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Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli


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Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli (January 5, 1920 – June 12, 1995) was an Italian classical pianist. He has been regarded as among the most commanding and individual piano virtuosos of the 20th century, among names such as Vladimir Horowitz and Sviatoslav Richter. He is often considered the most important Italian pianist after Ferruccio Busoni.

Born in the province of Brescia, he began music lessons at the age of three, initially with the violin, but quickly switched to the piano. At ten he entered the Milan Conservatory. At the insistence of his father he studied medicine for a brief period of time. In 1938, at age 18, he began his international career by entering the Ysaÿe International Festival in Brussels, where he placed seventh. (A brief account of this competition, at which Emil Gilels took first prize, is given by Arthur Rubinstein, who was one of the judges. According to Rubinstein, Michelangeli gave “an unsatisfactory performance, but already showed his impeccable technique.”) A year later he earned first prize in the Geneva International Competition where he was acclaimed as “a new Liszt” by pianist Alfred Cortot, a presiding judge.

Apart from his musical activities, Michelangeli claimed to have been a qualified doctor, pilot, racing car driver and member of the anti-Fascist resistance during the Second World War, although he is known to have served in the Italian armed forces. He also is said to have traced his ancestry back to St. Francis of Assisi.


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  • j33433

    His Debussy

    23 Jul 2013 Reply
  • FallingUpwards7


    16 Feb 2012 Reply
  • thagor22

    Yeah, alright - aliespirituzomg - why don't we also get rid of all the tags that refer to performers, covering songs by the Beatles, and have them all tagged as "Lennon/McCartney". Btw most players feature a category for composers as well. Why don't you use that before telling people how to tag?

    23 Jul 2010 Reply
  • ilpelle

    He is definitely the pianist I want to become!! (bitter dream)

    10 May 2010 Reply
  • Vastarien

    "For the virtuoso, musical works are in fact nothing but tragic and moving materialisations of his emotions: he is called upon to make them speak, weep, sing and sigh, to re-create them in accordance with his own conciousness. In this way he, like the composer, is a creator, for he must have within himself those passions he wishes to bring intensely to life." Franz Liszt vs. sixteeen year old girl.

    10 Mar 2010 Reply
  • rossarlen

    I wish that they would get the albums right... classical music on is in squander.

    9 Sep 2009 Reply
  • nullnull7

    Chopin, Debussy, Ravel...simply the greatest of them all...At his best unparalleled......

    25 Aug 2009 Reply
  • hidelemoned

    Maybe the best performer of XX Century..

    28 Jun 2009 Reply
  • Titus_Androgeni

    The best performance of Grieg's A minor concert ...

    16 Feb 2009 Reply
  • mobytoss

    I'll never forget his flawless Scarlatti sonatas

    8 Jan 2009 Reply
  • Amina172

    19 Oct 2007 Reply

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