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Ossip (Salomonowitch) Gabrilowitsch Russian / American pianist, conductor and composer
(The spelling above follows the German transliteration and it is what
Gabrilovitch himself chose) 

St, Petersburg, 07.02.1878-Detroit, 14.11.1936

At the age of 4 Gabrilowitsch had shown remarkable musical talent and at the age of 10 he entered the St. Petersburg Conservatory. His piano teacher was Anton Rubinstein (1830-1894) and he studied composition and theory with Navrátil, Anatoli Liadov (1855-1914) and Alexander Glazunov (1865-1936). He graduated in 1894 winning the Rubinstein Prize and went on to Vienna to become a pupil of Theodore Leschetizky with whom he stayed for two years refining his art. His Berlin debut took place in 1896.
Gabrilowitsch had a long and distinguished career in America beginning with his New York debut in Carnegie Hall on November 12 1900. During his first stay in America Gabrilovitch met the soprano singer Clara Clemens (daughter of Samuel Langhorne Clemens - alias: Mark Twain) and they were married on October 6 1909. It was quite an event and the New York Times didn't waste the opportunity: WEST REDDING, Conn., Oct. 6. - Miss Clara L. Clemens, daughter of Samuel L. Clemens, (Mark Twain,) was married at noon today to Ossip Gabrilowitsch, the Russian pianist. The wedding took place in the drawing room at Stormfield, Mr. Clemens's country home, with the Rev. Dr. Joseph H. Twitchell of Hartford, a close friend of Mr. Clemens, as officiating clergyman. The bride was attended only by her sister, Miss Jean Clemens, but her cousins, Jervis Langdon of Elmira, N. Y., and Mrs. Julia Loomis, wife of Edward Loomis, Vice President of the Delaware Lackawanna & Western Railroad, were present. And Mark Twain - as expected - didn't waste the opportunity in an interview: Journalist: The marriage pleases you, Mr. Clemens?- Mark Twain: Yes, fully as much as any marriage could please me or perhaps any other father. There are two or three tragically solemn things in this life, and a happy marriage is one of them, for the terrors of life are all to come. A funeral is a solemn office, but I go to them with a spiritual uplift, thankful that the dead friend has been set free
Already in 1904 Gabrilowitsch had been appointed conductor of the Konzertverein in Munich - a post he held until 1918. After WW I Gabrilowitsch and his wife settled in the United States, becoming a citizen in 1921. 
In 1918 he had been appointed conductor of Detroit Symphony Orchestra - a post he held until his death in 1938 alternating with concertizing - often piano duets with Harold Bauer who - by the way - was the exception to the rule that great pianists must have been child prodigies. Well - he had been that - but on the violin and only changed to the piano at the age of twenty. How he managed this and who his piano teacher was - nobody ever knew.

Harold Bauer (1873-1851)

As a pianist Ossip Gabrilowitsch was a true poet; aristocratic, elegant and with a singing tone of infinite shades and colours - which gained him the profound respect of both colleagues and audiences. He had more than plenty of technique - a true virtuoso but instead of pounding he coaxed the piano and draw a unique tone that bought raves of enthusiasm from the critics. Neither was he any typical pianist of the time when it came to choosing a repertoire; unlike most of his romantic virtuoso colleagues he frequently performed chamber music e.g. with the famous Flonzaley Quartet and like his teacher; Rubinstein he gave series of Historical Recitals presenting the history of piano music.

Etude for the Left Hand, Op.12 No.2
Dedicated to Leopold Godowsky

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(No portrait)

Walter Gage

Born: ?

Impromptu  1913 (Swisher)

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(No portrait)

G. Gaiani 

Born: ? 

Souvenir de Vienne  1854  (Ricordi)
Mentioned in Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 5th. ed (Eric Blom 1954)

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Hans Gál  Austrian composer, conductor and writer on music

Brno, 05.08.1890 - Edinburgh, 03.10.1987

Gál's principal teacher was Brahms' friend Eusebius Mandyczewski in Vienna where he won a State Prize in composition and later also took a degree in philosophy at the University where he later was taken on as teacher of musical theory. 
At the same time he had his fist successes as a composer - especially with the opera Die heilige Ente (The Holy Duck) which was performed also in Düsseldorf and Berlin. He received several prizes for his instrumental works and in 1929 he was appointed director of the Conservatory at Mainz only to return to Vienna after four years to become conductor of the Wiener Madrigal-Vereinigung and also of the Wiener Konzert-Orchester.
In 1938 (Anschluss) Gál fled Austria and settled in Scotland where he with the help from his friend and colleague Sir Donald Tovey became lecturer at the University of Edinburgh.

Sir Donald Francis Tovey - (1875 - 1940)
British composer and writer on music

Though he was considered a very distinguished composer of the Viennese School and having composed in practically all genres Gál's music is practically forgotten today.

Piano quartet in A major (1926/27)
Written for Paul Wittgenstein and performed 1928  

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Rudolph Ganz  Swiss pianist, conductor and composer

Zurich, 24.02.1877 - Chicago, 02.08.1972

Ganz showed remarkable talents as a very young boy appearing on the concert stage as cellist at the age of ten and as pianist at the age of twelve and when he was admitted to the Zurich Conservatory is was in both capacities, But the piano came to dominate and he continued his studies in Lausanne, Strasbourg and finally Berlin where he became one of Busoni's pupils.
His formal début was in 1899 in three concerts with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and four months later he returned to conduct the same orchestra in his first symphony op. 1.
In 1901 he was appointed head of the piano department at the Chicago Musical College at the same time as he began touring the USA, Canada and Europe in many places introducing many 20th century works.
From 1921 to 1927 he was conductor of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra after which he returned to Chicago eventually to become director of the Musical College there - a post he held for many years.

As a tribute to Rudolf Ganz's influence on the new
American music there is now a Ganz Hall on the
7th floor of the Roosevelt University in Chicago

Harold C. Schoenberg (The Great Pianists) calls him Switzerland's most famous pianist - until Edwin Fischer replaced him as the country's favorite pianistic son. He had a very long an distinguished career - still giving concerts at the age of eighty-five.
By the way Rudolf Ganz is probably the pianist who can trace his family further back than anyone other - that is to the Roman Emperor Charles the Great: 02.04.747 - 28.01.815. No wonder that Ganz lived to be 95 years - probably outliving his wife Maria Josefa Weinberg whom he married 12th July 1900. He was then 23 and she was 43.

Capriccio op. 26 nr. 1  1917 (Schirmer) - Op. 26 nr. 2 is for the right hand alone

For an interesting aspect of the teaching of Ganz concerning stage manners (placing of hands and poise at the piano) - see Oberon Smith's article

Rudolph Ganz's own Hands

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(No portrait)

Harvey (Bartlett) Gaul  American organist conductor and composer

New York, 11.04.1881 - Pittsburgh, 01.12.1945

Gaul studied first with Dudley Buck (1839-1909) in New York and then went to Paris to become a pupil of Alexandre Guilmant, Charles-Marie Widor, Abel-Marie Decaux (1869-1943) and Vincent d'Indy before finishing his studies in London with Philip Armes (1836 -1908) and A. R. Gaul (perhaps a distant relative - but no evidence about this has been established). 

Felix Alexandre Guilmant
12.03.1837 - 29.03.1911
Charles-Marie Widor
24.02.1845 - 12.03.1937

 Vincent d'Indy
27.03.1851 - 01.12.1931

Harvey Gaul's first important job was as organist of Emmanuel Church in Cleveland before he entered 35 years of employment at the Calvary Church in Pittsburgh. Besides his work as organist he was active as conductor and teacher at the Carnegie Institute of Technology. He also performed as organist in New York as well as Cleveland. Besides he was the first music director of radio station KDKA and a music critic for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Most of his more than 500 compositions were published under pseudonyms.
Following his sudden death the Friends of Harvey Gaul was established to “perpetuate the name and remembrance of the humanitarianism of Harvey Gaul, the furtherance of music and other arts, and the promotion of musical education and appreciation”. 
In 1980, The Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble took over administration of the contest and continue recognizing the contributions of Gaul by commissioning new works by composers of the highest caliber and professionalism.
Naturally his major output was for the organ or choir - many of them with often surprisingly inventive  descriptive titles like Chanson du Soir (1906), Chant Triomphale: Festival prelude (1907), Legend in B (1908), Eventide in D flat (1908), Lenten Meditation (1909), Yasnaya Polyana; Tone Poem (1914), La Brume (1916), April (1916), From the Southland (1916), Wind and Grass (1918), Chant for the Dead heroes (1919), Daguerreotype of an old Mother (1923), Little Bells of Our Lady of Lourdes (1924), At the Foot of Fujiyama (1926), Christmas Pipes of County Claire (1926), Easter Morning on Mt. Rubidoux (with the use of Lasst uns erfreuen) (1926), Easter with the Moravians (with Victory and the Old 124th) (1928), Ave Maris Stella of Nova Scotia Fishing Fleet (1930), All Saints Day with the Pennsylvania Croatians (1931), Ancient Hebrew prayer of Thanksgiving ( 1935), Ascension Fiesta (1936), Children's' Easter Festival (Based upon Puer Natus) (1939), To Martin Luther's Christmas carol (1939), Christmas Dance of the Little Animals (1940), Moravian Morning Star (1941), A Negro once sang on Good Friday (1941), March of the Wise Men (1942), Song for the Golden Harvest (1942), Easter Procession of the Moravian Brethren (1945), Hymn of the  American Navy (1945), Moravian Evening Hymn (1947), and many others.

.Bluette Waltz  1912 (Thompson & Co)

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(No portrait)

Heinrich Germer  German pianist and pedagogue

Sommersdorf, Germany, 30.12.1837 - Dresden, 04.01.1913

Germer worked in both Berlin and Dresden as music pedagogue and one of the most active piano teachers. His revised editions of works by older and newer composers amount to several hundreds. One of his most famous works was Die Technik des Klavierspiels (The Technique of Piano Playing) op. 28 which was reprinted at least ten times and with an appendix about musical ornamentation.
Today he is primarily remembered for his editions of Czerny's studies. But he published a book whose title makes one curious: Wie spielt man Klavier? (How does one Play the Piano?). 

25 Studien für die linke Hand op. 41  1899 (Hug & Co)

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Edwin Otto Gerschefski   American pianist and composer

Meriden, 19.06.1909  - Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA, 18.12.1992

Gerschefski's education took him to the Yale University from 1926 to 1931 and afterwards to the Tobias Matthay Pianoforte School in London until 1933 when he became a pupil of the legendary pianist Artur Schnabel and the music theorist Joseph Schillinger.
Gerschefski became dean of the music school at Converse College from  1945 to 1959 followed by a year as head of the music department at the University of New Mexico and finally head of the music department at the University of Georgia from 1960 to 1980.
As a composer he had a very surprising attitude when it came to inspiration and choice of textual material. He would often find his inspiration in news
clippings, articles from Time Magazine, business letters and editorials which he all set to music.
Well - that is one way to work, but come think of it Gerschefski is not the only one to do such things. I remember that Rossini claimed that he would be able to set a laundry list to music and I have heard the King's Singers sing one of BBC's weather forecasts - so it can be done. But what will be the next? A differential calculation in three-four time or perhaps a symphonic fugue on E= mc2 ?
Anyway Gerschefski composed a piece for the America's bicentennial, Two Hundred Years, which was premiered in June, 1975, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Suite op. 15: 1. Allegro, 2. Largo, 3. Allegretto, 4. Maestoso  1934 (Pioneer Editions, Inc)

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George Gershwin  American composer and pianist

Brooklyn, New York, 25.09.1898 - Hollywood, 11.07.1937

Gershwin came from very humble Jewish circumstances and there were no indication that he would  become a musician one day. The family did not have any musical instruments, and young George was in fact more destined to become a good baseball player. 
But his interest in music was awakened with the approach of adolescence and he began to take piano lessons after which he became piano-demonstrator at a shop in Tin Pan Alley. Soon he joined Rubin Goldmark's harmony class and at the age of eighteen he was able to publish his first popular songs.
In 1919 he wrote his first musical La, La, Lucille and with the song Swanee his luck was made since it sold in millions of copies.
Gershwin was now established as a famous composer of light music, but he obviously wanted to go in another direction too. At one time he went to Paris to take lessons from Ravel but this just didn't work. In fact Ravel seemed to be more interested in Gershwin's music than vice versa. So the two of them toured Paris to all the clubs where jazz was being played.
Apart from his many popular songs he produced half a dozen more or less classical works for the concert hall and the opera houses: Rhapsody in Blue (a kind of jazz piano concerto commissioned by Poul Whiteman). Then followed a real Piano Concerto in F (commissioned by the conductor Walter Damrosch), the orchestral work An American in Paris (which created a scandal in London in 1931 at the I.S.C:M: festival) and the opera Porgy and Bess. Another opera 135th Street had appeared already in 1923 and a second Rhapsody in Blue came out in 1931 and in 1934 a Cuban Ouverture.
Probably no other musician has been able to balance so elegantly on the tight line - being both popular/jazz and classical, and today his 'classical' works are standard repertory in concert halls all over the world. Gershwin must have had a very good technique indeed which comes through in his recordings - and at the same time he had the jazz 'in him' to be able to make the music 'swing'. 

Gershwin playing at an outdoor concert with an orchestra. From
the colour of the photo it must
have been Rhapsody in Blue.

Gershwin was indeed an American composer, but he himself suggested that on the headstone of his grave they should write: American ? - Composer ?

(The Man I love from the opera Porgy and Bess Arranged by Earl Wild

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(No portrait)

Gerardo Gerulewicz  Venezuelan composer and pianist

Born: Caracas 05.08.1966

Gerardo Gerulewicz started his musical education with both violin and piano. He also studied  composition with Antonio Mastrogiovanni, with Leopoldo Igarza (harmony and counterpoint) and piano with Juan Antúnez.

 
GERARDO GERULEWICZ (Compositor)
Nace en Caracas (Venezuela) en Agosto de 1966. A corta edad inicia sus estudios de violín y piano y escribe sus primeras composiciones. Recibe sus primeras clases formales de composición con el Maestro Antonio Mastrogiovanni. Posteriormente estudia armonía y contrapunto con el Maestro Leopoldo Igarza y piano con Juan Antúnez. Prosigue estudios musicales en las escuelas Juan Manuel Olivares y José Reyna en Caracas, Venezuela. Es además Ingeniero Naval, egresado del Instituto Politécnico de las Fuerzas Armadas.
En 1992 es admitido en el Conservatorio P. I. Tchaikovsky de Moscú, donde obtiene en 1998 el título de Maestro Compositor CON HONORES, bajo la tutoría del Maestro Leonid B. Bobylev (composición) y Rimma A. Janánina (piano). Posteriormente realiza el Doctorado en la misma institución. A su regreso a Venezuela desarrolla una intensa actividad docente. Es actualmente Jefe del Departamento de Música de la Universidad Central de Venezuela y Profesor de la Cátedra de Composición de la Escuela Superior de Música José Ángel Lamas.
Obtiene Mención Publicación en el Salón FAMA (Fundación Polar- Fundayacucho, 1996), Primer Premio en el Concurso de Composición de la Fundación Herrera Luque (Caracas 1998), Tercer Premio en el Concurso “Herencia Clásica” (Moscú, 1998), es Finalista en el IV Concurso Internacional Sergei Prokofiev en San Petersburgo (Rusia, 2003)) y obtiene el Primer Premio en el Concurso de Composición de la Orquesta Sinfónica Municipal de Caracas-Fundarte (Caracas, 2006).
Participa como compositor y pianista en diferentes Festivales Internacionales de Música, entre los cuales: Festival Internacional CLASSICA NOVA, Hannover, Alemania; Festival Internacional MUSICA-AMISTAD, Moscú, Rusia; Festival Latinoamericano de Música, Caracas.
Su catálogo comprende música Sinfónica, de Cámara, Vocal, Conciertos instrumentales y un número importante de obras para piano. Entre sus principales obras: Preludio y fuga para flauta sola.Op.1, Preludio y fuga para piano Op.4, Quinteto de vientos Op.5, “Poema concertante” para violín y orquesta Op. 6, Trío para clarinete, violín y piano Op. 7, “Poema de sombra y fuego” para bajo-barítono, coro y orquesta sinfónica (Publicada FVES) Op.8, 12 Estudios para Piano “a la memoria de Fr. Chopin” Op.9, “Concierto latino” para piano y orquesta Op.11, 12 Preludios para piano Op.13, “Orinoco” - Paisaje sinfónico Op.14.


Preludio for the left hand op. 10 nr. 3  (MS)
This piece was dedicated to Cora Rojas who is now the composer's wife and mother of their son, Eugenio. The piece is the final part of Gerulewetcz's Triptic which consists of 1. Etude for the right hand, 2 . Nocturne for both hands and 3. the present work for the left hand alone. 

Concertino para mano izquierda y orquesta (Concertino for the Left Hand and Orchestra)  (2011) (MS)
The Concertino was premiered at the XVII Festival Latinoamericano di Musica, a performance which is shown on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15RJKW0Qkyo

 

Gerardo Gerulewicz Venezuelan composer, pianist and conductor.

Born: Caracas, Venezuela 05.08.1966

Gerardo Gerulewicz started his musical education with both violin and piano. He also studied composition with Antonio Mastrogiovanni, with Leopoldo Igarza (harmony and counterpoint) and piano with Juan Antúnez.

He also graduated as a Marine Engineer from the Polytechnic University Institute of the Armed Forces of Venezuela (1986) and has a specialization Diploma from the Norwegian Shipping Academy (Oslo, 1989).

Since 1991 music became his main interest. In 1992 entered the Moscow State Conservatory P.I. Tchaikovsky in Russia, where he graduated with honors in 1998 as a Composer under Professor Leonid Bobylev. Among his teachers were Rimma A. Khananina (piano), Aleksander A. Koblyakov (harmony), Natalia Simakova (polyphony), Yuri N. Kholopov (music theory), Aleksander Botyarov (orchestration), Igor Stegman (conducting) and Vsevolod V. Zaderatzky (musical forms). From 2001 to 2003 he attended the “Aspirantura” (advanced studies) in composition.

