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(No portrait)

Alfred (de) Kaiser  Belgian-English pianist and composer

Brussels, 1872 - Bournemouth, 1917

The middle "de" in his name was added in connection with WW I, since he had settled in England and didn't wanted to be taken for a German.  

Ballade  1905 (Enoch & Sons)

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Friedrich (Wilhelm Michael) Kalkbrenner   German-French piano virtuoso and composer

 -?- , 07.11.1785 - Deuil, Seine-et-Oise, 10.06.1849

His father Christian Kalkbrenner (1755-1806) was both composer and court violinist in Cassel and  among his (forgotten) works are some operas, 2 symphonies, a piano concerto, three sets of piano sonatas and two strange so-called oratorios which in fact were built on tunes by Mozart, Haydn and others. The reason for not giving the exact place of birth for Friedrich is, that he was born in a carriage on the way between Cassel and Berlin. 
He was educated by his father and in 1798 he entered the Paris Conservatory where he spent four years before finishing with a first place in piano playing and harmony. (Anyway that is the version in Grove's - other sources say he ended up in a second place - the first going to Pierre Zimmermann who was later to become the teacher of Alkan.)
After some years of travel Kalkbrenner settled in Paris as a pianist, composer shrewd businessman with connections to the house of Pleyel and as teacher - and it as such he gained herostratic fame in 1821. There he met Chopin, who had already composed his two concertos, the 12 etudes op. 10 and the first ballades and scherzos. After hearing Chopin's concerto in E minor Kalkbrenner came forth with the most astoundingly idiotic proposal: That Chopin should bind himself as a pupil for three years and then Kalkbrenner would make a real composer out of him. Chopin declined - and according to Kalkbrenner he obviously never made it to become a real composer! This incident should also be recorded in the book Great Blunders of the World, that I mentioned on the first page. Blunder! - on whose part? - you may take a wild guess!

Fugue in D major

This is in fact the only piece Kalkbrenner wrote for the left hand. In older books (f.ex. Musik in Geshichte und Gegenwart VII 452, where it is hailed as an unicum being the first piece for the left hand alone) the sonata op. 42 is mentioned too but that one is for both hands - but with special emphasis on the left hand which also can be deduced from the title: Sonate pour la main gauche principale. (Sonata - primarily for the left hand).

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Václav Kaprál  Czech pianist and composer.

Určice u Prostějova, 26.03.1889 - Brno-Kralovo, Pole, 06.04.1947

Kaprál studied composition from 1907 to 1910 at the school for organists in Brno where Janácek was leader and his principal teacher for composition and later he studied privately from 1920 to 1921 under Vitezslav Novak i Prague and perfecting his pianoforte technique under Adolf Mikes.. 
Already in 1911 he had founded his own private music school and was in great demand as a piano teacher, but later he wanted to perfect his piano playing further and became a pupil of Marie Kuhlova, Klara Schäferova  (1920) and studied advanced pianoforte playing and interpretation with  Alfred Cortot in Paris from 1924 to 1925.
During the years 1921-1930 Kapral devoted much of his time to concert performances of music for two pianos, together with professor Ludvik Kundera, Kaprál's friend and later also a colleague at the Brno Conservatory. The two were instrumental in founding the Moravian Composers' Club in Brno in 1922.  During the years 1919-1928, Kapral became also known as choirmaster, lecturer and music theoretician and critic.
1927 Vaclav Kaprál became teacher at the Masaryk University of Brno. In 1935 he was appointed professor of composition at the Brno Conservatory and a member of the Czech Academy of Arts and Sciences. A year later he was elected Vice-Chairman of Czech Section of the International Society for Contemporary Music. 
On 17.9.1942 he was arrested by Gestapo and until 18.04.1945 imprisoned in the concentration camp Svatoborice near Kyjov, Moravia. 
After the war he was elected the first chairman of the Syndicate of Czechoslovak Composers but due to bad health  he died of a cancer tumor the following year.
His orchestral works include a Wedding March for large orchestra (1923), Two Idylls (1931) and Fanfares for Brass (1945).
Chamber music: a string quartet in C minor. The second string quartet from 1927 includes a baritone solo, a third string quartet (1929) - entitled Autumn Song is also with voice addition, and then a cello sonata (Ballad) from 1946 should be mentioned.
Most of other works are songs and piano pieces - among these four piano sonatas, nocturnes, Berceuses, Suita Romantica, Miniatures and sonatines. One piece deserves a special mentioning:  Premonition from 1940. The history is indeed heart-breaking: Kapral had a daughter Vitezslava Kaprála, (Brno, 24.01.1915 - Montpellier, 16.06.1940) She was pupil of Vilém Petrzélka, Zdenek Chalabala, Novák and Talich and one of her country's great hopes of a woman composer of great stature. Affected by the war-time conditions she succumbed to severe illness for which Kaprál had indeed had his Premonitions!. 
In her memory Kaprál later (1942) wrote Four songs for women's' voices.

Con duolo - six pieces for left hand (1926) 
Written for WW I invalid Otakar Hollmann. 

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Nikolai Kapustin  Russian composer and pianist

Born: Gorlovka, Ukraine, 22.11.1937

Kapustin graduated from the class of Prof. A. Goldenweiser at the Moscow Conservatory in 1961. During the late 1950's he made himself an excellent reputation as a jazz pianist, arranger and composer and made numerous appearances with his own quintet as well as with the Yuri Saulsky's Central Artists' Club Big Band in Moscow. During 1961-72 he toured throughout the Soviet Union and aboard with the Oleg Lundstrem's Jazz Orchestra. Kapustin is a member of the old USSR Composer's Union since 1980. 
His style blends the West European classical and post classical art music with both jazz and rock. In the beginning he was predominately interested in composing instrumental concertos - amongst his compositions are three concertos for piano & orchestra (1961, 1974, 1985), a two-movement concerto for orchestra (1980), a concertino for piano & orchestra (1957) and a concert rhapsody for piano & orchestra (1976). More lately he has directed his attention towards solo piano music and his pieces published in the 1980's include: Early-Music-Style Suite; Variations; Toccatina; Daybreak; Motive force.

