Casadesus, Robert (Marcel)

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Casadesus, Robert (Marcel)

eminent French pianist and composer; b. Paris, April 7, 1899; d. there, Sept. 19, 1972. A scion of a remarkable musical family, he absorbed music at home from his earliest childhood. His uncles were Henri Casadesus, Marius Casadesus, and François Casadesus; another uncle, Marcel Louis Lucien (1882–1917), was a cellist, and his aunt Rose was a pianist. He received his formal musical education studying piano with Diemer and composition with Leroux at the Paris Cons. From 1922 he toured extensively; after the outbreak of World War II in 1939, he went to the U.S.; taught classes at various schools. After the war, he taught at the American Cons, at Fontainebleau. He was a prolific composer; wrote seven syms., of which the last was performed posth. in N.Y. on Nov. 8, 1972. He appeared with his wife, Gaby Casadesus, in his Concerto for two Pianos and Orch. with the N.Y. Phil, on Nov. 25, 1950. He also wrote a Concerto for 3 Pianos and String Orch., which he performed for the first time with his wife and his son Jean in N.Y., July 24, 1965. As a pianist, Casadesus was distinguished for his Gallic sense of balance and fine gradation of tonal dynamics. In 1975 the first Robert Casadesus International Piano Competition was held in Cleveland to honor his memory. In 1994 it was reorganized as the Cleveland International Piano Competition.

Bibliography

S. Stookes, The Art of R. C.(London, 1960).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

Casadesus, Robert (Marcel)

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Casadesus, Robert (Marcel) (b Paris, 1899; d Paris, 1972). French pianist and composer. Nephew of Marius Casadesus with whom he gave recitals. Notable Mozart player. Wrote 7 syms., 2-pf. conc., 3-pf. conc. with str., 24 pf. preludes, and chamber mus.