In Venezuela studied conducting with Rodolfo Saglimbeni and Alfredo Rugeles.

SInce 2003 works at the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas (Head of the Music Department for several years) and also teaches composition and orchestration at the José Angel Lamas Music School, the Simón Bolívar Conservatory and the University of the Arts in Caracas.

His works have been performed in Venezuela, France, Russia, Germany and Spain. His compositions include works for orchestra, a symphonic poem for baritone, chorus and orchestra, three piano concertos, a violin concerto, chamber music, several works for piano, vocal cycles and music for children chorus. All his works maintain a link with tonality.

As a piano performer and conductor frequently performs contemporary music, including his own works.

MAIN WORKS 

Cycle for children chorus and piano on poems by Marisa Vannini. 1990 

Sonata for piano.1991   

String Quartet. 1993 

Vocal cycle for soprano and piano on texts by Anna Akhmatova. 1994

Op. 0 “Breve historia de la música” for piano (A short history of music in fugue form, featuring modal, tonal, chromatic, enharmonic, artificial modal, polymodal, polytonal, atonal, dodecaphonic and sonoristic techniques, with a silent quotation from Bach’s Art of Fuge, all wrapped ina a Moebius strip). 1996

Op. 1 Prelude and Fugue for solo flute. 1994 

Op. 3 “Noche” Cycle for soprano, piano and string quartet on texts by F. García Lorca. 1992/93

Op. 4 Prelude and Fugue for piano. 1995

Op. 5 Wind Quintet. 1995 

Op. 6 "Poema concertante” for violin and orchestra. 1996 

Op. 7 Trio for clarinet, violin and piano. 1997 

Op. 8 "Poema de sombra y fuego” for Bass-baritone, chorus and orchestra. 1998 

Op. 9 12 Studies for Piano “a la memoria de Fr. Chopin”. 2000-2001

Op. 10 “Tríptico for piano” (No.1 for left hand, No 2 for both hands, No.3 for right hand) 2001/2003.

Op. 11 “Concierto latino” for piano and orchestra. 2002-2003

Op. 12 “Maraquita” for piano (Op.12b for 4 hand piano ensemble).2004

Op. 13 “12 Preludes for piano”. 2005

Op. 14 “Orinoco” – Paisaje Sinfónico. For orchestra. 2006

Op. 15 “3 Cuentos” for Clarinet and piano. 2006

Op.16 “Concierto Ligero” for piano strings and percussion ad lib. 2009

Op. 17 “Vírgen de Coromoto” for Mezzosoprano, Barítone, Children chorus and Orchestra. 2008

Op. 18 “Plaza Venezuela” for orchestra. 2008

Op. 21 “Tarén” for violin and piano. 2010

Op. 22 “Sinfonietta” for children/youth orchestra. 2009

Op. 23 “Bochinche” for orchestra. 2010

Op. 26 “Concertino” for left hand piano and orchestra. 2011

Op. 31 “Aforismos” for left hand piano. 2012

 

PUBLICATIONS

- “Poema de sombra y fuego” (Award Fundación Herrera Luque), Fundación Vicente Emilio Sojo, Caracas, 1998.  (my olny published score)

Some of my scores can be found at the International Music Score Library Project http://www.imslp.org/

RECORDINGS

- Etudes No.2 and No.10 from Op.9 included in the CD “Figuraciones del presente” by pianist Marianela Arocha. Available at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/marianelaarocha (my only commercially recorded work)

Some recordings of my works can be found on Youtube

My interest in left hand piano music

I first became interested in left hand piano music when I studied Scriabin’s Nocturne Op.9. I greatly enjoyed the possibilities of single hand playing, and decided to write something myself (the Prelude Op.10, which later grew into a Triptic). This work is openly influenced by Scriabin.

As a composer I am always challenged by working with limited resources (be it tone rows, rhythmic structures, instruments, performing technique etc.).

A next step was the “Concertino” Op. 26 for left hand piano and Orchestra, and recently, “Aphorisms”, 6 very short pieces for the left hand.

Preludio for the left hand op. 10 nr. 1 (MS)
This piece was dedicated to Cora Rojas who is now the composer's wife and mother of their son, Eugenio. The piece is the first part of Gerulewicz's Triptic which consists of 1. Prelude for the left hand, 2 . Nocturne for both hands and 3. Etude for the right hand. When played complete, the order of the pieces may be changed to the performer’s preference.


A nice peroformance by Claudio Carbó is shown on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MzV__FCfd4&playnext=1&list=PLF4993C6DBE4A6FF4&feature=results_video

A performance by the author is shown at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFJxZ1A91lQ

Concertino para mano izquierda y orquesta Op.26 (Concertino for the Left Hand and Orchestra) (2011) (MS)

 

This work is dedicated to the youth, and is intended to be a left hand concerto of intermediate difficulty (most left hand piano music is technically extremely demanding).
The Concertino was premiered at the XVII Festival Latinoamericano di Musica, a performance which is shown on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15RJKW0Qkyo

 

Aforismos Op. 31 (Aphorisms) (2012) (MS)


A set of 6 miniatures for the left hand. Dedicated to Manuel Laufer, a Venezuelan pianist committed to contemporary music. Not yet premiered.

 

 

 


 


 

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György Geszler  Hungarian pianist and composer

Budapest, 01.02.1913 - Budapest, 09.01.1998

Geszler came from a very  musical family. He completed his studies at the Franz Liszt Music Academy, studying composition with Albert Siklós and harmony with János Koessler. He also graduated from Imre Keéri-Szántó's piano class. His early successes as a composer, among them the Gépetüdök (Machine studies) and Hangköz-etüdök (Interval studies, 1935-37), earned him prominence among the avant-garde movement.
He perfomed with Béla Bartók as a pianist in a joint concert in 1936. In 1940, he was awarded the Franz Joseph prize for his work. 
The war years (1941-45) and their aftermath exerted a dramatic influence on his possibilities both as a composer and an individual in the 50s and 60s. He was fired from his job at the Conservatory, and performances of his works were prohibited. He also had to fight to prevent his family of four children and his parents from being exiled to the provinces. The superb set of Inventions and 24 preludes and fugues for piano (1954-82) represents his inner retreat through abstraction. 
When the op-art of the French-Hungarian artist Viktor Vasarly arrived in Hungary, the artist's structural ideology, strict discipline and harmony and aesthetic of colours led to a profound artistic friendship developing between the two men. As a result Geszler composed his Five Vasarely Pictures (1972) for two pianos and percussion instruments, which was premiered by a group of musicians including Bartók's widow Ditta Pásztory. This was followed by other works inspired and dedicated to Vasarely: Sonata coordinata (1970), Three axonometric studies for two pianos and percussion (1979), Musica optica No. 1, 2 and 3 for piano duet (1982), Architetonic construction, which was inspired by Vasarely's picture Coloured city (1990). Later important works include Anagrams (1988), dedicated to György and Márta Kurtág, and the flute and piano sonata Vision written for Anna Garzuly. In 1995, he composed another work for flute and piano, At Béla Bartók's grave. In 1998 he received the Leo Weiner prize

xxx

Thanks to Eszter Vida, Hungarian Music information Center

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Aurelio Giorni  Italian pianist and composer

Perugia, Italy, 15.09.1895 - Pittsfield, America, 23.09.1938

Giorni studied at first with Sgambati in Rome and later on in Berlin with Busoni (piano) and with Engelbert Humperdinck (composition). 

Giovanni Sgambati
1841-1914

Engelbert Humperdinck
1854-1921

In 1914 he went to USA and joined the Elshuco Trio in 1919 with Samuel Gardner, violin and Willem Willeke, cello (Gardner was later replaced by Elias Breskin and again later with William Kroll), with which he toured for fifteen years. He taught for some time at the Institute of Musical Art, New York, the New York College of Music, Springfield Conservatory, Massachusetts and was instructor in composition and counterpoint at the Smith College. He was drowned in the Housatonic River (suicide)!.
Among his works are: the symphonic poem Orlando Furioso, Minuet and Allegro, Sinfonia Concertante, Symphony in D Major, Passacaglia for strings and Intermezzo for chamber Orchestra. His chamber works include: a cello sonata, a violin sonata, piano quartet, piano quintet, a flute sonata, a clarinet sonata, piano trio and a string quartet. Of choral works there are: Six modal Quatrains for women's' voices ´s cappella, Zodiac Town for mixed voiced á cappella and the Phantom Leaves for mixed voices á cappella. 

Concert-Etude in C minor; nr. 20 from Twenty-four concert-etudes in all the major and minor keys  1928 (Schirmer)

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Werner Wolf Glaser  German-Swedish composer and pianist

Born: Cologne, 14.04.1913

Glaser began to learn to play the piano when he was three years old and with his mother Julie Wolff as his teacher. She was herself a concert pianist and a pupil of Clara Schumann. 
Later he entered the Rheinischen Musikhochschule at Cologne to study composition with Philipp Jarnach and later with Paul Hindemith in Berlin. About this Glaser has in an interview given som very interesting comment: 
Jarnach gave me the aesthetic views and Hindemith the practical principles when it came to composing. The aesthetic is primarily the balance between the short and the long phrases - - between forte und piano, between major and minor. It is obvious that a musical phrase has a very different expression - whether in major and minor. With Hindemith I learnt the character of the individual instruments. You don't play of piece for the flute on a tuba, you have to 'absorb' the character of the individual instrument to make them sound natural.

