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Clifford Curzon

POI: 51.507400, -0.127500
Sir Clifford Michael Curzon, né Siegenberg, CBE (18 May 1907 – 1 September 1982) was an English classical pianist. Curzon studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and later with Artur Schnabel in Berlin and Wanda Landowska and Nadia Boulanger in Paris. In his early career he was known for his performances of Romantic and virtuoso music, and for championing modern works. Later he concentrated on the German classics, principally Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms. He played regularly in continental Europe and North America, making tours in the 1930s and for most of his post-war career. Although signed to a recording company, Decca, for most of his career, Curzon was not at ease in the studio, and vetoed the release of many of his recordings, some of which were published after his death.
Life and career
Early years
Curzon was born in Islington, London, the younger son and second of three children of Michael Siegenberg, an antiques dealer, and his wife Constance Mary, née Young. The family name was changed to Curzon in August 1914, shortly after the outbreak of the First World War. The household was musical: Mary Curzon was a talented amateur singer, Michael's sister was a professional singer, and his brother-in-law, the composer Albert Ketèlbey was a frequent visitor, and his performances of his music on the family piano were the young Curzon's earliest abiding musical memories. The boy's first musical studies were as a violinist, but he soon concentrated on the piano. In 1919 Curzon entered the Royal Academy of Music (RAM) in London, and two years later was admitted to the senior school of the academy at the unusually early age of fourteen. He studied with Charles Reddie, whose own teacher, Bernhard Stavenhagen, had been a pupil of Franz Liszt. Curzon won many prizes, including the RAM's MacFarren Gold Medal, and then continued his studies with Katherine Goodson, who had been a pupil of Theodor Leschetizky. Sir Henry Wood was the conductor of the academy's student orchestra, and in 1924 he gave Curzon his first Promenade Concert engagement, as one of the soloists in Bach's triple-keyboard concerto in D minor, along with two other students. At around the time Curzon was graduating, his father became seriously ill, affecting the family business; money became short, and in 1926 Curzon, though not drawn to teaching, accepted a salaried post as a sub-professor at the RAM. He continued to pursue a career as a soloist. A family friend introduced him to Sir Thomas Beecham, who was sufficiently impressed by Curzon's playing to engage him as soloist in Mozart's Coronation Concerto at the Queen's Hall. In 1928 Curzon temporarily left the RAM. A legacy from the mother of a colleague enabled him to move to Berlin for two years, to study with Artur Schnabel. He then studied with Wanda Landowska and Nadia Boulanger in Paris. Curzon believed that his own pianistic style owed much to the examples of Schnabel and Landowska; although, he said,...   ... (English)
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Lavender Symmetry: Trafalgar Square
Lavender Symmetry: Trafalgar Square
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