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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 16Focusing on Jewish Popular Culture and Its Afterlife$
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Michael C. Steinlauf and Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774730

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774730.001.0001

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Władysław Szpilman 1911‒2000

(p.567) Obituaries
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 16
Michael C. Steinlauf, Antony Polonsky
Liverpool University Press

This chapter provides an obituary for Polish pianist and composer Władysław Szpilman. Szpilman's initial training as a pianist was at the Frederick Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw. In 1931, he enrolled at the Academy of Arts in Berlin, where he studied piano under two of the most distinguished players of the day, Artur Schnabel and Leonid Kreuzer. On his return to Poland in 1933, Szpilman formed a highly successful duo with the violinist Bronisław Gimpel, the basis, twenty-nine years later, of the Warsaw Piano Quintet. During the Second World War, Szpilman managed to continue practising his art in the Warsaw ghetto, primarily as a pianist and composer. In Poland, Szpilman was known as 'a man in whom music lives'; music was his entire essence and his soul. His contribution to Polish culture will be a long-lasting and important one.

Keywords:   Polish pianist, Polish composer, Władysław Szpilman, Warsaw Piano Quintet, Second World War, Warsaw ghetto, Poland, Polish culture

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