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Bachauer, Gina

BACHAUER, GINA

BACHAUER, GINA (1913–1976), Greek born pianist of Austrian and Italian parentage. Bachauer studied at the Athens Conservatory under Woldemar Freeman. She then went to Paris, where she took lessons with Cortot. Between 1933 and 1935 she received lessons from Rachmaninoff in France and Switzerland. Her French solo début took place in the Salle Chopin, Paris, in 1929, and she first played in England in 1932. In 1933 she won the medal of honor at an international piano competition in Vienna, and in the 1930s played concertos with the Paris Symphony Orchestra conducted by Monteux and the Athens Symphony Orchestra under Mitropoulos. During World War ii she lived in Alexandria and played numerous concerts for the Allied forces in the Middle East. In 1946 she made her début at the Albert Hall, playing Grieg's Piano Concerto with the New London Orchestra under Alec Sherman, who became her second husband in 1951. After her New York début in 1950 she received unanimous acclaim from the critics and her career was assured. She toured in the U.S. and Israel. Her unusually wide repertoire ranges from Mozart to Stravinsky. In both standard and modern works, she displayed impeccable taste. Her flair, grand style, big line, and exciting vigor are put to best use in big virtuoso works. Among her recordings are concertos by Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, and Grieg, as well as solo works by Debussy. After her death in Athens, a Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition was founded. The Bachauer Archive at Brigham Young University preserves diaries, scores, and recordings from her distinguished career.

bibliography:

Grove online; mgg2; Baker's Biographical Dictionary (1997); W. Graham. Gina Bachauer: A Pianist's Odyssey (1999).

[Naama Ramot (2nd ed.)

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