Polish-born German composer Moritz Moszkowski was born in Breslau (now Wrocław) on 23 August 1854 into a well-off Jewish family. He began studying music at home until the family moved to Dresden in 1865, enabling him to study piano first at Dresden Conservatory, then, in Berlin, at the Julius Stern Conservatory. He continued his studies in Berlin at the Neue Akademie der Tonkunst, and was later invited to teach there.
He began appearing in public as a pianist in 1873, and was soon touring Europe as pianist, composer and conductor. A problem with his arm caused him to scale back his pianistic activities from the mid-1880s, and from 1897 he lived in Paris, and was popular as a teacher.
By the age of fifty-four, his health was deteriorating, and he began to withdraw from the world. His popularity and income declined, and he lost much of his wealth in investments due to the outbreak of war. He lived virtually in poverty, apart from help given by some of his friends.
He died in Paris on 4 March 1925, aged seventy, leaving a wealth of compositions - hundreds for piano, but also opera, ballet and concert works, including two piano concertos, a violin concerto, three orchestral suites and a symphonic poem.
CD Spotlight. Supremely Pianistic - Gerald Fenech finds pure joy in Etsuko Hirose's recent Moszkowski piano works disc. 'Truly hair-raising stuff, wonderfully annotated and recorded.'
Ensemble. A Wide Expressive Range - Mike Wheeler listens to piano duets from Dina Duisen and Martin James Bartlett
Classical music news. Stanisław Moniuszko Competition - The deadline for applications to take part in a new Polish music competition is 23 June 2019
CD Spotlight. Full of Life - Trio Koch plays Moszkowski, Milhaud and Martinu, recommended by Geoff Pearce. '... the players show a superb understanding of the melodic line and harmonic structure ...'
CD Spotlight. Likeable Discs - Music for cello and piano, heard by Howard Smith. '... affectionately presented throughout.'
Ensemble. Style and concept - Two young pianists of outstanding promise, by Bill Newman