Feb 22, 1890 – April 9 1963
Born – Odessa, Ukraine
Benno MoiseivitschBenno Moiseiwitsch began his piano training at the age of 7 at the Imperial Music Academy in Odessa. His progress was so rapid that he won the Anton Rubinstein Prize when he was 9. He then moved to Vienna to study with the famed piano teacher Theodor Leschetizky. He studied with the master for 4 years.
In 1908 he made his London debut and began playing in Europe. By the time he was in his mid-20’s he had established himself as a much admired pianist. His United States debut in 1919 launched his touring career which took him all over the world.
He moved to England and became a citizen in 1937. During this time, he married the Australian violinist Daisy Kennedy. During WW II, he performed numerous concerts for the service men and various charity events, an effort which earned him the title of Commander of the British Empire in 1946.
Moiseiwitsch was noted for his interpretations of the Romantic composers and in particular for his playing of Rachmaninoff, which he did extensively. Rachmaninoff loved the way he played his music and dubbed him as his “spiritual heir”.
Hear Moiseiwitsch play: