Godowski, Leopold

Godowski, Leopold

 

Born Feb. 13, 1870, in Soshly, near Vilnius; died Nov. 21, 1938, in New York. Polish pianist, piano teacher, and composer.

Godowski studied with Bargiel and Rudorff at the High School of Music in Berlin (1884) and with Saint-Saëns in Paris. He began giving concerts as a child (for the first time in 1879 in Vilnius). He taught at music conservatories in Chicago and Philadelphia (1894–1900) and directed the Master Pianoforte School at the Academy of Music in Vienna (1909–14). From 1914, Godowski lived in New York.

As a pianist he was renowned for his exceptional technique and for the subtlety and clarity of his execution of the most technically demanding works. He is famous for his transcriptions, mainly of the works of French harpsichordists (J.-B. Lully and J.-P. Rameau), the suites of J. S. Bach, the etudes of F. Chopin, and the waltzes of J. Strauss. Godowski compiled and edited a collection of pieces for use in piano teaching. He composed piano works, including pieces for the left hand, and wrote an article on piano music for the left hand.

REFERENCES

Neigauz, G. “Pamiati Leopol’da Godovskogo.” Sovetskaia muzyka, 1939, no. 3.
Chezins, A. “Leopol’d Godovskii.” Sovetskaia muzyka, 1960, no. 3.
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