citizen. He   specialised   in   the   works   of   Frédéric   Chopin,   and   achieved   most   of   his   fame   between   the   two   world wars.   He   gave   the   first   complete   Chopin   cycle   in   history   in   Paris   in   1924   [ info ],   This   cycle   included   two sonatas,   eleven   polonaises,   four   scherzi,   three   impromptus,   nineteen   nocturnes,   twenty-five   preludes, twenty-seven   etudes,   and   fifty-one   mazurkas   using   the   composer’s   own   piano   for   part   of   the   recital.   He then   went   on   to   present   a   further   thirty   recital   cycles   of   Chopin’s   music   in   cities   all   over   the   world, including    in    Paris,    Brussels,    Zürich,    Mexico    City,    Buenos    Aires    and    Montevideo.    He    made    a    highly successful   world   tour;   made   his   American   debut   at   Aeolian   Hall   in   New   York   in   November   1924;   made   a coast-to-coast   tour   of   the   USA   in   1936;   first   gave   the   Chopin   cycle   in   America   during   the   1937-1938 season,   the   works   of   Chopin   in   6   recitals   in   New   York   [ info ].   In   1943   he   played   the   Chopin   cycle   again   in New   York   [ info ]   and   once   more   in   Carnegie   Hall   during   the   season   1946-1947   [ info ],   four   times   in   Paris, twice   in   Buenos   Aires   [ info ],   and   one   each   in   Montevideo   [ info ],   Zürich   [ info ],   Mexico   City   [ info ],   Rio   de Janeiro [ info ] and Brussels in honour of the 150th anniversary of Chopin's birth [ info ].   He   died   in   New   York   aged   80,   from   “congestive   heart   failure   by   pneumonia   and   kidney   failure.”   He   had entered the hospital six weeks before. Alexander   Brailowsky's   first   recordings   were   done   in   Berlin   from   1928   to   1934   (78-rpm   discs).   In   1938   he recorded   in   London   for   HMV.   Later   discs   were   produced   for   RCA   Victor   and   finally   in   the   1960's,   for   CBS. Besides   his   huge   output   of   Chopin,   he   also   included   in   his   repertoire   Sergei   Rachmaninov,   Camille   Saint- Saëns,   Franz   Liszt,   Debussy   and   others.   Some   critics   have   noted   irregularities   in   Brailowsky's   playing   which they   attribute   to   sloppiness   and   lack   of   practice,   however   his   Chopin   Waltzes   are   considered   authoritative and have seldom been outdone since he recorded them in the 1960's. Brailowsky’s   concert   accomplishments   won   him   Belgium’s   Order   of   Knight,   Romania’s   Order   “Pour   le Merite”,   Denmark’s   King   Christian   X   Medal,   France’s   Medal   of   Citoyen   d’Honneur   de   la   Ville   de   Paris.   He was also honored for his work on behalf of the world’s refugees.  

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Sat. May 12, 2019

Alexander Brailowsky, pianist

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“If   we   had   to   make   a   choice   from   the many     recorded     versions     of     the Chopin   E   minor   Concerto   we   would still    pick    as    our    number    one    of favorite    the    Brailowsky    recording.” The New Records, June 1964.   "Not   many   pianists   have   inter-preted Chopin   as   lyrically   and   poetically   as Alexander   Brailowsky."   Olin   Downes, the New York Times. Placing    the    score    of    the    Chaconne on   the   music   desk,   he   turned   to   me and   exclaimed,   “When   I   played   this piece     for     Busoni     …”     “Busoni?”     I thought.     “He     actually     played     the Chaconne        for        the        composer himself!”      Monsters      and      Angels: Surviving     a     Career     in     Music     by Seymour Bernstein . “His     interpretation     was     extremely vivid,            beautiful            contrasted, splendidly,    and    extraordinary    in    its handling   of   phrasing   and   color.   He was   convincing   and   poetic   as   always in   his   performance   of   Chopin.”   San Francisco Chronicle.
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