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Bachauer, Gina

athens orch sym competition

Bachauer, Gina, eminent Greek-born English pianist of Austrian descent; b. Athens, May 21, 1913; d. there, Aug. 22, 1976. She showed her aptitude as a pianist at age five; entered the Athens Cons., where her teacher was Waldemar Freeman. She then went to Paris, where she took lessons with Cortot at the École Normale de Musique. In 1933 she won the Medal of Honor at the Vienna International Competition; between 1933 and 1935 she received occasional instructions from Rachmaninoff in France and Switzerland; in 1935 she made her professional debut with the Athens Sym. Orch. under the direction of Mitropoulos; she was also piano soloist in Paris in 1937 with Monteux. During World War II she lived in Alexandria, Egypt, and played several hundred concerts for the Allied Forces in the Middle East. On Jan. 21, 1946, she made her London debut with the New London Orch. under the direction of Alec Sherman, who became her second husband. Her first American appearance took place in N.Y. on Oct. 15, 1950. Only 35 people attended this concert, but she received unanimous acclaim from the critics, and her career was assured. The uncommon vigor of her technique suggested comparisons with Teresa Carreño; her repertoire ranged from Mozart to Stravinsky; in both standard and modern works, she displayed impeccable taste. She died of a heart attack in Athens on the day she was to appear as soloist with the National Sym. Orch. of Washington, D.C., at the Athens Festival. In 1976 the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition was founded in Salt Lake City.

Bachelet, Michelle - President of Chile, Career, Sidelights [next] [back] Bacharach, Burt

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