Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Music History Monday: Moritz Moszkowski

Moritz Moszkowski in 1880
Moritz Moszkowski (1954-1925)” in 1880

We mark the birth on August 23, 1854 – 167 years ago today – of the German-Polish composer, pianist, and teacher Moritz Moszkowski in the Prussian/Silesian city of Breslau, today the Polish city of Wrocław. He died in Paris on March 4, 1925, at the age of 70.

Moszkowski was one of the most famous pianist-composers of his time, someone who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the likes of Franz Liszt (1811-1886), Anton Rubinstein (1829-1894), Ferruccio Busoni (1866-1924), Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943), and Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860-1941)

Paderewski paid his friend and fellow Pole Moszkowski the ultimate compliment when he said that:

 “After Chopin [who was, and remains, the great Polish national hero] Moszkowski best understands how to write for the piano, and his writing embraces the whole gamut of piano technique.”

In the end – painfully, tragically, inevitably (or so it so often seems) – talent, success, and fame were no match for time, aging, and illness, and died in obscurity and poverty, a broken man.

Sadly and unjustly, he and his music languish in near-total obscurity today.…

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