BACKHAUS Wilhelm (B-6)

26/03/1884, Leipzig, Germany – 05/071969, Villach, Austria

German pianist and pedagogue. He was particularly well known for his interpretations of Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Chopin and Brahms. He was also much admired as a chamber musician. In 1930, he moved to Lugano and became a citizen of Switzerland. One of the first pianists to make recordings, Backhaus had a long career on the concert stage and in the studio. He recorded the complete piano sonatas and concertos of Beethoven and a large quantity of Mozart and Brahms, and he was also the first to record the Chopin études, in 1928; this is still widely regarded as one of the best recordings. At the same time he was executive advisor to the Nazi organization Kameradschaft der deutschen Künstler (Fellowship of German Artists) and was praised by Adolf Hitler who gave Backhaus a professorship.

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