Alfred Denis Cortot

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cortot, Alfred Denis


Born Sept. 26, 1877, in Nyon, Switzerland; died June 15, 1962, in Lausanne. French pianist, teacher, and public figure in the world of music.

Cortot studied under L. Diemer at the Paris Conservatory. He made his debut in 1896 in Paris. From 1897 he was assistant conductor at the Wagner festivals in Bayreuth. In 1902 he organized a society of opera festivals in Paris and later a choir association. During 1904—07 he conducted popular concerts in Lille. In 1905 he founded a trio with violinist J. Thibaud and cellist P. Casals. He was a professor at the Paris Conservatory (1907–17). In 1918 (with A. Mangeot) he founded and headed a higher school of music in Paris, the Ecole Normale de la Musique and in 1943, a society of chamber music.

Cortot was the author of works on methods of piano playing, including The Rational Principles of Piano Technique (1928), French Piano Music (series 1–3, 1930–44), and ,4 Course of Interpretation (1934), and of such books as Aspects of Chopin (1949). He also prepared the series Work Editions (1914), consisting primarily of the works of Chopin and the German romantics. As a pianist he was known for his performance of the works of the romantics and French impressionists. Cortot toured the USSR in 1936.


O fortepiannom iskusstve. Moscow, 1965. (Translated from French.)


Adzhemov, K. “Al’fred Korto.” Sovetskaia muzyka. 1962, no. 9.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
She continued her studies under the tutelage of Nelson Delle-Vigne Fabbri at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris "Alfred Cortot" in France, where she earned her Diplome Superieur de Piano.
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Whilst based in France, Fouad's further musical experience and achievements include studying Film Scoring at the prestigious The Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris, Alfred Cortot, where he has composed, arranged and performed his heartily felt pieces with a disarming authenticity.
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Other pianists represented in the collection are Alfred Cortot, Ignaz Friedman, Ernest Hutcheson and Ernest Schelling.
He also included recorded examples from pianists he particularly admired ("on a good day, when the wind was blowing in the right direction for them") - Edwin Fischer in Bach, Alfred Cortot in Chopin, and offerings by Schumann and Haydn where he didn't identify the performer; modestly, perhaps they were from himself.
"Cortot Discoveries" includes historical information about the recording career of pianist Alfred Cortot, accompanied by select recordings and a table of matrix numbers of takes by Cortot for the Gramophone Company during the 1920s.