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Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli as I Knew Him


Lidia Kozubek

This book explores the artistic principles of Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, his concert activities, his art of piano playing, as well as his pedagogy and his attitude towards his students. The author presents the biographical data of the artist as well as the list of his recordings and introduces this extraordinary artist to a wider audience, especially to admirers of beautiful music and its performers. The book aims at encouraging in particular the young to follow the high artistic principles required in such a refined and unique art.


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A Few Biographical Notes on Michelangeli


Michelangeli’s date of birth is usually given as 5 January 1920. He himself once told me that he was born ‘during the first hour of the morning of 6 January 1920’. There are also differing versions regarding his place of birth. Generally, Brescia is quoted as being his birthplace. However, I have also come across the name of a village in the Alpine valley Val Camonica — namely, Orzinuovi. But it was in Brescia that Michelangeli spent his childhood and youth (which is no doubt why he regards this city as his home town). His father, who was a count, and a lawyer by profession, was also a musician, and even a composer. He began teaching mu- sic to his son before he was four years old. The little boy was soon introduced to a piano teacher from the Venturi Music Institute, Dr Paulo Chimeri, who accepted him into his class following an audition. Little Arturo was also learning the violin, but in view of his weak constitution, he ultimately chose the piano, where the posi- tion of the body during play is less tiring. He also had lessons in organ playing and in composing. For Michelangeli, it was always music itself that counted most of all, regardless of the instrument on which it was played. When he was nine, he began having private lessons with Gio- vanni Anfossi in Milan (where his mother used to take him). He also had violin classes there with Ferrucio Francesconi. At the age of...

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