Kraus, Lili (1903–1986)

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Kraus, Lili (1903–1986)

Hungarian pianist who made dozens of recordings. Born in Budapest, Hungary, on March 4, 1903; died in Asheville, North Carolina, on November 6, 1986; studied with Béla Bartok, Edward Steuermann and Artur Schnabel.

Lili Kraus was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1903, and studied at the Royal Academy there with, among others, Béla Bartok, and later Edward Steuermann and Artur Schnabel. By the early 1930s, she had made dozens of records. Captured and interned by the Japanese during World War II, Kraus had no access to a piano for more than three years. She became a British subject in 1948 but lived and taught in the United States in her later years. Kraus made her American debut in 1949; her appearances always summoned a devoted audience. On stage, she was the grande dame who had come to reveal the message of the masters. Starting in the 1950s, she re-recorded many of the works she had put on disc decades earlier, including the complete Mozart concerti, many solo sonatas, much of the Schubert repertoire, as well as some Bartok. In March 1978, Austria awarded her its Cross of Honor for Science and Art.


"Kraus, Lili," Current Biography. NY: H.W. Wilson, 1975.

Nemy, Enid. "Pianist Talks but the Subject isn't Music," in The New York Times. April 6, 1971, p. 42.

Roberson, Steven Henry. "Lili Kraus: The Person, the Performer, and the Teacher," Ph.D. dissertation, University of Oklahoma, 1985.

John Haag , Athens, Georgia

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Kraus, Lili (1903–1986)

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