7 Polyphonic Pieces for the left Hand op. 87 (1998)
These pieces are: 1. Fuga (a tre voci, Allegretto), 2. Fuga (a tre voci, Moderato), 3. Canone (alla quarta, Moderato) 4. Fughetta (a tre voci, Andantino), 5. Canone (alla terza, Allegro), 6. Guga (a tre voci, Sostenuto) and 7. Fuga ( a 2 voci, Allegro).

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Maurice (Ingvar) Karkoff  Swedish composer

Born: Stockholm 17.03.1927 

Tre pianostÿcken för vänstra hand (Three piano pieces for the left hand) op. 46
1. Impromptu, 2. Intermezzo Capriccioso, 3. Elegie  (1959) (SMIC)
Written for the Dutch pianist Cor de Groot

Fantasia for the left hand op.193 (1992) (Da Capo)
The piece is written for the Swedish poet  Tomas (Gösta) Tranströmer. First performed: Riga -Wagner Hall, 26.03.2000 by Mareks Graudins

September 1994 op.205  (fantasia No. 2 for piano left hand)  (1994) (SMIC)
The piece is written for the Swedish poet Tomas (Gösta) Tranströmer. 

For the poet op.221 (2000) (Da Capo)
The piece is written for the Swedish poet Tomas (Gösta) Tranströmer. First performed: Halmstad Castle 07.07.2000 by Ingrid Lindgren.

Fantasy on a fantasy op.223  (2000) (SMIC)
The piece is written for the Swedish poet Tomas (Gösta) Tranströmer.

Barcarolle op.224 (for two hands or the left hand)  (2000) (Da Capo)
The piece is written for the Swedish poet Tomas (Gösta) Tranströmer.

Notturno - Capriccio - Notturno op.225  (2001) (Da Capo)
The piece is written for the Swedish poet Tomas (Gösta) Tranströmer. First performed: Västerås Concert Hall, 20.09.2003 by Maria Ingemarsson.

Tranströmeriana I : Pastorale op.226  (2001) (Da Capo)
The piece is written for the Swedish poet Tomas (Gösta) Tranströmer. First performed: Huddinge Church 20.03.2002 by Karin Geworkian

Tranströmeriana II : Riflessioni op.229  (2002) (SMIC)
The piece is written for the Swedish poet Tomas (Gösta) Tranströmer. First performed: Gothenburg Library, 19.09.2002 by Tomas (Gösta) Tranströmer

Fantasia!  (2002)  (Svensk notmaterial)
The piece is written for the Swedish poet Tomas (Gösta) Tranströmer.

Tranströmeriana III : Reflections op.233  (2003) (SMIC)
The piece is written for the Swedish poet Tomas (Gösta) Tranströmer. 

Tranströmeriana IV : Atmospheric interludes op. 238. (2005) (Manchester: Da Capo Music Ltd)
The piece is written for the Swedish poet Tomas (Gösta) Tranströmer.

Tomas Tranströmer

Tomas (Gösta) Tranströmer was born in 15.04.1931 Västerås. His father was a journalist and his mother was a teacher.
Before Tranströmer became interested in music and painting, he was fascinated by archaeology and wanted to become an explorer. Tranströmer was educated at Södra Latin School, where he started to read and write poetry. In 1956 he received a degree in psychology from the University of Stockholm afterwards working for the Psychotechnological Institute at the university, and in 1960 he became a psychologist at Roxtuna, an institution for juvenile offenders. 
From the mid-1960s he divided his time between his writing and his work as a psychologist. In 1965 he moved with his family to Västerås, a city about sixty miles west of Stockholm where he worked part time on the PA counsel which was later to the transformed into Arbetsmarknadsinstitutet, a labor organization institute. 
er made his debut as a poet at the age of twenty-three. His latest collection, Den stora gåtan (The Great Enigma), was published in 2004, and an English translation of his entire body of work, The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems, was published in 2006. He published a short autobiography, Minnena ser mig (The memories are watching me), in 1993 all of which have been translated into all major languages.
Other poets - especially in the "political" 70's - accused him for being apart from his tradition and not including political issues in his poems and novels. His work, though, lies within and further develops the Modernist and Expressionist/Surrealist language of 20th century poetry; his clear, seemingly simple pictures from everyday life and nature in particular reveals a mystic insight to the universal aspects of the human mind and often built upon personal experiences, around a single, deceptively plain image that opens doors to psychological insights and metaphysical - even surrealistic interpretations..

Tranströmer and the American poet Robert Bly are close friends and their correspondence has been published in the book Air Mail.
His musical interests are prominent in many of his poems. He was a accomplished amateur musician indeed, who played the piano and organ - but  in 1990 he suffered from a stroke, which affected his ability to talk and paralyzed his right hand. Since then more than 35 left hand pieces has been composed for him by musicians ranging from well known and great composers to very gifted amateurs - thus giving the repertoire many new important works for this genre.
In 2011 he received the Nobel Prize in litterature! 

  Cd with Tranströmer playing and reading some of his poems 
with the title
The Timbre Says That Freedom Exists


September 1994 is recorded on  MAP MAP6901

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(No portrait)

Erich Kauffman-Jassoy

Wiesbaden 1877 - 

Pupil of Grieg

Anschlagstudie für die linke Hand allein op. 41 no. 3  1921 (Dresden: Günther)
Mentioned in
Hofmeisters Handbuch der Klavierliteratur 1921 p. 55

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Don Kay  Tasmanian composer and pianist

Born: Smithson, 25.01.1933 

Don Kay was educated in Tasmania before completing his music degree at the University of Melbourne. During his London days (1959-1964) he studied composition privately with Malcolm Williamson. Since returning to Hobart he has composed much music for professional individuals , ensembles, young performers, amateur groups, theatre, concert and public occasions.
Over time, his music has increasingly resulted from responses to Tasmanian landscape, ecology and history. His compositions include two one-act operas, three concertos, a symphony, vocal, choral, chamber- and film music as well as theatre music.
Among Don Kay's works that have received special awards are: The Golden Crane - an opera for young people's theatre (1985), Tasmania Symphony: The Legend of Moinee - for cello and orchestra (1989) and Dance Concertante - for string orchestra (1990).
In 1991 he was appointed a Member of the General Division of the Order of Australia for his service to the Arts, particularly in the field of music composition and he is currently on the staff of the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music, University of Tasmania, where he was Head of Department from 1990–1993.