Glaser's first professional appointment was as choir répétiteur at the Chemnitz Opera in 1931, but being Jewish he was quickly kicked out of that job by the influence of the Nazis. In 1933 he fled Germany and came to Paris where he worked for the next years. When the German troups marched into France in June 1940 Glaser fled to Denmark although she was already occupied and here he could live and work in peace in Copenhagen. That was until 1943 when one of the most fantastic stories in the history of Denmark began - a 'Danish Dunkerque' - but privately organized, and the man behind the story was in fact an official German, Georg Ferdinand Duckwitz.

Georg Ferdinand Duckwitz
1904-1973

(After finishing commercial college, Duckwitz pursued a career in the international coffee trade, residing for several years in Scandinavian countries. In 1939, the Nazi Foreign Ministry assigned him to the German embassy in Copenhagen as an expert in maritime affairs which was very convenient to the Germans who occupied Denmark 9th April 1940.
In August, 1943, a state of emergency was declared in Denmark, and the Nazis decided that they could now move against the Jews. In September Hitler approved the deportation of the Danish Jews and Werner Best of the SS, Hitler's chief in Denmark, received the final order. Now the Nazis were prepared to deport all the Danish Jews to Theresienstadt, starting at 10 PM. on 1st October 1943 - and with two great transportation ships ready in the Copenhagen Harbor.
Although Werner Best was a hard core Nazi he nevertheless chose to stick to the moderate policies of his predecessors and tipped of Duckwitz who acted immediately by tipping of the whole Jewish community through a leading Danish politician, Hans Hedtoft who at once send words to C.B. Henriques, the head the Jewish Community, and Dr. Marcus Melchior, the acting chief Rabbi of the Copenhagen Synagogue. They took immediate action - and the Danish people decided that this was never going to happen. 
From all strata of Danish society and in all parts of the country, clergymen, civil servants, doctors, store owners, farmers, fishermen and teachers protected the Jews. A taxi driver was reported to have telephoned every person with a Jewish name he could find in the telephone directory before the Nazis blocked these phones.)

Transportation of Jews to Sweden 
in the nights of October 1943

(Jews were hidden that night by Danes everywhere and during the next couple of weeks fishing boats, rowing boats - kayaks - in fact everything that would float went to sea from Copenhagen and north to Gilleleje transporting almost 7.000 Jews across the narrow belt to neutral Sweden. The next morning, October 2nd when the Gestapo set out to implement their plans, there were practically no Jews left to deport.) 
(But the musical history did not end here. In 1943 a Danish medical doctor, Kay Fremming was instrumental in this giant rescue operation and for this he received from an anonymous Jew (well he is not that anonymous being in some way related to the Hiller family where Ferdinand Hiller was one of Beethoven's friends) a locket containing a lock of Beethoven's hair. After Fremming's death, his daughter, Michele Wassard Larsen assumed ownership of the lock, and eventually consigned it for sale at Sotheby's, where two American Beethoven enthusiasts purchased it in 1994. The whole history of this can be read in the book. Beethoven's Hair or experienced through a very creative website, the very useful The Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies or even as a movie from 2005.) 

Thus also Glaser came to Sweden where he later was instrumental in starting the Music School in Västerĺs which he led until his retirement. Beside this he acted as pianist, composer, teacher, music critic and for many years was the president of the Swedish Music Therapists.

Melodia per la mano sinistra (1992) (SMIC)
Written for the Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer.

Präludium (1994) (SMIC)
Written for the Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer.

Sospeso (1996) (SMIC)
The three pieces are written for the Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer

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Reinhold (Morizovich) Gličre  Russian composer 

Kiev, 11.01.1873 - Moscau, 23.06.1956

The Gličre family was of Belgian origin. Reinhold's father was a maker of wind instrument and as a child he learned to play the violin. Soon he started to compose and in 1891 he entered the Kiev Music School studying violin and composition. After three years he was admitted to the Moscow Conservatory, where some of his teachers were Arensky, Taneyev and Ippolitov-Ivanov.
After graduation Gličre started to teach at the Gnessin School of Music in Moscow and composed rapidly concertos, symphonies, songs and piano pieces.
From 1905 to 1907 he studied conducting in Berlin with Oscar Fried and after returning to Russia he moved to Kiev to teach composition at the conservatory but since 1920 Gličre lived in Moscow composing and taking part in creative, educational and social life.
His output encompasses all genres and often his music is based on folklore from the different part of Russia.

Impromptu op. 99 nr. 1

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Christoph Willibald (Ritter von) Gluck  German composer

Erasbach nr. Berching, 02.07.1714 - Vienna, 15.11.1787

(Il lamento d' Orfeo from the opera Orfeo ed Euredice) Arranged by Raoul Sosa 

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(No portrait)

Francis Goddard  

Born: ?

Nocturne  1883 (Ditson & Co)

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Leopold Godowsky  Polish-American super piano virtuoso and composer

Vilna, 13.02.1870 - New York, 21.11.1938

No book - no essay or website about left hand playing is possible without the name Leopold Godowsky. He was called The Apostle of The Left Hand  but - of course - he managed to throw in the right hand for good measure with some success - indeed the sheer perfection of his playing managed to distress even a Josef Hofman or a Rachmaninoff. Both were indeed quite experienced pianists but they were awestricken by Godowsky's flawless technique, his musical insight and his ability to control the most complex polyphony. His students simply referred to him as God. And if ever there were a God of the piano - his name was Leopold Godowsky
Godowsky's father was a medical doctor in Vilno but it was decided that the boy was to follow a quite different career since he already at the age of three showed exceptional musical aptitude. He played the piano and began to compose and made his first public appearance at the age of nine in Vilno. Until this time he doesn't seem to have had any teachers and is thus one of the rare examples of major pianist who was self-taught. The début was such a success that it led to further tours through Poland and Germany.
At the age of thirteen a rich banker from Königsberg secured that Godowsky could enter the High School of Music in Berlin, where his teachers were Woldemar Bargiel (a half-brother to Clara Schumann) and Rudorff. After almost two years here he went on his first tour to America which lasted for two years. 
When he returned to Europe he first settled in Paris to study with Saint-Saëns though Godowsky's opinion about this study was somewhat mixed. I played a good deal for Saint-Saëns, though he did not give me any lessons. When I played for him - even my own compositions - he would invariable say: "Mais c'est charmant" or "Admirable"
From then on he toured both Europe and America giving concerts that placed him in the front rank of pianists and his Berlin début was a sensation that exceeded all that had been seen before. From 1909 till 1914 he was professor at the Akademie der Tonkunst in Vienna but after these five years he settled permanently in America as virtuoso and teacher.
Tragically he suffered a stroke at the age of sixty paralyzing his right arm, but this
Apostle of The Left Hand chose not to continue his career and never played in public again.
Alas - his recordings don't show us the real Godowsky. Before an audience or in a recording studio his playing was more than perfect by any standard - but the last thing was missing - the thing that distinguishes a perfect player from a player of divine genius. In private - among friends - the situation was quite another. After an evening at Godowsky's home, Josef Hofman said to Abram Chasins: "Don't ever forget what you heard tonight; never lose the memory of that sound. There's nothing like it in this world. It is tragic that the public has never heard "Popsy" as only he can play" and that is why Godowsky was also referred to as The Pianist's Pianist. He did leave many recordings but only once - in the Ballade in G minor by Grieg - you get a tiny glimpse of the true Godowsky. Godowsky as person

His compositions for the left hand alone fall in two groups: Original compositions and arrangements, paraphrases etc.. Leopold Godowsky stressed the significance of the left hand with the following three points: 1. In contrast to the right hand, the left-hand thumb is our strongest finger, 2. In contrast to the right hand, the left hand is more elastic and therefore more flexible and 3. Because in left hand music the entire keyboard must be utilized, it becomes even more essential that the bass be voiced

Original compositions
(Godowsky always took great care of his dedications - thus painting a very 'close portrait' of his friends and preferences. Therefore I have chosen to give at least some information about the dedicatees).

Meditation in E flat major  (23.01.1929) Dedicated to the pianist and composer Dimitri Tiomkin. He came from Ukraine and was a pupil of Alexander Glazunov. Although already established as a pianist and conductor, it is understandable that he chose to leave his homeland during a period of great upheaval. He spent a number of years touring Europe to great critical acclaim, and was instrumental in introducing the music of George Gershwin outside America giving the first European performance of Gershwin's Piano Concerto in Paris. After emigrating to USA he settled as one of the greatest composers of film music (Guns of Navarone, Lost Horizons, High Noon, Friendly Persuasion, Rio Bravo, 55 Days at Peking, The Old Man and the Sea etc.) winning Academy Awards by the dozen. 

