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date: 21 November 2019

Joseffy, Rafael locked

  • Mark Radice


(b Hunfalu, Hungary, July 3, 1852; d New York, NY, June 25, 1915). Hungarian pianist and editor, naturalized American. He studied with Liszt during the summers of 1869 and 1870, but felt that he learned more from Carl Tausig at the Berlin Conservatory from 1866 to 1869. His American debut took place on 13 October 1879 at Chickering Hall in New York on a piano designed and constructed by C. Frank Chickering. He also used pianos by Bösendorfer, Blüthner, and Erard, but ultimately became a Steinway artist. His playing changed after his move to America, the tone generally becoming bigger. He held that practice should be either for perfection (slow and accurate) or endurance (continuous without rest or repair of errors). Immediately hailed by critics, he almost vanished from the stage within ten years. W.J. Henderson attributed this to performance anxiety; however, the issue is complex. Despite Steinway’s having engaged Joseffy for the ...

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Musical Quarterly