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Theodor Leschetizky

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Theodor Leschetizky (22 June 1830 – 14 November 1915) was a Polish pianist, professor and composer.

Theodor Leschetizky was born on the estate of the family of Count Potocki in Łańcut. His father was a gifted pianist and music teacher of Viennese birth. His mother Therèse (von) Ulmann was a gifted singer of German origin. Leschetizky’s father gave him his first piano lessons and then took him to Vienna to study with Czerny. At age eleven he performed a Czerny piano concerto in Lemberg (near Łańcut), with Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart (the son of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) conducting. At the age of fourteen, he started to tutor his first pupils. By the age of eighteen he was a well-known virtuoso in Vienna and beyond. His composition teacher was Simon Sechter, subsequently the teacher of Anton Bruckner.

At the invitation of his friend Anton Rubinstein he went to St. Petersburg to teach in the court of the Grand Duchess Helen. Remaining there from 1852 to 1877, he was one of the founders of the St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music in 1862. While in Russia he married one of his most famous pupils, Anna Yesipova (the second of his four wives), and had two children (one of them Robert Leschetizky).

In 1878 he returned to Vienna and began teaching there, creating one of the most eminent private piano studios in history, besides Franz Liszt in Weimar. He taught thousands of students, in the Weimarerstraβe (formerly the Carl Ludwigstraβe) XIX. Bezirk Wien, Vienna. They came from all over the world, many from the United States. Leschetizky taught until the age of 85, leaving for Dresden in 1915, where he died that year.

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