Busoni, Ferruccio Benvenuto


Gifted Italian pianist and composer. He received his first instruction in music from his parents, both of whom were musicians, his father being a clarinettist and his mother a pianist. He appeared in public at the age of nine at Vienna and studied there under Hans Schmidt and later under Dr. Wilhelm Mayer at Gratz. After making a concert tour in Italy, Busoni at the age of eighteen, was elected a member of the Accademia Filarmonica of Bologna and received a gold medal from the city of Florence. From 1886 to 1888 Busoni lived at Leipsic and gave his time to composition. After a year as professor of piano, at Helsingfors, he became professor at the Moscow Imperial Conservatory, in 1890. In 1891, Busoni came to America as professor of piano at the New England Conservatory at Boston, but remained only a short time, returning to Europe in 1893 and has since lived in Berlin, making successful concert tours and composing. In 1890 Busoni .took the Rubinstein prize for composition and piano-playing. Among his compositions are an orchestral suite; a Symphonisches Tongedicht for an orchestra; a Concertstuck for piano and orchestra; a set of variations and fugue on Chopin's C minor prelude; a violin concerto in D; four ballet scenes; seven etudes and twenty-four preludes for the piano; beside many solo piano pieces and songs. He has also made an arrangement, of Bach's organ works, for the piano, which is most remarkable and in the execution of which he excels. As a pianist he is very accomplished.