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Claudio Arrau


Claudio Arrau Leon was a Chilean pianist known for his interpretations of a vast repertoire spanning from the baroque to 20th-century composers, especially Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, Brahms and Debussy. He is widely considered one of the greatest pianists of the twentieth century.

Arrau was born in Chillan, Chile, the son of Carlos Arrau, an ophthalmologist who died when Claudio was only a year old, and Lucrecia Leon Bravo de Villalba, a piano teacher. He belonged to an old, prominent family of Southern Chile. His ancestor Lorenzo de Arrau, a Spanish engineer, was sent to Chile by King Carlos III of Spain. Through his great-grandmother, Maria del Carmen Daroch del Solar, Arrau was a descendant of the Campbells of Glenorchy, a Scottish noble family.

Arrau was a child prodigy, giving his first concert at age five. When he was 6 he auditioned in front of several congressmen and President Pedro Montt, who became so impressed as to start arrangements for his future education. At age 8 he was sent on an 10-year long grant from the Chilean government to study in Germany, travelling in the company of his mother and sister Quecha (Lucretia). He was admitted at the Stern conservatory of Berlin where he eventually became a pupil of Martin Krause, who had studied under Franz Liszt. At the age of 11 he could play Liszt's Transcendental Etudes, considered to be one of the most difficult works ever written for the piano, and also Brahms's Paganini Variations. Arrau's first recordings were made on Aeolian Duo-Art player piano music rolls. Sadly, Krause died after 5 years of teaching Arrau, who at 15 was desolate at the loss of his mentor.

Related websites

ArrauHouse

Biographical sketch

Discographie, repertoire et informations

Remembering Claudio Arrau on the tenth anniversary of his passing

Decca & Philips' Biography and Discography

Marston Records' Biography

Biography of Claudio Arrau

A comprehensive discography

Biography of Claudio Arrau

Pianist Claudio

Biography of Claudio Arrau

Article of Claudio Arrau

Article of Claudio Arrau

Profile for Claudio Arrau Leon

www.museoarrau.cl

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