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date: 10 April 2021

Borwick, Leonardlocked

  • E.D. Mackerness

Extract

(b Walthamstow, Feb 26, 1868; d Le Mans, Sept 17, 1925). English pianist. As a youth he was sent to the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt, where he studied under Clara Schumann. He made his début at Frankfurt (1889) with a performance of the ‘Emperor’ Concerto, and in May 1890 appeared in London at a Philharmonic Society concert as soloist in the Schumann Concerto. After this he built up a reputation as a pianist of distinction, especially in works from the standard repertory. Although much in demand for solo engagements, Borwick also took part in chamber concerts with the Joachim Quartet; from 1893 he collaborated with the Irish tenor Harry Plunket Greene, and for ten years the two artists gave joint recitals. Before World War I he travelled widely, performing in various European countries as well as in Australia and America.

At a time of intense international competition, Borwick was able to demonstrate with ease that an English pianist of calibre could equal his foreign rivals on the concert platform. His interpretations of Schumann and Chopin were regarded as outstanding, although he also included Bach, Mozart, Liszt and Brahms in his programmes. He later developed an enthusiasm for Ravel and Debussy, and made brilliant transcriptions of Debussy’s ...

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Music & Letters