Tchaikowsky, André, Polish pianist and composer; b. Warsaw, Nov. 1, 1935; d. Oxford, June 26, 1982. Most of his family fell victim to the Nazis, but he and his grandmother were hidden by a Catholic family in Warsaw (1942-45). After the liberation, he studied piano at the Lodz State Music School (1945-47) and with Emma Tekla Altberg at the Warsaw Cons. (1947-48); then took an advanced piano course with Lazare Levy at the Paris Cons, (premier prix, 1950); subsequently studied piano with Stanislaw Szpinalski and composition with Kazimierz Sikorski at the Warsaw Cons. (1950-55); made his debut as a pianist in 1955. He went to Paris to study composition with Boulanger (1957), and then to England to continue his studies with Musgrave and later with Hans Keller. Although he continued to make appearances as a pianist, he gave increasing attention to his work as a composer from 1960. An eccentric to the end, he bequeathed his skull to the Royal Shakespeare Co. for use in the graveside scene in Hamlet (“Alas, poor André, A fellow of infinite jest”); it made its debut in 1984.
dramatic: Opera: The Merchant of Venice (1960-82). ORCH.: Violin Concerto (1950); Flute Concerto (1950); 2 piano concertos (1953, 1971); Clarinet Concerto (1953); Sym. (1958). CHAMBER: Sonata for Viola and Clarinet (1954); Concerto classico for Violin (1957); Clarinet Sonata (1959); Octet (1961); 2 string quartets (1967, 1975); Trio notturno (1978); piano pieces. OTHER: Vocal music
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire