Piatigorsky, Gregor

Piatigorsky, Gregor

(pyätĭgôr`skē), 1903–76, Ukrainian-American cellist. Piatigorsky studied with his father and at the Moscow Conservatory. In 1924 he became first cellist of the Berlin Philharmonic, leaving in 1928 to perform solo. He moved (1929) to the United States, where he taught and performed with enormous success. Concertos were written for him by several composers, including HindemithHindemith, Paul
, 1895–1963, German-American composer and violist, b. Hanau, Germany. Hindemith combined experimental and traditional techniques into a distinctively modern style. After studying at the Frankfurt Conservatory, he began his career as a viola player.
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 and ProkofievProkofiev, Sergei Sergeyevich
, 1891–1953, Russian composer, pianist, and conductor. Prokofiev achieved wide popularity with his lively music, in which he achieved a pungent mixture of modern and traditional elements.
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Piatigorsky, Gregor

 

(Grigorii Pavlovich Piatigorskii). Born Apr. 17, 1903, in Ekaterinoslav, now Dnepropetrovsk; died Aug. 6, 1976, in New York. American cellist.

Piatigorsky studied with A. E. Glen at the Moscow Conservatory from 1914 to 1920. From 1919 to 1921 he was a soloist with the orchestra of the Bolshoi Theater ballet. He was also a member of the V. I. Lenin Quartet. From 1921, Piatigorsky lived in Germany, where he played in the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (1925–29). From the end of 1929 he worked in the USA.

Piatigorsky performed in many countries and played under many conductors, with many orchestras, and in various ensembles with outstanding musicians, including S. V. Rachmaninoff, A. Schnabel, C. Flesch, J. Heifetz, and A. Rubinstein. From 1941 to 1949 he was a member of the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and from 1957 he taught at Boston University. He gave the premiere performances of many contemporary works, including compositions dedicated to him by I. F. Stravinsky, P. Hindemith, and S. S. Prokofiev. In 1962 and 1966, Piatigorsky was a member of the jury of the Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow.

L. S. GINZBURO

Piatigorsky, Gregor

(1903–76) cellist; born in Ekaterinoslav, Russia. He played cello in Moscow orchestras before emigrating to Warsaw and then Berlin, where he became first chair in the Philharmonic (1924–28). Moving to America in 1929, he began a long and distinguished career as a soloist, teacher, and chamber musician, gaining a reputation as perhaps the finest player of the cello after Pablo Casals. He went into semiretirement in the 1970s.
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