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Theodor Hermann Leschetizky (22 June 1830 – 14 November 1915) (sometimes spelled Leschetitzky,[1] in Polish: Teodor Leszetycki) was a Polish pianist, professor and composer born in Łańcut, then Landshut in the kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, also known as Austrian Poland, a crownland of the Habsburg Monarchy.

Theodor Leschetizky
TheodorLeschetizky.jpg
Born (1830-06-22)22 June 1830
Lancut, Poland
Died 14 November 1915(1915-11-14) (aged 85)
Dresden, Germany

Contents

LifeEdit

Theodor Leschetizky was born on 22 June 1830 at the estate of the family of Count Potocki in Lancut, Poland. Joseph Leschetizky, his father, was a gifted pianist and music teacher of Viennese birth. His mother Thérèse von Ullmann was a gifted singer of German origin. His father gave him his first piano lessons and then took him to Vienna to study with Carl Czerny. At age eleven, he performed a Czerny piano concerto in Łańcut, with Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart, the son of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, conducting. At the age of fifteen he started to tutor his first students. By the age of eighteen he was a well-known virtuoso in Vienna and beyond. His composition teacher was Simon Sechter, an eminent professor who was the teacher of many other successful musicians.

At the invitation of his friend Anton Rubinstein, he went to St. Petersburg to teach in the court of the Grand Duchess Yelena Pavlovna. Remaining there from 1852 to 1877, he was head of the piano department and one of the founders of the St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music in 1862. While in Russia he married one of his most famous students, Anna Essipova, the second of his four wives, with whom he had two children; one of them was his daughter, the well-known singer and teacher, Theresa, the other was his son Robert.

In 1878 he returned to Vienna and began teaching there, creating one of the most eminent private piano schools in the world. He taught Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Artur Schnabel, Fannie Bloomfield Zeisler, Mieczysław Horszowski, Alexander Brailowsky, Benno Moiseiwitsch, Katharine Goodson, Elly Ney, Ossip Gabrilowitsch, Mark Hambourg, Isabelle Vengerova and a host of many other wonderful pianists in his villa in the Währing Cottage District on Karl-Ludwig-Straße, Vienna. See the list of Leschetizky's students. Promising pianists flocked to him, coming from all over the world, with a great many from the United States, among them also classical singer Clara Clemens, the daughter of Mark Twain.

From 1904 to 1908, he was assisted by one of his students, Ethel Newcomb, an experience which proved a fertile ground for background research for her 1921 book, Leschetizky as I Knew Him.[2][3][4]

He taught until the age of 85, leaving for Dresden in 1915. He died on 14 November 1915 in Dresden.[5]

MottoEdit

Leschetizky's motto: "No life without art, no art without life!"

Leschetizky's descendantsEdit

He was survived by a son, Robert (Dresden), whose family returned to Bad Ischl after his death. His descendants still live in Bad Ischl and there is a Leschetizky Villa on Leschetizky-Straβe, the summer resort where he often vacationed with his friend Johannes Brahms.

Leschetizky had a granddaughter, Ilse Leschetizky (1910–1997), who was a distinguished pianist and teacher. One of her daughters, Margret Tautschnig, continues the Leschetizky tradition with the Leschetizky-Verein Österreich in Bad Ischl. This organisation was co-founded by the Belgian pianist Peter Ritzen.

Leschetizky the composerEdit

Leschetizky composed over a hundred characteristic piano pieces, two operas: Die Brüder von San Marco and Die Erste Falte, thirteen songs and a one-movement piano concerto. Opus numbers were given to 49 works.

Although his piano pieces are primarily smaller works in the salon music vein, they are expressively lyrical on the one hand while exploiting the piano's technical capabilities to great effect on the other. Most of his music has been out of print since the early twentieth century except for the Andante Finale, Op. 13 (a paraphrase for piano left hand on the famous sextet from the opera Lucia di Lammermoor by Donizetti); and Les deux alouettes, Op. 2, No. 1.

Leschetizky the teacherEdit

RecordingsEdit

LiteratureEdit

  • Malwine Brée: The groundwork of the Leschetizky method: issued with his approval / by Malwine Brée; with forty-seven illustrative cuts of Leschetizky's hand; translated from the German by Dr. Th. Baker. Mayence (Mainz), 1903.
  • Malwine Brée: The Leschetizky method: a guide to fine and correct piano playing. English translation by Arthur Elson; introduction by Seymour Bernstein. Mineola, Dover Publications, 1997.
  • Newcomb, Ethel. Leschetizky as I Knew Him. New York, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1921.
  • Theodor Leschetizky: Das Klavierwerk. Köln (Cologne), Haas 2000.
  • Comtesse Angèle Potocka: Theodore Leschetizky, an intimate study of the man and the musician. New York, The Century co., 1903
  • Annette Hullah: Theodor Leschetizky. London, Lane, 1906 (Reprinted 1923).
  • Markus von Hänsel-Hohenhausen: There can be no life without art, and no art without life - Theodor Leschetizky, in: M. v. H.-H.: On the Wonder of the Countenance in its Photographic Portrait. Charleston 2013, ISBN 9781481283373

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Wien Geschichte Wiki", a history knowledge base of the city of Vienna (based on Historisches Lexikon Wien by Felix Czeike
  2. ^ Ethel Newcomb (obituary). New York, New York: The New York Times, July 5, 1959.
  3. ^ Newcomb, Ethel (1875–1959),” in “Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia.” Encyclopedia.com, retrieved online June 11, 2018.
  4. ^ Newcomb, Ethel. Leschetizky as I Knew Him. New York, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1921.
  5. ^ "Theodor Leschetizky Dies. Famous Teacher of the Great Pianists, Including Paderewski" (PDF). The New York Times. November 18, 1915. Retrieved 2015-01-12. 
  6. ^ "Frank Merrick plays Brahms & Balakirev - Pupils of Leschetizky Vol.2". Historical & New Piano Recordings. DIW Records. Archived from the original on 5 February 2015. Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  7. ^ "Aline van Barentzen plays Beethoven 3 Sonatas". Historical Piano Recordings. DIW Records. Retrieved 31 March 2015. 

External linksEdit