Haskil, Clara, eminent Romanian-born Swiss pianist; b. Bucharest, Jan. 7, 1895; d. Brussels, Dec. 7, 1960. A precocious child, she entered the Bucharest Cons, when she was 6. At 7, she was sent to Vienna and profited from the tutelage of Richard Robert. She was only 7 when she made her public debut there. At 10, she was sent to Paris to continue her training with Morpain, and, at 12, entered the Cons, as a pupil of Cortot. In 1909 she took 1st prize in the Concours de l’Union Française de la Jeunesse of Paris, and also 2nd prix at the Cons.; in 1910 she won the premier prix at the Cons. From 1920 she toured in Europe, and also made some appearances in the U.S. However, she became best known in France and Switzerland. In 1942 she sought refuge in the latter country and in 1949 she became a naturalized Swiss citizen. From 1950 she pursued an international career as a soloist with the foremost orchs. and as a recitalist. She also appeared in duo recitals with Arthur Grumi-aux. In spite of the fact that illness hampered her throughout her career, she succeeded in becoming a keyboard artist of consummate musicianship. Her interpretations of the Classical and Romantic masters, especially Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, and Chopin, were greatly admired.
R. Wolfensberger, C H. (Bern, 1961); J. Spycket, C H. (Paris, 1975).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire