Saturday, January 19, 2013

Happy Birthday Magda Tagliaferro

Having begun her concert career in 1908 at the age of fifteen with the aforementioned recital at the Salle Érard in Paris, not long afterwards Tagliaferro was selected by Fauré to tour with him, performing his works.
In the years preceding World War II Tagliaferro taught at the Paris Conservatoire, but at the outbreak of the war was sent by the French government to New York on a mission of propaganda to promote French music abroad. She gave her debut at Carnegie Hall and continued on to Brazil, remaining there for nine years and founding schools in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.
Tagliaferro loved to perform and teach, and at the age of eighty-six, she returned to New York and gave a recital that included Schumann’s Carnaval Op. 9. New York Times critic Harold Schonberg wrote, ‘Not since the days of Rachmaninov and Friedman has this listener encountered such a basic understanding of, and feeling for, the composer’s mercurial moods. Everything made musical sense. But more to the point was the colour that Miss Tagliaferro employed: the weighting of chords, the introduction of inner voices when the sections were repeated, the solid bass underpinning in which key harmonies were reinforced… In its improvisatory quality, its infallible rhythm and perfect pacings, it was the essence of Schumann.’ At the age of ninety Tagliaferro was giving concerts in London, Paris and New York, and even in the year of her death when she was ninety-three she was still performing. 
One of the most colourful personalities and pianists of the twentieth century, Tagliaferro wrote in her memoirs, ‘I’m going to offer myself up entire and with humility. My life has all been Love, in the widest sense of the word. Everything I have created within or around me has been created with Love. Which is better? To love or to be loved? Never one to be satisfied, I have always needed both!’

(biography source:


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