Pachmann, Vladimir de



One of the best known pianists of the day and an exponent of the romantic school. He was born at Odessa, where his father was professor in the University. After studying with his father, who was a talented amateur violinist, Vladimir went to Vienna in 1866, where he joined Dachs' class at the Conservatory, and at the end of three years' study was presented with the gold medal. Returning to Russia he gave a series of successful concerts, but not feeling himself sufficiently educated, he devoted eight years more to study. Even then his performances at Leipsic, Berlin and other great music centers failed to satisfy him, and again he retired to study. In two years he had accomplished what he desired, and appeared at Vienna and Paris. Since then he has played in nearly all of the great cities of Europe, appearing with great success in  London in 1882 and being decorated with the order of Danebrog at Copenhagen. On his first tour of America, from 1890 to 1892, his wife, formerly Miss Okey, one of his pupils whom he had married in 1884, accompanied him and also gave recitals in New York. Since 1896 Berlin has been his home, but he was in America in 1899, 1900 and 1907. His technique is broad and his touch so soft and delicate that it is often called feline. He is a master of cantabile playing, but he is so individual that he is successful only as a soloist. In this line he is remarkable, especially for his interpretation of Chopin. His eccentricities lay him open to attack, but most fairminded critics agree that, setting aside his amusing and absurd mannerisms, he is an artist of extraordinary ability.