For Shirley Harris  (two pieces)

Photo and information: Australian Music Center http://www.amcoz.com.au

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Frida [Friederike] Kern (born: Seitz)  Austrian composer

Vienna, 09.03.1891 - Linz, 23.12.1988

Elegie und Toccata  (Elegy and Toccata)  (1949)

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Joseph Christoph Kessler [Kötzler]  German pianist and composer

Augsburg, 26.08.1800 - Vienna, 14.01.1872

Both as pianist and composer Kessler was largely self-taught but he seems to have had some lessons from Bilek. For a number of years he lived in Lemberg and Landshut as pianist and successful composer and as private music director of Count Potocki. From 1826 he taught in Vienna, from 1829 in Warsaw and from 1829 and from 1830 to 1835 in Breslau. From then on he lived alternately in Vienna and Lemberg.
His works are mostly of light character but there are also pieces and collections which rise above the salon music type and has more substance.
Liszt thought highly of his etudes op 20 and op. 51 and his only piano sonata in E flat major op. 47 from 1852 was dedicated to the memory of my dear friend F. Chopin who in (1839) had dedicated the German edition of his 24 preludes to Kessler (the French edition was dedicated to Camille Pleyel). Hans von Bülow reviewed the sonata and commented on it in a letter calling it competent but a little static and still oriented in Hummel's style and with less charm than the etudes. 

Etude in F minor  

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Henri Ketten  Hungarian pianist and composer

Baja, 25.03.1848 - Paris, 01.04.1883

Ketten was a pupil of Marmontel (piano) and Halévy (composition) and he soon gained a great success a pianist and as a composer of pieces that are today considered essentially trivial and practically forgotten.

(Sérénade de Schubert)  (Paris: Lemoine)
This work ist not a genuine left hand work since only the two first pages are for the left hand alone.
Mentioned in Hortence Parent: Répertoire Encyclopédique du Pianiste, vol. 2 p. 148

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(No portrait)



Born: ?

Warblings of the Birds  (McKinley Pub.)

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(No portrait)

Otto (Adolf) Klauwell  German composer and writer on music

Langensalza, Germany, 07.04.1851 - Cologne, 11.05.1917

Klauwell came from a family of teachers and Otto was the nephew of the composer and piano teacher Adolf Klauwell (1818-1879). After his participation in the German-French war (1870-1871) he started studying mathematics at the Leipzig University but soon (1874) turned to music and became a pupil of Reinecke and Richter at the Leipzig Conservatory where his uncle also was teacher. Klauwell was for a number of years professor of composition at the Conservatory at Cologne. His output - which is typical late romantic - encompasses two operas: Das Mädchen vom See (The Girl from the Sea) and Die heimlichen Richter (The secret Judge),  works for orchestra, chamber music, songs and many pieces for piano. 
His music never had more than local interest but as a psychological and esthetic teacher of universal renown he was of great importance to a whole generation of music teachers in Europe.
In 1899 he published a very valuable book on the History of the Sonata plus a dozen other books of composers and musical matters.

Drei Klavierstücke für die linke Hand allein op. 34  (c. 1880) (Vom Ende)

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Fritz Kley  

Born: ?

Gem from Flotow's Martha  1896 (Ellis)

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Ernst-Lothar von Knorr  German composer an teacher

Eitorf, Sieg, 02.01.1896 - Heidelberg, 30.10.1973

Knorr studied harmony and violin at the Cologne Conservatory, and after having produced his first compositions in 1909 he won the Joseph Joachim Prize in 1911.
After WW I he was a faculty member of the Heidelberg Academy of Music and he founded the Heidelberg Chamber Orchestra
At the same time he taught violin at the Mannheim High School of Music and was leader of the Pfalz Orchestra in Mannheim. In fact his career as musical educator also took him to High Schools and academies in Berlin, Frankfurt, Trossingen, Hanover and Heidelberg.
His works bear witness of his academic background and although one of his works (Concerto Grosso nr. 1 from 1936) was accused of being degenerated music his songs and cantatas were much in favor of the Nazi regime and used at official occasions.
Among his works for orchestra are two concerti grossi, a symphonic piece and a concerto for piano, chorus and orchestra. His chamber music works include two string quartets, a wind quintet, cello sonata and among his cantatas are Von die Männern, die ihre Pflicht getan (Of the men who did their duty), Brüder, wir halten Totenwacht (Brothers we are keeping death watch) and Heilige Flamme (Holy Flame).
(A Danish composer (Weyse) has also written a song called Holy Flame but with quite another meaning (from an academic cantata), and this song gained a rather funny importance in 1944. During a general uprising against the German occupation and a general strike with bond fires in all the streets of Copenhagen the Danish radio was closed for some days. (At that time there was no real record collection - it was just some 78 rpm. records lying in a window sill). When the uprising was over and the fires were put out the Danish radio was told to start their transmissions again. The responsible announcer chose to start with some music: Weyse's Holy Flame and Suppe's ouverture Banditenstreiche (Bandit's dirty tricks). Later on in the day he was called up to the German supervisor of the radio and only his very convincing acting of ignorance and stupidity saved his life - but I knew him - and he was neither stupid nor ignorant.)

Intermezzo for piano and violin

(Two pieces): 1. Serenade, 2. Etüde 

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(No portrait) A. Knoth  

Born: ?

Ah, che la morte ognora from Verdi's Il Trovatore (Akt IV scene 1)  1913 (Buchbaum)

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(Sigurd Christian) Erland von Koch  Swedish composer, pianist and teacher

Stockholm, 26.04.1910 - 

His Father Sigurd von Koch (1879 -1919) was a composer of symphonic poems, works for solo instrument with orchestra and chamber music and through him Erland was introduced to the basic elements of music very early. After some private lessons in piano playing he entered the Stockholm Conservatory in 1931 as pupil of Ernst Hellberg and H. M. Melchers (composition) and Olallo Morales (conducting). 
After four years von Koch made study journeys to London, Paris, Dresden and Berlin where his most important teachers were Claudio Arrau (piano), Paul Höffer (composition) and Tor Mann and Clemens Kraus (conducting).
By 1938 von Koch was already establishing himself as a composer of great promise.
Professor of harmony at Musikhögskolan, Stockholm

Nocturnal Etude for the left hand  (1973) (Gehrmanns Musikförlag)
Dedicated to the pianist Esther Bodin. This piece can also be performed with two hands since Koch has the extra notes in parentheses. The piece was given its premiere by Esther Bodin 25.11.1975 in the Swedish Radio.

