Cortot, Alfred Denis

Cortot, Alfred Denis

Cortot, Alfred Denis (älfrĕdˈ dənēˈ kôrtōˈ), 1877–1962, French pianist and conductor. Among his appearances as a conductor were those at Bayreuth (1898–1901). He joined the faculty of the Paris Conservatory in 1907 and in 1919 founded the École normale de Musique, Paris. For many years he played trios with Jacques Thibaud and Pablo Casals. As a pianist he was a noted interpreter of Schumann and Chopin.
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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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.
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