Persons related to Chopin Persons related to Chopin

György Cziffra

György Cziffra

György Cziffra

*5 XI 1921 Budapeszt, †15 I 1994 Senlis

He showed a great talent as a very young child. At the age of 5 he played in bars and circuses, where he became famous as an outstanding improviser. In 1930 he joined the Liszt Academy in Budapest, where he studied the piano with György Ferenczi, Ernő Dohnányi and István Thoman (Liszt’s pulil). He made his debut in 1937. During the second world war he served in the Hungarian army. In 1955 he received the Liszt prize. In 1956 he moved to Paris and in 1968 he was granted the French citizenship.

His position among the XXth century pianists is ambiguous. For some (especially French music critics) he is one of the greatest contemporary virtuosos – as an interpreter of the works by Liszt he was placed as equal with such pianists as Aldo Ciccolini, Lazar Berman and Vladimir Horowitz. But others reproached him for empty virtuosity, eccentricity which has negative influence on his music.

The most important in his repertoire was Liszt’s music, but he did also play the works by Couperin, Hummel, Beethoven, Field, Schumann, Franck, Ravel (Jeux d'eau), Mendelssohn, Grieg, Czajkowski, Rachmaninov.

He recorded five CD album devoted to Chopin’s music: the album contains i.a.: Piano Concerto in e minor, Rondo à la krakowiak, Sonatas in B flat minor and B minor, complete two sets of Etudes, impromptu, waltzes and preludes, Barcarolle, Fantasy in F minor, Ballade in F minor, Scherzo in B flat minor.


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