Dimitri Tiomkin
Poltava, Ukraine10.05.1899 - 
London, 11.11.1979

Prelude and Fugue on the notes B.A.C.H.  (28.02.1929) Dedicated to the pianist and teacher Arthur Loesser (1894-1969). He studied at the Institute of Musical Arts in New York, which was later to become the Juilliard School and made his pianistic debut in Berlin in 1913, his New York debut in 1916 and then toured the United States. In 1926 he joined the piano faculty of the Cleveland Institute where he stayed the rest of his professional life. Today he is mostly remembered for his wonderful book Men, Women and pianists.

Arthur Loesser 
(Half-brother of famous song writer Frank Loesser)
New York, 26.08.1895 - 04.01.1969

Waltz-Poems: 1. G flat major, 2. B flat major, 3. G major, 4. E flat major, 5. A flat major, 6. C major.  (02.06.1929) Dedicated to the pianist, composer and musicographer Carl Engel (1883-1944). Engel was grand-son of J. C. Kroll who made the Kroll Opera in Berlin famous and in 1922 Engel himself was appointed chief of the music department in the Library of Congress. 

Etude macabre d minor  (31.01.1929) Dedicated to pianist Emile R. Blanchet


 

Impromptu in E flat minor  (16.01.1929) Dedicated to pianist Josef Lhévinne - who ought to have a whole page to himself. He was one of the greatest among the greatest pianists - but no headliner - and with sadly few recordings of his unique mastery. His tone was unique and his rhythmic sense was second to none in the world. He was a very serious pianist - hardly ever showing any flamboyancy and seldom showing off, but when he did he was capable of pyrotechnics that even Horovitz would hardly have dared to attempt. One stunt, though, he did allow himself to show: In the Paganini-variations by Brahms there are some frightening glissandi in octaves for the right hand. Here he would play all the notes separately in speed and no one has ever been able to figure out how he managed to do it. His rendering of the Schultz-Ewler arrangement of The Blue Danube has never been surpassed. Here you will hear, what I call a flawless technique: you listen with a feeling that he is no where at the limits of what he really can do - indeed of a true virtuoso. Or - just listen to his recording of Chopin's etude in thirds!. (And if you wonder about his strange hairdo - here is the secret: it's a wig. He turned bald at a fairly early age and had some very bad feelings about that.). But as a pianist he was a most but a very self assured king comparable to any one.

Josef Lhévinne 
Orel, 13.12.1873 - New York, 02.12.1944
Photo: Musical America

Suite: 1. Allemand, 2. Courante, 3. Gavotte, 4. Sarabande, 5. Bourrée, 6. Sicilienne, 7. Menuet, 8. Gigue.  (08.04.1929) Dedicated to pianist Isidor Philipp. This is one of the longest original piece ever written for the left hand alone. The score of the eight movements runs up to 37 pages; that is (in my edition) the same as the Pathétique  and the Appassionata sonatas by Beethoven put together.


 

Intermezzo (Malinconico) in E major  (06.08.1928) Dedicated to Alexander Siloti ,  Rachmaninoff's cousin, who had a marvellous left hand himself. When playing the middle section of Chopin's Polonaise op. 57 - the one with the octaves - he would finger it in this manner: Thumb for the top notes but 2-3-4-5 for the lower.

Alexander Siloti 
Kharkov, 09.10.1863 - New York, 08.12.1945

Elegy in B minor  (06.03.1929) Dedicated to Gottfried Galston (1879-1950). Galston was a pianist and close friend of Busoni - letters between them being a valuable source to Ferruccio Busoni's life and career.


 

Capriccio (Patetico) in C sharp minor  (06.05.1928) Dedicated to the Australian-American pianist and composer, Ernest Hutcheson (1871-1951). He was a pupil of Reinecke, Jadassohn and Stavenhagen and later taught at the Stern Conservatory in Berlin. After emigrating to USA in 1900 he devoted his time to teaching and composing and in 1937 he became president of the Juilliard School of Music.


Arrangements, paraphrases etc.

Symphonic Metamorphosis of the Schatz-Waltzer themes from "The Gypsy Baron" by Johann Strauss  May 1928  This work was originally written for Paul Wittgenstein, but since he never played it Godowsky dedicated  it to Simon Barere instead. And indeed a very good choice. Barere had the technique for the piece - in fact the more difficult the work the faster he played it: Schumann's Toccata, Balakirew's Islamey or Blumenfeld's left-hand Etude.

Simon Barere 
Odessa, 01.09.1896 - 
Carnegie Hall, New York, 02.04.1951; 
He collapsed during Grieg's concerto (!) 
and died few minutes after in the wings.

Chopin: (The keys entered are the ones of Godowsky's versions)

Etude op. 10 nr. 1 in D flat major
Etude op. 10 nr. 2 in A minor
Etude op. 10 nr. 3 in D flat major
Etude op. 10 nr. 4 in C sharp minor
Etude op. 10 nr. 5 in G flat major
Etude op. 10 nr. 6 in E flat minor
Etude op. 10 nr. 7 in E flat major Dedicated to Hans von Schiller
Etude op. 10 nr. 8 in G flat major Dedicated to William L. Hubbard
Etude op. 10 nr. 9 in F sharp minor
Etude op. 10 nr. 10 in A flat major
Etude op. 10 nr. 11 in A major Dedicated to Maurice Aronson
Etude op. 10 nr. 12 in C sharp minor
Etude op. 25 nr. 1 in A flat major Dedicated to William Mason
Etude op. 25 nr. 2 in F sharp minor
Etude op. 25 nr. 3 in F major
Etude op. 25 nr. 4 in A minor
Etude op. 25 nr. 5 in B flat minor
Etude op. 25 nr. 9 in G flat major
Etude op. 25 nr. 10 in B minor
Etude op. 25 nr. 12 in C sharp minor
Trois nouvelles études nr. 1 in F minor
Trois nouvelles études nr. 2 in E major

They are all composed between c.1892 and 1914 (Robert Lienau).
Godowsky's 53 paraphrases on the Chopin etudes were called Pure Witchcraft by Isidor Philipp - and indeed they are - in more ways than one. 
If you want to try your hand(s) on one of these paraphrases, my advice is - that you follow his fingering meticulously. At first you will probably be surprised at how unconventional it is - but Godowsky left nothing to chance. Every little twist or turn has been scrutinized  thoroughly making the fingering the exact right one for achieving the best result. After all - there is no need for making his works more difficult to play. Trust me - Godowsky has made a very good job at that already. 

The Symphonic Metamorphosis on themes by J. Strauss is recorded by Leon Fleisher: SONY Classics SK 48081
All the Chopin/Godowsky paraphrases are recorded by Marc-André Hamelin: Hyperion CDA67411/2 

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Margaret Goldston  American pianist, teacher and composer

1932 - 2003

Margaret Goldston studied composition privately for several years with Robert Ward and piano and music theory privately for five years in New Orleans' universities before attending Louisiana State University, where she graduated with a degree in Piano Performance. 
As a dedicated teacher and composer, Margaret Goldston taught beginners through college prep piano in her Franklin, North Carolina studio. Her students have won numerous music scholarships and state competitions. A frequent adjudicator for contests and festivals, Ms. Goldston has conducted master classes, clinics on composing with student participants and teacher workshops throughout the United States and Canada. 

Blue Mood (for right hand or left hand alone)  (Alfred Publishing)

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(No portrait)

Antonio Gomezando  

Lagos, Lalisco, 1894 - Mexico City, 1961

Vieja danza sobra un antique tema mexicano  (editiones del Instituto Musical "Gomezando").
The piece is written for either voice and piano or piano solo, left hand solo.

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Dianne Goolkasian Rahbee

See under Rahbee

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(No portrait)

J. Elise Gordon 

Born: ? 

The left Hand goes into training  1933 (12 very small left hand drills - called "special games") (Stainer & Bell)

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Alexandre Édouard Goria   French piano virtuoso, composer and eminent piano teacher.

Paris, 21.01.1823 - Paris, 06.07.1860

Goria was a true child prodigy being admitted to the Paris Conservatoire in1830 at the age of seven. His education here lasted till 1839 and his teachers were Victor Dourlen (harmony) and Pierre Zimmermann (piano) - the exact same teachers as Alkan's.
He won his first prize of piano playing in 1835 and later he had a very successful career as piano teacher and composer - mostly of piano music in salon style and one work of educational nature: Ecole moderne de Pianiste. Although he died at the age of 37 he published more than 100 pieces, which were very popular at the time.

Sérénade (et Variations finales) op. 9  (c. 1846) (Schott)
This is not really an entirely left hand work, because it is only the serenade that is written for this media; in the variations the right hand joins in.
Mentioned in
Hofmeisters Handbuch der Klavierliteratur, 1852-1859 p. 148

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(No portrait)

Danny Gould  

Born: ?

