Scharwenka, Franz Xavier



Distinguished pianist and composer; the younger of the two Scharwenka brothers. Xavier, as he is generally known, was born, like his brother, at Samter, Posen. He studied at Kullak's Berlin Akademie, where he was a pupil of Kullak and Wüerst, graduating with high honors in 1869. He immediately began to follow the profession of teaching. For the first ten years following his graduation he gave a series of chamber concerts annually with Sauret and H. Grünfeld. He early won considerable renown as a conductor and pianist, and in 1874 made tours through the United States and Europe, and in 1880 founded the Scharwenka Conservatory in Berlin, becoming its director and remaining in this position until 1891, when he came to New York and established his Conservatory there. Seven years later Scharwenka returned to Berlin to become director of the KlindworthScharwenka Conservatory and teacher of piano in the newly consolidated institution. He was appointed Court pianist to the Emperor of Austria and received the title of professor from Emperor William II. of Germany. For many years Scharwenka was correspondent of the Monthly Musical Record of London. He has composed numerous works which entitle him to rank among the best of the modern composers. Among them are a symphony in A minor; a concerto for piano; a piano quartet; a cello sonata; many songs; much church-music; arrangements of several compositions of Chopin and Hummel; and other works. The most popular of all are his well-known Polish dances. Scharwenka has also published a critical edition of Schumann's piano works.