Janotha, Natalia (1856–1932)

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Janotha, Natalia (1856–1932)

Polish pianist and teacher of Ignacy Jan Paderewski. Name variations: Nathalie Janotha. Born Maria Cecylia Natalia Janotha in Warsaw, Poland, on June 8, 1856; died at The Hague, Netherlands, on June 9, 1932; her father was a professor at the Warsaw Conservatorium; studied with Clara Schumann.

Natalia Janotha studied with Clara Schumann and was considered one of her most gifted pupils; her debut took place in Leipzig in 1874. George Bernard Shaw thought highly of her 1879 London performance of Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto, but on her return in 1891 his opinion of her art had cooled considerably, noting that her playing had lost its freshness and had gained little in maturity. Besides receiving many honors as a pianist, she composed piano pieces, including a series of Mountain Scenes, which was dedicated to Clara Schumann. Janotha also taught; her most famous student was Ignacy Jan Paderewski. In 1885, she was appointed pianist to the Prussian court, a post she held until 1916. An eccentric, Janotha insisted that her dog Prince White Heather be on stage within her view during her recitals; she also placed a prayer book ostentatiously on the piano. In 1905, she made four recordings, one of which was of Chopin's unpublished fugue; she owned the manuscript of the student work. She also wrote several books on Chopin as well as translating into English Tarnowski's biography of Chopin.


Chechlinska, Zofia. "Janotha, (Maria Cecylia) Natalia," in New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Vol. 9, pp. 500–501.

"Janotha Natalia," in Wielka Encyklopedia Powszechna PWN. Warsaw: Panstwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1965, vol. 5, p. 202.

John Haag , Athens, Georgia