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(No portrait)

John Koehler

Born: ?

Melody  (Theme with two variations)  1908 (Schirmer)

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(No portrait)

Albert C. Koeppler

Born: ?

Romance from Wagner's "Tannhäuser" (Wolfram's aria "Oh - du mein holder Abendstern")  1911 (Koeppler)

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(Christian) Louis (Heinrich) Köhler German pianist, conductor, teacher and composer

Brunswick, 05.09.1820 - Königsberg, 16.02.1886

After his first education in Brunswick Köhler settled in Vienna in 1839 as pupil of Simon Sechter (theory) and Bocklet (piano). From 1843 he was conductor in Marienburg and Elbing until he finally settled in Königsberg in 1847. Here he composed operas and ballets but today he is primarily remembered for his educational piano compositions and collections. 

Schule der linken Hand op. 302  1881 (Peters)
In this large selection of etudes by many German and other composers of pedagogic works Köhler has added a number of his own transcriptions of popular tunes from operas. Among the studies should be mentioned: Folk Song 1 in G major, Folk Song 2 in C major, Folk Song 3 F major, Exercises in arpeggio in C major and 2 Rhythmic studies.

Wellen-Melodie (Wave-Melody); Etude op. 86  1865

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Ellis B. Kohs  American composer and pianist

Chicago, 12.05.1916  -  Los Angeles, 17.05.2000

Kohs grew up in San Francisco where he got his first musical education at the San Francisco Conservatory. In 1928 his family moved to New York City where he entered the Institute of Musical Art - then continuing his studies at the University of Chicago, studying composition with Carl Bricken. After he completed his master's degree there in 1938, he returned to New York and enrolled at the Juilliard School, where he studied composition with Bernard Wagenaar. He also studied with Walter Piston and musicology with Willi Apel and Hugo Leichtentritt at Harvard University. 
During WW II he was band master conducting the Army and Air Force bands at Fort Benning,
and after the war he joined the faculty of Wesleyan University, where he taught composition from 1946 to 1948, and the Kansas City Conservatory, where he taught during the summers of 1946 and 1947. He moved to California in 1948 and taught at the College of the Pacific and at Stanford University. He began teaching at the University of Southern California in 1950 where he remained on the faculty for 38 years, serving as chairman of the music theory department for several years.
Kohs' stage works include Amerika (1969), an opera based on Kafka's novel, Lohiau and Hiiaka, a choreographed setting of a Hawaiian legend, and incidental music for Shakespeare's Macbeth (1947). His orchestral works include a Concerto for Orchestra (1942), a Cello Concerto (1947), a Violin Concerto (1980), a Chamber Concerto, Passacaglia for Organ and Strings, Toccata for Harpsichord or Piano, a Short Concert for String Quartet, and a Sonatina for Violin and Piano or harpsichord and two Symphonies (1950 and 1957). His vocal works included settings of Navajo songs and The Lord Ascendant, based on The Epic of Gilgamesh. He also composed solo and chamber music.
In addition to composing, Kohs wrote several music theory books, including Music Theory, a Syllabus for Teacher and Student (1961), Musical Form: Studies in Analysis and Synthesis (1976) and Musical Composition: Projects in Ways and Means (1980). 

(Ten two-Voice Inventions)  (MS)
The reason that these works for the left hand (2 and 9) and the right (3 and 8) are put in brackets is, that Kohs actually - in his own words - is cheating. To gain more harmonic substance the other hand is used for pressing some other keys silently - and hopefully discreetly. Thus a pianist who has lost most of his ability to play with the other hand may probably be able to play these pieces - the question is just if the attempt has any meaning in this connection with so much real music for one hand alone.

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Audrey Kooper Hammann See under catalogue H

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(No portrait)

Klimenty (Arkadievich) Korchmarev  Russian pianist and composer

Verkhny Udinsk, 03.06.1899 - Moscow, 07.04.1958

Korchmarev studied piano and composition at the Odessa Conservatory and was at first only known as a pianist. In 1923 he settled in Moscow after which he began to attract attention as a composer.
Among his herostratic accomplishments were the winning several times of the Stalin Prize for his Revolutionary Works of Social Significance. And - don't be mistaken - the expression revolutionary works has nothing to do with music or artistic intelligence. 
(According to Boris Schwarz: Musical Life in Soviet Russia 1917-1970 Korchmarev was quite unable to balance the vocal and instrumental elements in his Three Vocal Symphonies (1931-1935) - thus losing the whole symphonic concept). 
And the revolutionary "thing" about his works in reality meant: writing in an old Russian-romantic style up till - but not beyond Scriabin. In short - a style that even Stalin could  - well, perhaps not understand - but appreciate in some way. Today Korchmarev is quite forgotten - that is if it were not for this prelude for the left hand - a quite beautiful piece by the way - and politically quite harmless. Of course the piece could be considered left-wing - but then all the works on this site are?. 

Prelude  (1922)

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(No portrait)


E. Kortschmorjeff  xxx



Präludium (Russian State Publishing) 
Mentioned in Walter Georgii: Klaviermusik ... mit 329 Notenbeispiele und einer Zeittafel, p. 596

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Erich Wolfgang Korngold  Austrian-American composer, conductor and pianist

Brno, Moravia, 29.05.1897 - Hollywood, 29.11.1957

In a fairly recent book (by Brendan G. Carroll) about Korngold he is called The Last Prodigy, and indeed - prodigy he was - stunning the Viennese audiences with his playing and composing at the age of ten. The musical history has had a number of prodigies but none like Korngold. Mozart's early works are fantastic by any standard, but his early opera La finta Giardinere can not be compared to Don Giovanni however delightful it is. With Korngold it was quite another situation: From the very beginning his works were in a unique unparalleled mature musical language which made Mahler call him a genius, Sibelius said he was A young Eagle. Max Kalbeck said that Korngold was the most important and successful composer of our time - and Puccini simply declared: Korngold is the greatest hope of German music
He was son of Julius Korngold (1860 - 1945) who (after taking a doctor's degree in jurisprudence and  studies in theory at the Vienna Conservatory) started as assistant to the famous and feared music critic Eduard Hanslick and later in - 1902 - became his successor at the Neue Freie Presse.

