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Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli as I Knew Him

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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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Concert Activity

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Michelangeli’s concert activity was not limited to appearances at the piano — he also conducted orchestras and choirs. Few people know that he was one of the propagators of new works in music, such as Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire or Szymanowski’s Symphonie concertante, which he introduced into his Italian concert programmes when he was only sixteen years of age. Here, however, we shall be concerned primarily with Michelangeli’s pianistic activity.

Such concert activity embraces the most resplendent concert halls in every corner of the globe — from both the Americas, through South Africa, Asia and Australia, to almost every country in Europe. Michelangeli’s superb interpretative art has aroused the enthusiasm and affections of audiences in Great Britain, Scandinavia, Germany, France, Spain, Switzerland, Poland, former Czechoslovakia and the former Soviet Union, and many southern European states. It would be impossible to list here all Michelangeli’s tours. I would just mention his trips to the United States in 1949, 1950, 1967, 1968, 1970, and 1971. During one concert season he gave eleven recitals in New York alone! The most celebrated concert halls have had the honour of welcoming Michelangeli — La Scala in Milan, the Royal Festival Hall and Barbican Centre in London, and the Tchaikovsky Conservatory Hall in Moscow, to name but a few. He has also been the focal point of international music festivals, such as ‘Wiener Festwochen’ and ‘Prague Spring’, and of many other festivals — in Edinburgh, Paris, Bordeaux, and of course Italy — including some named in his honour....

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