Michelangeli, Arturo Benedetti

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Michelangeli, Arturo Benedetti

Michelangeli, Arturo Benedetti, celebrated Italian pianist and pedagogue; b. Brescia, Jan. 5, 1920; d. Lugano, June 12, 1995. He began his training with his father and studied violin with Paolo Chiuieri at the Venturi Inst, in Brescia. When he was 10, he entered the Milan Cons, to pursue piano studies with Giuseppe Anfossi. He was awarded his diploma at age 13. In 1939 he captured 1st prize in the Geneva competition and that same year was made a prof, at the Bologna Cons. From 1941 to 1943 he served in the Italian Air Force, and then joined the anti-Fascist partisan movement. Although taken prisoner by the German occupation forces, he soon managed to escape and awaited the complete liberation of Italy to resume his career. With World War II over in 1945, he played in his homeland. In 1946 he made his first tour of Europe, and played for the first time in the U.S. in 1948. In subsequent years, he appeared in selected major music centers of the world while acquiring a legendary reputation as a virtuoso. Unfortunately, he also developed a reputation for cancelling engagements at the last minute; when he did perform, however, his concerts were invariably sold out and accorded ovations by public and critics alike. From 1964 to 1969 he was director of his own piano academy in Brescia. In his later years, he devoted most of his time to teaching. While his technical mastery made him one of the great keyboard exponents of the Romantic repertoire, his sympathies ranged widely, from early music to the 20th century.


A. Sabatucci, ed., A.B. M.: Il grembo del suono (Milan, 1996).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis Mclntire