Julius Korngold with his wife, 
Josephine and Erich Wolfgang

Julius was a very ambitious man which prompted him to name his two sons: Wolfgang (after Mozart) and the older brother Robert (after Schumann) - and indeed Erich Wolfgang fully lived up to those ambitions with works of remarkable maturity and innovativeness from his earliest boyhood. 
At first Julius was hardly aware that he 'had a genius on his hands' even though his boy could play the piano since the age of 3 or 4. But as time went on and Erich showed more and more talents it was decided to send him to a piano teacher of rather insignificant nature, Emil Lamm - but this
gentleman soon found out that he had never had a pupil of such talent. At six years Erich was able to grasp any theoretical problem, he had an extraordinary and natural aptitude for harmonizing and making the most complicated chordal progressions on the keyboard and with an extreme absolute pitch. In fact with this amount of education which was all he ever got, the boy was now a fully fledged pianist and composer whose early genius left the Viennese and in fact the European musical world totally baffled - but of course also fuelling rumors that it was Julius who in fact was behind it all. 
From now on works began to flow from his pen: Piano pieces (Melodies, Variations and Waltzes) and songs (1905-1907), Der Schneemann - ballet pantomime (1908), Piano sonata nr. 1 (1908), Piano trio op. 1 (1910), Piano sonata nr. 2 (1910), Schauspiel Ouverture (1911), Sinfonietta op. 5 (1912) etc. etc. All musical creations of such maturity and complexity which caused Mahler, Sibelius and Puccini to voice their opinions mentioned above.
Erich Wolfgang Korngold's works have been described as the tonal and formal consequence, music would have taken if there had not been a Schönberg, Anton Webern and Berg, whose total dismissal of the old - tonal system and of any kind of romanticism turned music in a quite new and radical direction. But for the next thirty years Korngold went from one success to the other all over Europe hailed as the extraordinary genius he was.
One story about Korngold's rather brief service in the Austrian Army during WW I deserves to be mentioned here because it shows the great humor he was later known for: He was appointed music director of his regiment in Vienna and wrote several marches. When Korngold had finished the only one he ever published (in an arrangement for symphony orchestra) his commanding officer wanted to hear it, and afterwards the slightly bewildered colonel said: That's fine Korngold - but isn't it rather fast? to which Korngold replied: Ah yes - but it is written for the retreat.

Siegfried Wagner, Max Reger, Arthur Nikisch, Richard Strauss 
and Eugen d'Albert pondering over little Wolfgang's playing.

In 1938 (Anschluss) the Jewish Korngold and his family fled to USA where he created what was to become a whole new standard for film music with music scores to films like Sea Hawk, Elizabeth and Essex, The Adventures of Robin Hood and Another Dawn. This new and brilliant career was certainly not something that pleased old Julius who thought it was mere musical prostitution - though it earned his son both money and an Oscar award (Robin Hood) and for him being instrumental in creating Hollywood's Golden Age of Film Music.
Only late in his career (ca. 1944) did Korngold return to serious music - but now as what was considered an anachronism of very little importance in a musical world of that time in which tonality had become an ugly word and in which serialism and twelve tone principles were the only thing acceptable. But works were commissioned from him by e.g. Jascha Heifetz. 

Heifetz once said that he had two reasons for commissioning 
violin works from contemporary composers: 
1. To discourage them from writing anything further - and 
2. To reassure himself of just how much he loved Mozart.
But Heifetz probably never made a  more lovely 
recording than the one of Korngold's concerto.

A renewed interest in Korngold's music first came some 25 years after his death and today all his major works have been  recorded repeatedly. His output as a serious composer spans from operas and incidental music to a symphony, concertos for piano (for Wittgenstein), for violin (for Heifetz) and for cello (in fact from Korngold's last film score to Deception), chamber music, piano works and songs.
Korngold died in the firm belief that he would soon be forgotten - and in a sense he was almost right - but now he is back - although you can divide the audiences into two categories: One who loves him - and one who loves to hate him - of course depending on musical intelligence - if any. 

In the case of Korngold the whole problem of prodigies is once again put into focus. Somehow they don't fit into modern society. Well - of course we accept a Mozart or a Mendelssohn - but they are happily dead many years ago. But a child - like the one on the picture above - not making pedestrian life a misery with his skateboard - not playing baseball or doing drugs - but writing operas? That can certainly not be a God's gift to music - that is a psychological problem - perhaps beyond therapeutic reach. 

Piano concerto in C sharp (!) op. 17  
The concerto is neither in major nor minor but something which kind of schizophrenically is both.
Wittgenstein commissioned the concerto in 1923 and it had its first performance in Vienna on 22nd. September the following year with Korngold himself conducting. Wittgenstein held life-long exclusive rights on this work, which at its UK premiere in 1985 was called a keyboard Salome by the soloist Gary Graffman because of its immense difficulties. 
Wittgenstein was of course very pleased that he had this very first real concerto written for him - but all his life he had some reservations about it that are a bit difficult to understand today. In a letter he claimed that the balance between soloist and orchestra was too much in favor of the orchestra.
Well - a bad conductor can ruin everybody's day and - believe me they will - if they can - but much of the beauty of this work lies in the perfect blend of piano and orchestra and in his suite op. 23 Korngold's special ability is carried - if possible - even further making all the instruments equals. Once that is said - I have experienced soloist with a paranoic fear of not being heard and perhaps this was Wittgenstein's real problem - though he was not known as a pianist with a over-soft touch; Leschetizky in fact chided his old pupil by calling him a string-basher.
The concerto is in one movement but in three sections: 1. Mässiges Zeitmass (moderate tempo), 2. Heldisch (hero-like), 3. Mit Feuer und Kraft (with fire and power). 

