Gabrilowitsch, Ossip


One of the most celebrated of the younger generation of concert pianists; a Russian, born in St. Petersburg, and is the son of a lawyer. At the age of four Ossip could sing all the Russian folk-tunes. Anton Rubinstein was a friend of the family, and was much interested in the prodigy; through his advice Gabrilowitsch began piano lessons at six; and the further progress of the boy's musical education was watched and directed by the great Rubinstein. After his death Gabrilowitsch became a pupil of Leschetitzky, thus fulfilling the wishes of his deceased friend, and studied under this famous teacher for two years at Vienna. Prior to this, however, he had won the Rubinstein prize under Tolstoff at the Conservatory. At eighteen he began active concert work. His first success was with Richter's Orchestra in the B flat minor concerto of Tschaikowsky, after which he appeared under Nikisch at Leipsic, and at Berlin with the Philharmonic Orchestra. His concert tours include the chief cities of Russia, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Great Britain, and America, where he has appeared in three different tours, the last being in the winter of 1907. His talent is said to be akin to that of Paderewski; emotional, spontaneous, and sympathetic. His tone has breadth, warmth, and singing qualities. The worth of true character reveals itself through his playing, and makes a deeper impression than mere technical display or even purely intellectual interpretation. Personally he has been described as slender and of good height, with a fine presence and a manner gentle yet spirited; an excellent scholar and linguist, speaking well in German, English, French, and Italian, as well as his native tongue.