Witold Małcużyński

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Witold Małcużyński's grave in the Powązki Cemetery in Warsaw

Witold Małcużyński (born August 10, 1914 in Koziczyn, Russian Empire , † July 17, 1977 in Mallorca ) was a Polish pianist who specialized in Chopin .

He began to play the piano at the age of ten and eventually took lessons at the Conservatory of what would later become the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw.

His original intention was to study law, but then switched to music and studied under Ferruccio Busoni's pupil . In 1936, after graduating from the Conservatory with honors, he received an invitation to continue studying under Ignacy Jan Paderewski , one of the great romantic pianists of the “Golden Age”. Małcużyński's playing was characterized by passion and poetry. In 1937 he met his future wife, the French pianist Colette Gaveau, at the Third International Frédéric Chopin Competition in Warsaw, where he won third prize .

When the Second World War began, he was in France. He joined the Polish Army there and visited Polish military camps with his artistic propaganda department. After the capitulation of France, he escaped with his wife to Portugal, where he met the famous conductor Grzegorz Fitelberg . Fitelberg offered him a tour in South America. Małcużyński went to Argentina in October 1940. In April 1942 he moved to the United States. Yehudi Menuhin , who helped him with organizational matters at the beginning, was essential for his American career .

After the war he lived in Switzerland. He was a jury member of the International Chopin Competitions in 1960 and 1970 and of the International Reine Elisabeth Concours in Belgium in 1960.

Witold Małcużyński died in Mallorca in 1977. His remains were buried in the Powązki Cemetery in Warsaw.

He was the brother of Karol Małcużyński (1922-1984), a politician and journalist, and the uncle of Karol Małcużyński (* 1953), a journalist and television producer.

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