Joseffy, Rafael, eminent Hungarian-American pianist and teacher; b. Hunfalu, July 3, 1852; d. N.Y., June 25, 1915. At the age of eight he began to study piano with a local teacher at Miskolcz, and later at Budapest. In 1866 he entered the Leipzig Cons., where his principal teacher was E. Wenzel, although he also had some lessons with Moscheles. From 1868 to 1870 he studied with Tausig in Berlin, and the summers of 1870 and 1871 he spent with Liszt in Weimar. He made his debut at Berlin in 1870; his excellent technique and tonal variety elicited much praise; his career was then securely launched. He made his American debut in 1879, playing at a sym. concert of Leopold Damrosch in N.Y, where he settled; he taught at the National Cons. (1888–1906). He gained appreciation in the U.S. both as a virtuoso and as a musician of fine interpretative qualities; his programs featured many works of Brahms at a time when Brahms was not yet recognized in America as a great master. As a pedagogue, Joseffy was eminently successful; many American concert pianists were his pupils. He edited a major edition of Chopin’s works in 15 vols., and also publ, a School of Advanced Piano Playing (1902). He composed a number of piano pieces and made arrangements of works by Schumann, Bach, Boc-cherini, Gluck, and Delibes.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire