Leschetizky, Theodor


Remarkably successful teacher of piano and an excellent pianist. He was born in Austrian Poland, in 1830. From his father, who was an eminent teacher in Vienna, he received his first lessons in music, and then studied piano with Czerny, and composition with Sechter. As early as 1845 he began his work as a teacher and attracted much attention by his piano performances. Aside from his musical studies he was a student of philosophy at the University. For a number of years he made professional tours, and in 1852 went to St. Petersburg, where he became first professor in the Conservatory, which was established by Anton Rubinstein. He also gave private lessons, acted as concert pianist, and as music conductor to Grand Duchess Helen during Rubinstein's absences. In 1864 Leschetizky made his debut in England at the Musical Union concerts, playing in the Schumann quintet, and solos of his own compositions. He left Russia in 1878, played again in London, in Holland and Germany. In 1880 he was married to his most brilliant pupil, Annette Essipoff. She is thought by some to have surpassed any other pianist of her time. Their married life lasted but twelve years, though each retained the esteem and admiration for the other as was shown when Leschetizky used his influence to secure for her his former position in St. Petersburg Conservatory; she has sent many a young musician to her former husband for instruction. In 1894 he was married to another pupil, Eugenie Donimierska. In Vienna, as in St. Petersburg, he has become best known as a teacher. He is a man of generous and noble impulses and as a teacher is most progressive. He makes a study of the needs and ability of each individual, and hence his great success. Paderewski was one of his pupils, and owes much to this master. Other well-known pianists who have studied with him are Sieyeking; Mark Hambpurg; Gabrilowitsch; Helen Hopekirk and Mme. Fannie BloomfieldZeisler. Leschetizky is the composer of a number of elegant and effective piano-pieces, and of an opera, Die Erste Falte.