Ossip Gabrilowitsch: Mélodie in E minor, Op. 8
April 8, 2014 1 Comment
This is day seven of the A-toZ Challenge in which I attempt to blog every day (excepting Sundays) during the month of April. During this month, I am curating a collection of “classical” music pieces, which are lesser known or by lesser known composers.
Today’s composer is Ossip Gabrilowitsch who lived from 1878 to 1936.
Gabriliowitsch was born in St. Petersburg, and studied piano at the conservatory with Anton Rubenstein and Glazunov among others. He became a noted pianist and you can find recordings of him doing Chopin on Youtube as he was one of the first pianists to record for gramophones. From 1910 to 1914 he was conductor of the orchestra that would later become the Munich Philharmonic. During a pogrom in 1917 he was jailed and through the intervention of a cardinal, who later became Pope Pius XII, he was released and went first to Zurich and then the United States. He was offered the to be the conductor of the Boston symphony, but declined saying they should hire Rachmaninoff instead. Eventually he made his way to Detroit where he became head of the Detroit Symphony and oversaw the construction of a symphony hall there.
An interesting note: he met a singer named Clara Clemens who he accompanied in recitals. This was none other than the daughter of Mark Twain, and Gabrilowitsch married her. They had one daughter, Nina who died in 1966.