Suite for piano, 2 violins and cello op. 23  1930 (Schott)
There are five movements: 1. Prelude and fugue, 2. Waltz, 3 Groteske, 4. Lied, 5. Finale.

(Piano quintet in E major op. 15) Commune naufragium dulce est (Joint shipwreck is comforting). We are now several who have made the same mistake of taking this work for a left-hand piece: Fred Flindell, Theodore Edel and - alas - myself. It is in fact for two hands,  dedicated to the sculptor Gustinus Ambrosi and first performed in Vienna by Korngold himself. 

Gustinus Ambrosi's bust of Korngold from 1912 - but destroyed by the Nazis in 1938

You probably know the word It is human to fail, but few know the continuation: To carry on failing is folly. As I don't want to be accused of that I have hereby corrected the mistake - and with many thanks to Albert Sassmann, Vienna who pointed out my mistake.

The concerto is recorded by Howard Shelley, Chandos CHAN 9508
The quintet and suite are recorded by Bengt Forsberg, U. Forbsberg, 
M. Lindström, K. Lysell and N.-E. Sparf  Deutsche Grammophon 459631-2

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Anton Krause  German composer

1834 - 1907

Krause worked in Leipzig and Barmen as a much respected piano teacher and choir conductor and beside his educational piano works he composed church music and songs.

10 Etuden zur Ausbildung der linken Hand op. 15 (10 studies for the education of the left hand)  (Breitkopf und Härtel)

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(No portrait)


Eduard Krause  German composer

1837 - 1892

He was active in Stettin, Geneva and Berlin as piano teacher and composer.

Schule der linken Hand op. 80;  40 Übungen und Etüden für höhere und höchste Ausbildung (40 exercises and studies for the higher and the highest education) (Hug)

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Richard Krentzlin  German pianist an pedagogue

27.11.1864 - 27.11.1956

Aus meiner Wanderzeit 10 instruktive Charakterstücke für ...
Das Buch der Jugend 20 instruktive Charakterstücke für ...
Der junge Pianist Praktischer Lehrgang für den ...
Deutsche Kinderlieder Zur Unterhaltung und zum Gebrauch ...
Kinderball Ein lustiges Tanzbuch 19 beliebte Tänze für die ...
Neue Etüden Schule für den Klavier Unterricht Heft I ...
Opern und Operetten Die schönsten Melodien in leichter ...
Schweizer Salon Album 10 melodienreiche Salonstücke für das ...
Tiroler Salon Album 11 Charakteristische Vortragsstücke für ...

3 Pieces: 1. Romance, 2. Voices of evening, 3. Festival Polonaise  1925 (Presser)

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Ernest Richard Kroeger  American composer, pianist and teacher

St. Louis, 10.08.1862 -St. Louis, 07.04.1934 

His first musical instruction was his home town where he studied piano with his father, Egmont Froehlich, Waldemar Malmene and Charles Kunkel; harmony under W. Goldner and P.G. Anton; violin under Ernst Spiering; and instrumentation under Louis Mayer.
After this thorough training Kroeger was appointed "Master of Programs" on the Bureau of Music of the St. Louis World's Fair (1904) supervising all the musical programming at the fair.

St. Louis Festival Hall and basin 1904

Besides all other obligations Kroeger invited the world's greatest organists to give recitals, planned a series of great orchestral and choral concerts and arranged for competitions in all forms for musical composition. The music at the 1904 fair was considered by many to be one of the outstanding attractions of the event and for his work in that capacity Kroeger was elected an Officer of the French Academy. He was a member of the National Institute of Arts of Letters, and a Founder Member of the American Guild of Organists.
From December 1904 an dunto his death Kroeger was Director of the Kroeger School of Music. His daughter, Louise Kroeger succeeded him at the Kroeger School teaching at the Musical Art Building located at Olive Street and Boyle Avenue until she retired at 84 in 1975. Ernest Kroeger was also Director of the Washington University Music Department from 1925-1934 and the Director of the Music Department at Forest Park College for many years as well. Kroeger's piano, organ and vocal compositions were published in the United States and Europe. His orchestral suite Lalla Rookh and symphonic poem The Mississippi were widely performed during the first decades of the 20th century.
His opus which is very large and stored at Washington University in St. Louis contains music of all genres, operas, choral works, concertos, chamber music, solo songs and piano works.

15 etudes for the cultivation of the left hand op. 55  (Presser)

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(No portrait) Carrie William Krogman (Pseudonym for Paul Ducelle) American pianist, composer and teacher

1860 - Boston, 1943

Among Krogman's piano pieces are still some which enjoy a certain popularity like the march, The Brave Little Warrior from 1900 and the Valse The Queena op .49 no. 1, included in the album Ten Musical Fancies. Otherwise this author would be glad to receive further information etc. on this composer.

3 Morceaux op. 90: 1. Valse Viennoise (Viennese Waltz, 2. Marche Héroique (Heroic March), 3. Poème d'Amour (Love Poem) 1911 (Wood)

Two Waltz Episodes op. 81: 1. L'Ingénue, 2. La Coquette 1912 (Ditson)

Valse-Serenade op.99 no. 1

Berceuse op. 99 no. 2  

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Emil Kronke  German horn player, pianist and composer

Danzig, 29.11.1865 - Dresden, 16.12.1938

Kronke got his education at the conservatories in Dresden under Felix Draeseke and at the Leipzig Conservatory under Carl Reinecke, Among his other teachers were the Thomas organist Karl Piutti, Theodor Kirchner und Jean Louis Nicodé. At the age of 22 Emil Kronke settled in Dresden as a well renowned pianist, teacher and sought after chamber musician.
Among his works which amount to opus 188 are Symphonishe Variationen, Carneval Suite, an orchestral ballad, a Piano Concerto, Suite In Olden Style Op.81 (flute and piano), Deux Papillons Op.165 (two flutes and piano), Two Hunting Pieces, horn quartets (for which he is best known today; still played and recorded), suites for violin, cello and flute, concert variations for piano and piano pieces.
Kronke also undertook an edition of Chopin's works.

