Siloti, Alexander

Siloti, Alexander


Born Sept. 27 (Oct. 9), 1863, in Kharkov; died Dec. 8, 1945, in New York. Russian pianist, musical figure, conductor, and teacher.

Siloti studied with N. S. Zverev and N. G. Rubinstein (piano) and P. I. Tchaikovsky (theory) at the Moscow Conservatory and later with F. Lizst in Weimar. Between 1888 and 1891 he taught piano at the Moscow Conservatory; S. V. Rachmaninoff and A. B. GoFdenveizer were among his pupils. He founded a regular series of chamber and symphonic concerts in St. Petersburg known as the Siloti Concerts (1903) and the educational Popular Concerts (1912) and People’s Free Concerts (1915); with A. M. Gorky he founded the Russian Musical Fund (1916) to assist needy musicians.

Siloti lived in the USA from 1922 and taught piano at the Juilliard School of Music in New York. He performed the piano works of J. S. Bach and Debussy. A highly sophisticated performer with a great breadth of musical interests, Siloti conducted and performed in ensembles with such eminent violinists and cellists as L. S. Auer, A. V. Verzhbilovich, E. Ysaye, and P. Casals. He also arranged and edited works for the piano.


Moi vospominaniia o F. Liste. Paris, 1911.


Aleksander Il’ich Ziloti: Vospominaniia i pis’ma. Leningrad, 1963.


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Mazullo, who is definitely not afraid to criticize Shostakovich as a pianist, speaks of his emotional reserve and anti-romantic/anti-sentimental performance traits, but tells us nothing of his teacher Leonid Nikolayev's influence on his pianistic style or of other encounters with pianists/pedagogues such as Alexander Siloti, Alexander Glazunov, or Elena Rozanova.