Persons related to Chopin Persons related to Chopin

Lélia Gousseau

Lélia Gousseau

Lélia Gousseau

*11 II 1909 Paryż

Lélia Gousseau – 12th Prize winner, 3rd International Frederic Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw (1937). Lélia Gousseau was born into a family of musicians: her father was an organist and choirmaster, her mother a pianist. She started playing piano as a young child. She later studied piano with Lazare Lévy for piano and music history with Maurice Emmanuel at the Paris Conservatoire. At the age of 16, she won the Conservatoire's Premier Prix for piano (1925), and the following year the same award for music history (1926). She graduated from the Paris Conservatoire winning the highest accolade, the Prix Pagès (1928). Meanwhile she also developed her career as a concert pianist.

In 1937 she participated in the 3rd Chopin Competition in Warsaw, where she took 12th Prize. Two years later, she won the Albert Roussel Prize in Paris for her masterful interpretation of the composer's works.

After World War II she toured extensively, performing in many European countries, the United States, Canada and Africa.

She played many times in Poland: first in 1938, and her last appearance here was in 1961. In 1949, she toured around Poland, notably performing in Warsaw, Łódź, Cracow, Poznań and on the Baltic coast. Music critics wrote of her:

"Gousseau demonstrated herself as being a high-class pianist. Her great technique, encompassing [...] passagework, scales, octaves and chords, created a canvas for a decided, heroic and virtuoso interpretation." [of Beethoven’' Piano Concerto in E flat major – editor's note]

Between 1961 and 1978, Lélia Gousseau taught piano playing at the Paris Conservatoire. She was a jury member of international music competitions in Warsaw (Chopin Competition, 1949), Royan (Messiaen Competition, 1971), Athens (1977), Épinal (1981,1983,1985), Paris (Roussel Competition, 1982) and Sargasso (1983).

Stanisław Dybowski


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