Bagatelle  (Dresden: Richter & Hopf Verlag)
Mentioned in Hofmeisters Handbuch der Klavierlitteratur 1886-1891, p. 407

Mephisto Etude, Concert Study for the left alone  (Octavian Society Press, 2005)
This piece was in the archive Paul Wittgenstein and is now in his collection located at the Hong Kong University.

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Antanas Kucinskas   Lithuanian composer and pianist


Kucinskas was educated in musical theory and composition at the Vilnius Conservatory from where he graduated in 1988. After this he continued his education as composer at the Lithuanian Academy of Music where his teacher was professor Vytautas Barkauskas.  From 1991 to 1999 he taught modern music history at the Vilnius Conservatory and in 2001 he took his doctor's degree on The Principles of Composition in the Works of Contemporary Lithuanian Composers.
In 1993 Kucinskas became sound director and since 1998 head of the music department of the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre.
His output which is not very large but varied includes a Sinfonia Concertante for orchestra and the chamber works Evacuation-Mobilization for 2 oboes, clarinet, vibraphone and piano, Circle of Fifths for 3 violins, Twelve in Line for twelve violins and Three Aromas for clarinet and piano. Beside that there is some music for one or two pianos, songs and choral music and electro-acoustical music.
Antanas Kucinskas has also written for cinema and no less than 16 stage productions. 

Untitled (yes - that is the title)  (1997)
The piece is written for one hand (not specifically left or right), moreover, it is for only one finger - it is rather a kind of work of conceptual music

Photo of Antanas Kucinskas: Lithuanian music information center

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(Daniel) Friedrich (Rudolph) Kuhlau  Danish composer and pianist

Uelzen (south of Lüneburg), Germany, 11.09.1786 - Copenhagen, 12.03.1832

Kuhlau came from a family of military musicians and the family moved to Hamburg in 1802 where the 16-year-old Friedrich gave piano recitals and got his first works published. Due to the threatening war disturbances he fled to Copenhagen, Denmark in 1810 and was appointed Royal Chamber Musician in 1813 but had to wait five years (1818) for a very modest salary of 300 Rigsbankdaler (which equals 6000 $ per year) .
This proved insufficient and he had to uphold his livelihood by writing a vast number of compositions for the popular instruments, the flute and the piano and every second year he had to produce operas and incidental music for the Royal Theatre.

Romantic picture of Kuhlau as a boy fetching a 
bottle of schnapps for his father. On the way 
back he stopped to look in through some 
windows where there was some party and 
 the boy slipped on the frozen steps, 
broke the bottle and lost his right eye.

Kuhlau’s break-through came in 1814 with the opera Røverborgen (The Robbers’ Castle), which brought a new style to the conservative Danish public. He repeated the success in 1824 with the opera Lulu (with much the same theme as Mozart’s The Magic Flute), incidental music for the play William Shakespeare and especially Johann Ludwig Heiberg’s play, Elverhøj (The Elf Hill) from 1828.
Elverhøj was a commision from King Fredrik VI to celebrate his youngest daughter Vilhelmina wedding to Prins Fredrik Christian (later King Fredrik VII) November 1st 1828. Five days later Elverhøj had its premiere and much to the surprise of all became the greatest success of the Danish National Scene (Det kongelige Teater) which by the time of this article is still a great box-office success.
Kuhlau was rewarded with a vast sum of money (400 Rigsbankdaler which is about 7000 $) and the title of professor.

  The Royal Danish Theatre  

Further dramatic works like Trylleharpen (The Magic Harp), Elisa, Hugo og Adelheid and the incidental music to Trillingbrødrene fra Damask (The Triplet Brothers from Damascus) proved to be fiascos – mostly because of the lack of drama in the texts.
His last years were embittered due to the burning down of his house in Lyngby (a few miles north of Copenhagen) in 1831 where he lost almost everything; money, personal belongings and - of most importance many finished or unfinished pieces of music.

Painting of Kuhlau from 1823 by 
Royal Miniature painter Christian 
Hornemann, whose miniature of 
Beethoven is normally considered 
the first true picture of him.

What was of great importance to the development of his international orientated musical development were his many travels abroad – especially to Germany and Austria where he in 1825 met Beethoven who after a jolly champagne party dedicated to him the canon Kühl, nicht lau (Cool, not lukewarm - (playing with the words Kühl-lau and Kuhlau). In fact that is the whole text of Beethoven's WoO 191, B-flat 4/4, and on  September 23, 1825 Beethoven wrote from Baden to Herr. Friedrich Kuhlau: I must admit that the champagne went a little to my head yesterday, and I learned once more from experience, that such things rather prostrate than promote.

  Beethoven's canon on Kühl -nicht lau
Beethovenhaus, Bonn

Kuhlau’s many works covers all the genres of his day except church music. Although unable to play the flute himself he became famous for his well-written music for one to four flutes and for flute with piano or strings, but the major part of his production is piano music either for two hands or for four hands. These were sonatas, variations and rondos and sonatinas, which are still used for educational purposes all over the world.
Notable - but far from unique in the history is Kuhlau’s model- or loaning technique where he takes his set-out or gets his inspiration mostly from his ideals, Mozart, Cherubini and Beethoven but later also from Weber and Rossini, but still keeping his own personal mark. His music is both cosmopolitan and Danish e.g. by using Danish folksong, which are also the foundation for his most popular work, Elverhøj that with more than one thousand performances is the most performed play at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen.

Kuhlau must have had a fairly large hand to take B flat to D in the first bar.