Running Arpeggios  1947 

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Charles (François) Gounod  French composer

Paris, 18.06.1818 - Saint-Cloud, 18.10.1893

(Fantasy on motives from the opera Faust) See Walter Bricht

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Ulf Grahn Swedish composer and pianist

Born: Solna, 17.01.1942 

Grahn studied music at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm and at the City College where he became a pupil of Hans Eklund. He also took a degree from Stockholm's Institute for Musical Pedagogies and the Catholic University of America. But he did not limit himself to music but also studied Business Administration, Economics and Development Studies at the University of Uppsala, Sweden.
In 1973 he founded the Contemporary Music Forum, Washington, DC acting as its Program Director until 1984. From 1988 to 1990 he was Artistic and Managing Director of the Music at Lake Siljan Festival, Sweden. Before this he was a faculty member of George Washington University and Director of its Electronic Music Studio. Presently he teaches Swedish language and culture at the Foreign Service Institute. He lecturers on Swedish and Scandinavian music including his own, American music and Cultural Economic issues.
Grahn has composed for all media and received numerous prizes, grants, awards and commissions. 

Gallery (1996) 
This suite is dedicated to the poet Tomas Tranströmer and consists of the following movements: Tomas T. Adagio e cantabile I ; Sailing ; Arpeggio ; The shore line ; Presto ; Tomas T. Adagio e cantabile II. It was given its premiere at Hamden College, VA 12.02.2000.

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(No portrait)

Edouard Durand de Grau  French composer an pianist

Born: ca. 1829 - ca. 1880

De Grau studied with the piano virtuoso Sigismond Thalberg in Paris. By 1857 he was called "Jeune Compositeur" after reaching 35 opus numbers. His birth place was by then given as "Provence" which simply meant "not Paris".

Romance op. 11, based on "Ange si pur" from Donizetti's opera La Favorita  1864 (Schott)
Mentioned in
Hofmeisters Handbuch der Klavierliteratur, 1860-1867 p. 174

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(No portrait)

C. Dietrich Graue 

Born: ?

Caprice; Konzertstück op. 22  (Bremen: Praeger / Leipzig: Rühle)

Ballade für die linke Hand (oder auch für zwei Hände) op. 24  (Bremen: Haake)

Kurze melodische Studien op. 25: 
Vol. I: 1. Präludium, 2. Marsch. 3. Elegie, 4. Intermezzo.
Vol. II: 1. Nocturne, 2. Idylle, 3. Nachspiel. 
1888  (Schwers & Haake) 

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Arthur De Greef  Belgian piano virtuoso and composer

Louvain, 10.10.1862 - Brussels, 29.08.1940

De Greef was a student of the Brussels Conservatory where he studied the piano with Brassin and composition with Gevaert.

Louis Brassin
1840-1884

François Auguste Gevaert
1828-1908

After the years here he became a pupil of Liszt in Weimar after which he travelled all over Europe for many years. One of his specialties was Grieg's piano concerto which Grieg himself thought had no better interpreter. 
In 1887 he accepted the offer of becoming professor of the Brussels Conservatory - a post he held for many years alongside his extensive career as a travelling virtuoso and recording artist who has recorded Liszt's first piano concerto and other pieces - and whose style might have been close to Rafael Joseffy.
De Greef was a very popular and used artist for recitals and concertos - the reason for which his many recordings bare ample testimony to; and Bernhard Shaw gave a most eloquent and wonderful description of his art: Mr. de Greef is a true Belgian, spirited, brilliant, neat, confident, clever and intensely happy in the consciousness of being all that.
Among De Greef's works are the orchestral woks: Suite, a Humoresque, Coucher de soleil, Impression d'automne, Quatre Vielles Chansons flammandes. Besides this there are two piano concertos, a concertino for piano and orchestra and, 2 violin and piano sonatas and several piano works and songs.

Mouvement perpétuel (from 6 Nouvelles Études de Concert) (Henry Lemoine)

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(No portrait)

W. J. Greentree 

Born: ? 

Indian Legend op. 77 nr. 1  1919 (Schmidt)

Twilight Shadows op. 77 nr. 2  1919 (Schmidt)

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(No portrait)

Carl Wilhelm Greulich  German pianist, composer and pedagogue

1796 - 1837

Chamber Study in E major (from Etudes de salon, op. 19) 

Study in B flat minor (from Etudes de salon, op. 19) 

Velocity Study in F sharp minor

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Edvard (Hagerup) Grieg  Norwegian composer

Bergen, 15.06.1843 - Bergen, 04.09.1907

Today Grieg is considered the greatest Norwegian composer and his piano concerto and the music for Ibsen's play Peer Gynt belong to the international standard repertory.
On the advice of the violinist Ole Bull he was sent to Leipzig to be educated at the Conservatory there - an institution that did not suit the young Norwegian very well. His first piano teacher was Louis Plaidy but Grieg soon applied for another teacher and was placed under Robert Schumann's friend E. F. Wenzel which turned out to be a much happier constellation and which gave Grieg a life-long love of Schumann's music. Later Grieg also had lessons from Moscheles and during his last year at the conservatory his teacher of composition was Carl Reinecke. 
For some reason it would be inconceivable that Grieg should ever have been interested in writing anything for the left hand alone, although his output for the piano is very large. A pity - for it should be remembered that Grieg was a very fine pianist himself. In 1904 he made nine recordings of his own music and here - for instance in the finale of his sonata - it is evident that the small frail-looking man  still had a marvelous technique capable of fast speed and delicate touch.

(Lyric pieces, 12 Transcriptions from op. 12, 58, 65 and 68) See Fritz Teichmann 

(Lyric pieces , 33 Transcriptions) See Cor de Groot

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(No portrait)

Elliot Griffis  American composer, pianist and teacher 

Boston, 28.01.1893 - Los Angeles, 08.06.1967

Griffis was a graduate from the Ithaca College in 1913 after which he for two years from 1915 continued his studies with Horatio C. Parker at Yale University and from 1917 to 1918 he studied with George W. Chadwick, Stuart Mason and Pattison at the New England Conservatory.
The following year his piano sonata attracted so much attention and in 1922 he won a Juilliard Scholarship and in 1931 a Pulitzer Prize
Scholarship.

George Whitefield Chadwick
13.11.1854 - 04.04.1931

Griffis appeared frequently as a pianist giving recitals and as a lecturer and taught at Grinnell College (Iowa) from 1920 to 1922, The Brooklyn Settlement School from 1923 to 1924, the St. Louis School of Music where he was head of theory from 1935 to 1936, and the Westchester Conservatory, White Plains where he was director from 1942 to 1943.
After the war he spent two years in Vienna before settling in Los Angeles where he composed film music and numerous song. Griffis was also a painter and a poet and he produced a large number of oil paintings and several volumes of verse.
His music is basically tonal and melodic and with the use of romantic tone-colours. Among his works are: the operetta The Blue Scarab (1934), the opera Port of Pleasure (1963), the orchestral works A Persian Fable (1926), the symphonic poem Paul Bunyan (1931), and his first symphony in 1931. Among his chamber works are three string quartets and several trios for different combinations of instruments. Finally Griffis wrote many songs, song cycles and piano pieces.

Piece for the Left Hand (á la Chaconne) in C minor  (1923) (Schroeder & Gunther)

Happy Song  (1959) (Robert Brown)

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Joyce Grill  American pianist, teacher and composer

Born: ?

Mrs. grill is a retired emeritus faculty member of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Holding degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she did advanced work at the School of Fine Arts in Fontainebleau, France. She holds the MTNA Master Teacher Certificate. Joyce Grill is also a well-known composer of various compositions for Warner Bros. Publications, Though retired Mrs. Grill Joyce Grill remains active as a recitalist, accompanist and composer presenting her new works at numerous festivals and concerts.

More left alone - Right on: 1. Left Alone Rag, 2. Back in the Saddle, 
3. Locomotive, 4. Ah - Spain,
   (For the left hand or the right)

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Cor [Cornelis Wilhelmus] de Groot  Dutch piano virtuoso and composer

Amsterdam, 07.07.1914 -Amsterdam, 26.05.1993

De Groot was a very quickly developed pianist of great promise. He studied piano with Egbert Veen and Ulfert Schults and conducting and composition with Sem Dresden. Already at the age of 18 he passed his final exams at the Amsterdam Conservatory - and with the highest honors. When he was 22 (1936) he participated in an international piano competition in Vienna winning the first prize - and with one member of the jury, the Liszt pupil Emil von Sauer hailing de Groot as: The youngest successor to the old generation of great pianists.
Since 1934 he has played regularly with the Concertgebouw and other leading orchestras in The Netherlands. After World War II he successfully toured many European countries as well as the United States.
De Groot was a pianist of unusual sonority and technical skill and in 1938 (at the age of 24!) he was made Principal professor of piano at the Conservatory in the Haag. 
In 1959 he stopped playing due to paralysis in his right hand caused by Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). After this de Groot did not choose to pursue a career as a left-hand player but devoted all his time to composing - and was soon more or less forgotten. Today a Dutch society has been founded with the purpose of reissuing his many recordings and  to promote his compositions.
He wrote several pieces for piano and orchestra (1932, 1939, 1950, 1956), music for piano solo, e.g.: Sonatine (1940), Variations imaginaires (1967), Valse tendre (1969), chamber music and songs - and after his injury he composed some pieces in a kind of Bartók influenced style for the left hand alone. Jan Felderhof's piece Impression as well as Maurice Karkoff's 3 Klavierstücke op. 46
and Louis Andriessen's Trois pičces were written for de Groot. 

