Renard, Rosita (1894–1949)

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Renard, Rosita (1894–1949)

Chilean pianist. Born in Santiago, Chile, in 1894; died in Santiago on May 24, 1949.

Rosita Renard was born in Santiago, Chile, in 1894. As a young girl, she studied in Berlin with Martin Krause (1853–1918), a renowned teacher whose students included her fellow Chilean Claudio Arrau and the Swiss virtuoso Edwin Fischer. With the onset of World War I, Renard went to New York, where she made her American debut in 1917, and was immediately hailed as one of the greatest living pianists and a worthy successor to Teresa Carreño, who had died that year.

After the war, Renard went back to Germany, then returned to Chile where she played an important role in reorganizing the Santiago Conservatory. Little was heard from her in the music centers of the world, while she concentrating on her teaching, until the mid-1940s, when the distinguished German conductor Erich Kleiber, a refugee from Nazism, was in Chile and needed a soloist for a performance of a Mozart concerto. Kleiber was overwhelmed when he heard Renard play, and they gave a number of concerts together. He urged Renard to revive her international career, and her Carnegie Hall recital, which took place on January 19, 1949, received praise from the often harsh New York critics. Fortunately the recital was recorded ( Rosita Renard at Carnegie Hall: January 19, 1949, VAI), and it includes stunning performances of works by Bach, Chopin, Mendelssohn and Ravel. According to one historian of great pianism, she had "a patrician musical mind, a marvelous set of fingers, [and] a singing tone." Renard, who was one of the finest exponents of the late-Romantic style of piano playing, died of encephalitis soon after her New York triumph, in her home city of Santiago, on May 24, 1949.


Dubal, David. The Art of the Piano. NY: Summit Books, 1989.

Schonberg, Harold C. The Great Pianists. Rev. ed. NY: Simon & Schuster, 1987.

John Haag , Athens, Georgia