Benno Moiseiwitsch was born in Odessa on February 22, 1890. Enrolling in the local conservatory, the young Benno captured the Rubinstein Prize in 1899. His studies with Leschetizky, from 1905 to 1908, led to a London debut at the age of 18. Moiseiwitsch soon established residence in the British capital, while his travels took him to locales around the world. Critics consistently praised his idiomatic interpretations of the Romantic repertoire. During World War II he performed incessantly for British audiences, being especially in demand for the concertos of Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky. Moiseiwitsch showed little interest in either composing or teaching. He left a large, generally representative recorded legacy, mostly for HMV, extending from 1916 until shortly before his death on April 9, 1963. His playing was admired for its exceptional fluency, freedom, and coloristic sensitivity.
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