 

Original works

Variations-Imaginaires: 1. Introduction, 2. Nocturne, 3. Scherzo, 4. Quasi Walzer, 5. Burlesque, 6. Evocation, 7. Finale - presto  (May 1960 to October1962) (Henmar Press)
These pieces exist both for piano, left hand and orchestra and for one piano, left hand and a two-hand reduction of the orchestral part.

Apparition for piano, left hand alone (1963) (Donemus)

Apparition nr. 6 for piano, left hand alone (1964) (Donemus)

Irish Waltz  (1980) (Donemus)
All these works were written for personal use after the paralysis of his right hand in 1960

The Left Hand also want something to do (1986)
This piece for solo piano, left hand is composed under the pseudonym Guy Sherwood.

As an arranger Cor de Groot was impressingly productive and his works in this field runs up to about 80 works (only second to the impressive list of Frédéric Meinders) and all transcribed in 1959 and 1960. All these works are preserved in the Cor de Groot Archive in Amsterdam.

Transcriptions

Albéniz: Sonata nr. 3; 1st movement  (MS September 1959)

Bach: Prelude from Partita no. 3, BWV  1006 for solo-violin  (MS October 1959)

Beethoven: Piano piece WoO 59; Für Elise  (MS October 1959)
Actually no Elise seems to exists in this connection. Beethoven scholars have finally found out that - due to his often unclear handwriting (to say the least) - it does not say Elise - but Therese - meaning Therese von Brunswick. I don't think Gerhard Rühm will mind this piece of fact - though - in Rühm's connection perhaps Count Franz von Brunswick - Therese's husband might.

Manuel Blancafort: Chemin du solitaire  (MS April 1960)

Manuel Blancafort
1897-1987
A sadly neglected Catalonian composer and close friend of Mompou.

Manuel Blancafort: Chemin de la Colline  (MS  April 1960)

Manuel Blancafort: Chemin de fęte sans joie  (MS  April 1960)

Debussy: Clair de lune  (MS October 1959)

Debussy: La fille aux cheveaux de lin (MS October 1959)

Dvořák: Waltz op. 54 no. 4 (MS October 1959)

Granados: Recitativo (from Escenas románticas (MS April 1960)

Granados: Berceuse  (MS April 1960)

Grieg: 3 Lyric pieces: op. 43,1; op.57,4 and op. 65,3  (MS 1960)

Grieg: 3 Lyric pieces: op. 57,1; op. 68,3 and 62,2  (MS 1960)

Grieg: 3 Lyric pieces: op. 57,5; op. 54,6 and 68,4  (MS  1960)

Grieg: 6 Lyric pieces: op. 12,7; op. 12,4; op. 38,6; op. 57,6, op. 62,1 and op. 12,2  (MS 960)

Grieg: 3 Lyric pieces: op. 38,1; op. 12,3; and op. 47,5 (MS 1959)

Grieg: Lyric piece: op. 47,2  (MS September 1959)

Grieg: 4 Lyric pieces: op. 68,2; op. 65,4; op. 57,3 and op. 43,3  (MS September 1959)

Grieg: 4 Lyric pieces: op. 54,1; op. 38,4; op. 38,7 and 62,6  (MS 1959)

Grieg: Lyric piece: op. 71,3  (MS 1960)

Grieg: Lyric piece: op. 43,4  (MS September 1959)

Grieg: 4 Lyric pieces: op. 47,1; op. 47,3; op. 12,5 and op. 43,6  (MS)

Janáček: Capriccio (arrangement)  (MS June 1960)

Liszt: Liebestraum no. 1  (MS November 1959)

Liszt: Liebestraum no. 2  (MS December 1959)

Liszt: Liebestraum no. 3  (MS October 1959)

Liszt: Consolation no. 1  (MS January 1960) 

Liszt: Consolation no. 3  (MS October 1959)

Liszt: Consolation no. 4  (MS January 1960)

Liszt: Consolation no. 5  (MS January 1960)

Liszt: Consolation no. 6  (MS April 1960)

Liszt: Elegie nr. 2  (MS April 1960)

Liszt: Hungarian rhapsody nr.5 - Hčrodie-Elégiaque  (MS April 1960) 

Mompou: Prelude no. 7 (from Palmier d'étoiles(MS April 1960)

Mompou: Prelude no. 9  (MS April 1960)

Pierné: Improvisata op. 22  (MS  November 1959)

Rachmaninoff: Elegie op. 3,1   (MS  December 1960  2 versions)

Rachmaninoff: Serenade op. 3,5  (MS November  1959)

Rachmaninoff: Nocturne op. 10,1  (MS September 1959) 

Rachmaninoff: Romance op. 10,6  (MS December 1959) 

J. Ph. Rameau: Le Rappel des Oiseaux  (MS October 1959)  

Ravel: Prélude  (MS November 1959)

Schumann: Träumerei op. 15,6 (from Kinderszenen (MS October 1959)

Schumann: Schlummerlied op. 124,16  (MS April 1960)

Schumann: 5 Stücke (No. 3 Lied ohne Ende op. 128,8) (MS April 1960)

Schumann: 6 Stücke (from Jugendalbum op. 68)  (MS April 1960)

Schumann: Romanze op. 124,11  (MS February 1960)

Schumann: Schlummerlied op. 124,16  (MS February 1960 second version)

Schumann: Walzer op. 124,15  (MS February 1960)

Schumann: Nicht schnell op. 68,35 (Album für die Jugend)  (MS February 1960)

Schumann: Walzer op. 124,4 (Albumblätter)  (MS February 1960)

Scriabin: Valse, F minor op.1  (MS November 1959)

Scriabin: Impromptu op. 2,3  (MS November 1959)

Tchaikovsky: Barcarolle op. 37,6  (MS September 1959)

Tchaikovsky: Valse op. 40,8  (MS September)

Tchaikovsky: Am Kamin (January) op. 37,1  (MS November 1959)

Tchaikovsky: Humoreske op. 10,2  (MS September 1959)

Tchaikovsky: Schneeglöckchen op. 37,4  (MS September 1959)

Tchaikovsky: Herbstlied op. 37,10  (MS September 1959)

Tchaikovsky: Troika op. 37,11  (MS September 1959)

Tchaikovsky: Weihnachten op. 37,12  (MS September 1959)

Tchaikovsky: Polka de salon op. 9,2  (MS September 1959)

Tchaikovsky: Valse in F sharp Major op. 40,9  (MS October 1959)

Tchaikovsky: Danse Russe op. 40,10  (MS September 1959)

Tchaikovsky: Valse sentimentale op. 51,6  (MS September 1959)

Tchaikovsky: Berceuse op. 72,2  (MS September 1959)

Tchaikovsky: Nocturne op. 10,1  (MS September 1959)

Tchaikovsky: Das Lied der Lerche  (MS. September 1959)

 

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Eric Gross  Austrian-Australian composer, conductor, educator and pianist

Born: Vienna, 16.09.1926  

The former article about Dr. Gross has been removed since I have had the good fortune that Dr. Gross kindly has sent me his CV, list of works and comments on his three pieces below. Thereby relieving me of any responsibility - would be a gross (!) exaggeration, but as a musicologist it is indeed a blessing to get the information from the composer himself. My own additions appear in sharp brackets and the picture of Apostel is added too.

Dr. ERIC GROSS, AM, MA, MLITT, DMUS (Aberdeen), MMUS (Syd.), FTCL., LMus TCL. 

Born in Vienna [Eric Gross had been a piano student of composer and pianist Hans Erich Apostlel].

