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Margulis, Vitaly

Picture: Margulis, Vitaly

Charkov (Ukraine), 1928. Vitaly Margulis, pianist, teacher and author of philosophical studies on music, was born on April 16, 1928 in Charkov, Ukraine. He took his fisrt piano lessons from his father, whose professor, Alexander Horowitz, had stidied with composer Alexander Scriabin. He continued his education at the renowned Leningrad Conservatory with Professor Samarij Sawshinskij where, since 1958 until his emigration to the West in 1974 he had his own piano class. During this period he played over one thousand concerts throughout Russia. In 1975 he was named professor of the prestigious Fribourg Musikhochschule in Germany and 1994 ha accepted the position of professor of piano at the University of California in Los Angeles, combining his teaching activity with seminars in Germany, Switzerland, Greece, Belgium, Portugal, Holland, France, Japan, Russian and America. His concerts around the world over and his numerous recordings were received with great enthusiasm. The German critics referred to him as the "secret genius" (Joachim Kaiser, Süddeutsche Zeitung), "a world wide pianist" (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) and one of the most prodigious contemporary pianists. The Salzburg News hailed his performance in the 1991 Salzburg Festival as "an event of outstanding significance". A review of his 1996 recital in Santander, Spain wrote: "The three sonatas of Ludwig van Beethoven, Moonlight, Les Adieux, and the colossal Op. 111 were in quality and maturity unique and irreproducible. Certainly his Beethoven interpretation was a very personal one and set an unsurpassable standard". In a 1994 review of Margulis' Chopin CD, Musica Italia raved: "Here I found an exciting and fantastic recording with two interpretations, the Chopin Etudes Op. 10 No. 2 and No. 9, which, in my opinion, enter straight into the history of art". In a review of Margulis' recording of Scriabin's Sonata No. 3, Le Disque Ideal, Paris, 1993, wrote: "Despite the existence of such acclaimed records of Horowitz and Sofronizky, in my opinion, Margulis exceeds the standards set by these masters. His CD is a true masterpiece". In his teaching, Professor Margulis prioritizes the study of the works of Bach and Beethoven. His book 'Johann Sebastian Bach's Symbolic Language and The Well Tempered Clavier' points to new ways of understanding the religious symbolism and spirituality in Bach's music. In his publication 'Formula for Timing Relationship and Beethoven's Timing Principles', Professor Margulis explores new concepts in musical architecture. His series 'Bagatelles' describes principles of piano pedagogy in an aphoristic manner. Professor Margulis has become a very fortunate teacher. Over the last decades, his students have won more than a hundred prizes at international competitions, twenty-eight of which were grand prizes. In 2000, former students of Professor Margulis received the third prize in the Calgary International Piano Competition and the second prize in the legendary international competition Frederic Chopin in Warsaw, Poland.

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