Andante sostenuto  
The Andante sostenuto in B flat major in 6/8 with the specification: Linke Hand Solo (Left Hand Solo) is the second movement from his sonata in D major (in three movements and the other two movement are for both hands) – no. 2 from Trois Grandes Sonates pour le Clavecin ou Piano Forte op. VI, Hambourg chéz Geoffroi Volmer, ca. 1812 and reprinted in 1822-23 at A. Cranz in Hamburg. With the likely model from the slow variation movement from Haydn’s piano trio in B flat major (Hob. XV/20), where the theme and the beginning of the second variation has the specification Solo con mano sinistra (Left Hand Solo), Kuhlau’s movement is most likely the first piece ever in musical history, which is for the left hand alone all through. It is now possible to see and play the whole of this Andante sostenuto in the recent edited Kuhlau: Piano Sonatas I-IV. International Friedrich Kuhlau Society Edition and the publishing house Hanna Corporation; Edited by Gorm Busk and Toshinori Ischihara. Paperbound/Papercovered music (books) 128, 124, 128 and 136 pages. To be sold by International Friedrich Kuhlau Society c/o Helge Schlenkert, Lidsøvej 71 DK 2730 Herlev: schlenkert@12move. dk 250 kroner pr. volume, VAT included (all four volumes at 900 kroner)

I owe many thanks to Dr.ph. Gorm Busk who is the world's leading expert on 
Kuhlau for making me aware of this piece and for writing the text above. 

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(No portrait)

Hans Kulla  German composer and church musician 

(1910 - 1956) 

Kulla composed and arranged a large amount of Folk Songs which were used in the German Jugendbewegung (Youth Movements) and besides this he composed important church music. As a soldier during WW2 he lost on arm.

Variationen (4) über Verstohlen geht der Mond auf 
This is an old minstrel song from Niederrhein and the same tune that Brahms used for his four variations in the second movement of his first piano sonata op. 1 in C major from 1853: 

"Verstohlen geht der Mond auf,
blau, blau Blümelein,
durch Silberwölkchen führt sein Lauf,
blau, blau Blümelein,
Rosen im Tal, Mädchen im Saal,
oh, schönste Rosa!"

"The moon rises secretly,
Little flower blue,
Through clouds of silver goes his way,
Little flower blue,
Roses in dale - Girls in the hall,
Oh - fairest Rosa!"

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(No portrait)

Rudolf Kündinger  German pianist and composer

(1832 - 1913)

Born  Bavaria. Not much is known (or available) about Kündinger, but one story from his years in Russia and as Tchaikovsky's piano teacher deserves to be told - and perhaps even included in Great Blunders of the World. I can safely call it a blunder, since Kündinger himself admitted it later:
In 1855 Tchaikovsky's father engaged a new piano teacher, Rudolf Kündinger, for his son. There were lessons every Sunday morning and Kündinger then stayed for lunch. In the afternoon he accompanied the boy to concerts and during the evening young Peter was allowed to show his teacher his new compositions. But in fact Kündinger thought his pupil's talents only slightly above average. 
Later Kündinger wrote: I must admit to my embarrassment, that at no time did the idea occur to me that Tchaikovsky had in him the stuff of a musician. Certainly he was gifted, he had a good ear and memory, an excellent touch, but apart from that there was nothing, absolutely nothing, that suggested a composer, even a fine composer. Nothing remarkable, nothing phenomenal
This letter any way does Kündinger credit and fate settled its accounts - and including Tchaikovsky too in the book of Great Blunders. In Germany the great Russian attended a concert with some symphony by a German composer, and afterwards Tchaikovsky  wrote a letter saying: The world is certainly not going to hear any more from him!. The German composer was - Johannes Brahms.

14 Klavierübungen für die linke Hand allein mit besonderer Berücksichtigung des dritten, vierten und fünften Finger (14 piano exercises with special emphasis on the third, fourth and fifth finger) c.1890 (Rahter)

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(No portrait)

Elizabeth Kunger  

Born: ?

Mélodie  1926 (Schubert & Co.)

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(No portrait)

Charles Kunzer  German-American pianist and composer

Sipperfeld, Rheinpfalz, 1840 - St. Louis 1923

Kunkel came to America as a child of 8 years and with time became the founder of the St. Louis Conservatory as well as being a very influential and inspiring person in other aspects of the city's musical life - especially in the German-American community. 

Grand Concert Pieces (mostly arrangements): 1. The Sextet from Lucia di Lammermoor, 2. The quartet from Verdi's Rigoletto, 3. Miserere from Verdi's Il Trovatore, 4. Home, Sweet Home, 5. The Banjo, 6. Old Black Joe, 7. Old Folks at Home.
The only original music in this selection is nr. 5; The Banjo, but it was at least inspired by Gottschalk with whom Kunkel used to play four-handed music in his early days. Kunkel in fact continued the Gottschalk tradition of flamboyance and his most successful piece was Alpine Storm.

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György Kurtág  Hungarian composer

Born: Lugos, Romania, 19.02.1926

In 1940 Kurtag started taking piano lessons from Magda Kardos and at the same time studied composition with Max Eisikovitz at Temesvár. In September 1945 he hoped to become a pupil of Bartók but the great composer's death put an end to those plans leaving Kurtag in a state of chock. It was during those days that he formed a lasting friendship with György Ligeti.
At the Budapest Academy, Kurtág then studied the piano with Pál Kadosa, composition with Sándor Veress and Ferenc Farkas and chamber music with Leó Weiner graduating in piano and chamber music in 1951 and obtaining his degree in composition in 1955.
The years 1957 to 1958 proved very formative in Kutág's life when he worked with the Hungarian psychologist Marianne Stein in Paris and attended the courses of Olivier Messiaen and Darius Milhaud. Together with his encounter with the music of Anton Webern, Samuel Beckett's plays, French architecture and nature - all resulted in a profound change in his way of musical thinking.
This change resulted in the creation of his first string quartet which he composed after returning to Budapest in 1959.
In 1960 Kurtág was employed as répétiteur for the National Philharmonia (the state concert agency) and in 1967 he was appointed professor of piano and chamber music at the Budapest Academy - a post he retired from in 1986.
As a composer he has established an international reputation with works that have been performed by the leading orchestras and ensembles in Europe growing both in size and sophistication, and from the late 1980es he began to realize the idea of spatial music, where the public is enveloped by sound coming from various points in the concert hall. In 2003 he was awarded with the Danish Sonning Prize - formerly given to Messiaen, Bernstein, Segovia among others.

Elégia for the left hand  from Studies for Piano ( vol. 3. page 15)  (Editio Musica Budapest)

Photo of Kurtág: Andrea Felvegi

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