Hans Erich Apostel

He came to England December 1938 [Anschluss]. [Already at the age of fourteen Gross worked as a pianist in bands and orchestras, and as a studio accompanist for the BBC]. He studied at Trinity College of Music (London) [with Reginald Barrett-Ayres] and at the University of Aberdeen and came to Sydney in 1958. 
In 1959/60 he taught at the Sydney Conservatorium and from 1960-1991 at the Department of Music, University of Sydney, from which, as Associate Professor of Music, he retired in 1991 but has been an Honorary Research  Associate  since retiring  from his fulltime position . During that period, he conducted the Pro  Musica Choir and Orchestra,  SUMS (Sydney University), the St. Andrew's  Cathedral Choral Society, the ABC's  Sinfonia, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra  and various  other choral and orchestral  groups. 
He wrote numerous choral works, one opera, two symphonies, a piano concerto, two mandolin
concerti, an  oboe concerto which was premiered in Czechoslovakia, two violin  concerti, the first of which was also premiered in Czechoslovakia and a number of works for solo instruments and chamber ensembles. Some of his songs were written  especially  for Australian Bass-Baritone Alan Light for whom Eric Gross also wrote the leading role in his opera  The Amorous Judge. Marilyn Richardson and Alan Light were featured in his cantata Pacem in Terris [Peace on Earth] which  is one of several cantatas by this composer. A number of his  choral works were also recorded for the ABC by the Adelaide Singers, conducted by Patrick Thomas. From an early  age Eric Gross also worked as a jazz-pianist and accompanist, particularly  so for the BBC in its Aberdeen  studio and he composed a number of film  and TV scores including  music for the TV series Adventures of the Seaspray co-written with John Eggington. In recent years, a  special influence on his compositional work has been exercised by the Sydney Mandolins  who have been very interested in performing and recording Australian  music and this ensemble has caused Eric Gross to write a number of works specifically for them, utilizing their tremendous technical and artistic virtuosity. Many of this composer's works are now available  on the JADE CD  label produced by Robert Allworth, on a 2MBS-FM CD as well as on other  CDs  and older LP. discs. 
In 1974, whilst searching in German music libraries for scores and instrumental parts of chamber music compositions of the Czech composer F. X. Dusek, he accidentally found a number of old music manuscripts and prints at the Monastery of St. Bonifaz in Munich and has been working on a catalogue of those finds since then. 
Eric Gross now works as a full-time composer, arranger, educator consultant.  In 1998 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia “For service to music as a composer and educator  particularly  through the University of Sydney and the Fellowship of Australian Composers”. A past President of the Fellowship of Australian  Composers, he was also Treasurer and Executive Board Member of the Asian Composers’ League from 1981 until 1994.
An  article  on Dr. Gross  was included in the Second  Edition  of the New Grove's International Dictionary of Music and Musicians. At present he is still active as an examiner for various Universities and as a composer; recent compositions include works for keyboard, plectrum instruments and various combinations of wind and brass instruments as well as music for string  instruments.
(Eric Gross 17.10.2005)

3 Pieces for Five Fingers or One Hand op. 133  1984 (Allan Music)
The pieces were written in 1982 in response to a request from Shirley Harris and were then published by Allan's Music, Melbourne in the volume Piano Music for One Hand. All royalties from the sale of that book have been donated by the composers to the Australian Music Therapy Association and the Disabled Living Foundation, U.K.
My three pieces have been written so that they can be played by one hand or two hands using a maximum of five fingers.
The three short pieces are meant to provide contrasts of texture and mood.
No. I  Scherzino - this is light and playful in character and has a somewhat whimsical ending.
No.2  Contemplation -  provides a reflective, tranquil mood. In order to achieve satisfactory sonority, it is advisable to use the sustaining pedal whenever desired.
No.3  Discussion - there is a juxtaposition of two brief melodic  ideas. The argument increases in intensity as the piece approaches its ending.
 
(The three pieces have also been arranged for plectrum quartet or orchestra under the title THREE MINIPLECTRA op.155 and have been recorded by the Sydney Mandolins on compact disc JADE CD 1034.)

A CD recording of the original piano pieces has been made by Jeanell Carrigan: 
VAST 026-2 (Australian Music Centre) Piano Games Tracks 40.41.42;
 
              
   

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(No portrait)

 

Georg Grothe  Danish pianist, music teacher and composer

Nćstved, 1822 - Copenhagen, 05.05.1876

Grothe was a close friend of the Hartmann family to whose parties he was invited. There exists a guest list from one large gathering (perhaps the Hartmanns' cobber wedding anniversary in 1841) where the 100 invited guests are categorized as dancing ladies, dancing gentlemen and public. Among the public was the great Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen who apparently did not dance any more since he was 74 years. 
In 1844 Grothe -  himself a pupil of Hartmann - was employed as music teacher of Hartmann's four children. 
In the Danish Royal Library they have some collections of songs, piano pieces and educational piano pieces. But he lived a rather uneventful life at a composer and piano teacher, so very little is known about him - and no pictures seem to exist.

J. P. E. Hartmann with his wife Emma Zinn
and their four children: Carl, Clara, Sophie 
and Emil who also became a composer.
(Daguerreotype from 1841)

Tre klaverstykker (Three piano pieces)  (Wilhelm Hansen 06050)

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Vyacheslav Gryaznov  Russian pianist and composer

Born: 1982, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Russia (on the island Sakhalin east of Vladivostok)

This new star on the pianistic firmament is well wort to be acquainted with. His musical talent was so evident in his early childhood that his parents, who were not musicians, took the daring step giving up everything in their hometown and moving to Moscow; almost 4000 miles, with the sole purpose to get professional music training of their son.
In 1991 being 9 years old Vyacheslav entered the Central Music School under the Moscow State Conservatory (class of Professor Manana Kandelaki), from which he graduated with honors in 2001. In 2001-1006 he studied at the Moscow Conservatory in the class of Professor Yuri Slesarev.  In 2006-2009 he attended the Moscow Conservatory as a post-graduate student, and since 2008 he joined a teaching faculty of the Conservatory where he has a position of assistant professor at the Piano Department. Starting from 2008/2009 concert season Vyacheslav Gryaznov belongs to the Moscow Philharmonic Society Artistic Management which represents him exclusively in Russia.
Gryaznov has been granted scholarships by prestigious international charitable funds: Russian Performing Art Foundation; Yamaha Scholarship; M. Rostropovich’ Foundation; V. Spivakov’s Foundation. Vyacheslav Gryaznov is a member of various international music festivals, among which are Dialogue of Cultures (Vilnius), Art Masters (St. Moritz, Switzerland), Russian Music on the Baltics (Kaliningrad, Vilnius), Musical Kremlin (Moscow, Bryansk). He is an owner of the First Russian President Award and of the numerous awards at international competitions in Moscow, Italy, Ukraine, Denmark, Georgia, Japan, among which there are six First and Grand Prix prizes.
He has gained great success with the press with great reviews:

His virtuosity is such that he is free from concentrating on technical difficulties, his touch is so skilled that brings to life all the nuances of musical intonation, his inner world is so rich that allows him to create bright, expressive and complete musical images, and his mind is clear enough to sculpt the sounds into something very close to perfection. (People newspaper)
He is absolutely free of bluffing, an excessive expression and “over action”, which are often for young pianists who wish to be virtuosos. His genuinely serious attitude towards music is really impressive. Any music lover, listening to him, becomes aware of his skill and his experience in the international musical arena and wants more time to listen to just him. (composer and pianist Norihiko Wada, Japan)
…not only a virtuoso, but also an extraordinary musician who has a fine feeling of the instrument’s nature and can draw the most intimate nuances out of it. The grand piano turned into a real orchestra that evening. (newspaper Kultura)
…finds such feelings in music by Rachmaninov, Chopin, Liszt that the well-known pieces sound as if they had never been performed, but have been just composed… (H. Stepanskaya)
Comments on Vyacheslav Gryaznov’s original, essentially composer’s mind, sound continuously. He reads any musical text as if his own. (Novye Izvestiya)
He never resorts to stereotypes. That is why he can be an outstanding pianist. (Noda Minoru, Japan)

Brilliant concert transcriptions have already brought V. Gryaznov the reputation as one of the most prominent contemporary young transcribers. Many of his transcriptions have been published: Valse-fantasie by M. Glinka; Italian Polka by S. Rachmaninov; the Second Suite from the Maurice Ravel’s ballet Daphnis and Chloe for two pianos; Habanera for two after Bizet for four-hand piano; Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune by Debussy; Three Romanses by Rachmaninov – The night is sad, Vocalise, How peaceful (2005, 2007, 2011, Deka-VS, Moscow, series Masterpieces of piano transcription, volumes 3, 8, 18). Two discs with transcriptions by Vyacheslav Gryaznov are to be released.

G. Mahler: Adagietto from Symphony nr. 5
Go to score

Mr. Gryaznov's  Web Site

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Cornelius Gurlitt  German pianist, organist and composer  

Altona, 10.02.1820 - Altona, 17.06.1901

Gurlitt was a pupil of his four year younger fellow-Altonian Carl Reinecke. He also went to Denmark  to study with both J. P. E. Hartmann (1805-1900) and C. F. E. Weyse (1774-1842) and from 1842 he resided in Hřrsholm north of Copenhagen. 
From here he traveled to Rome, where his brother, Louis Gurlitt, a well known painter, was then studying. Cornelius Gurlitt's talents as a musician were readily recognized in the art center, and the papal academy Di Santa Cecilia nominated him an honorary member (and graduated him Professor of Music in 1855). 
While in Rome he studied painting too with excellent results. On his return to Altona, the Duke of Augustenburg engaged him as teacher to three of his daughters, and when the Schleswig-Holstein war broke out, in 1848, Gurlitt became a military band master. In 1864 he was appointed organist to the church of his home town and ten years later he was given the title of Royal Music Director. He had been closely associated with the Schumanns and with Niels W. Gade during his long and very active life.
His output - though not very large - encompasses 2 operettas, the opera Sheik Hassan, some songs and a lot of piano music - mostly of pedagogical nature - though he did try his hand on some more serious instrumental works like the two sonatas from 1844 and 1859. They show a sound workmanship but did not go well with the critics who found them archaic and old-fashioned which to a certain extent discouraged Gurlitt from further attempt in that field.
Gurlitt's grand-nephew Wilibald became a prominent musicologist who was the assistant of Hugo Riemann.

Schule für die linke Hand (school of the left hand) op. 143   (Cranz)

Etude op. 123: La plainte   (Augener / Stainer & Bell)

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