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Moissaye Boguslawski (Composer, Arranger)

Born: 1888 (or 1887?) - Chicago, Illinois, USA
Died: August 30, 1944 - Chicago, Illinois, USA

The American pianist, composer, teacher, and editor, Moissaye Boguslawski, was born in Chicago of musical Russian parentage. His father and grandfather, both musicians, were victims of Russian political rigor and fled to America to escape further persecution. His mother also was musical and her youthful ambition was to become an opera singer. When her son was born she transferred her ambition to him, hoping and praying that he would become a real musician. When he was 4 years old she persuaded his father to buy an old square piano, and he began to take lessons - one lesson a week, at fifty cents each, which was all the family could afford. The period of his childhood and youth was a dire struggle with poverty, which he won through only by his own dogged perseverance. When ten years old he began to go with his father to play at weddings. At 15 he was playing the piano in one of Chicago's cheap dance halls for from eight to twelve hours at a stretch - meanwhile keeping up his practice at home. A little later he managed, by doing without everything but the bare necessities of life, to take some lessons from Rudolph Ganz, who was then sojourning in Chicago for a time - the only really worth-while instruction he ever had.

Having already done a good deal of teaching, he obtained when 20 years old an appointment as head of the piano department of the Kansas City Conservatory of Music. While holding that position he began to give recitals, and gradually his reputation as an exceptionally able pianist spread throughout the Middle West and Southwest. In 1916 he made his first visit to the East and won glowing tributes from the leading critics in New York, Boston, and other cities. Since then he appeared as soloist with many of the best orchestras (such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra), and concertized throughout the USA with steadily growing acclaim. He had joint concerts with Calve, Scotti and others. He recorded for Duo-Art and Welte-Mignon; on the radio: WIND, Gary, Ind. He was professor of piano playing at Chicago Musical College (degree of Honorary Mus. D.), and taught also at the Bush Conservatory. Later he was head of Boguslawski College of Music.

In addition to his career as a pianist and education, Moissaye Boguslawski was prominent as a composer. His compositions include: Hungarian Rhapsodie No. 1, Venetian Boat Song, Valse Russe, Frog's Frolic, Sunny Italy, Little Jumbo, Donkey Ride, Tambourines and Castanets, French Soldier's March, Old Tick Tock, Chatter Box, Russian Danse, Ballet Dancer, Tango; other works for piano (published by M. M. Cole Co.); Overture to a Carnival, for orchestra.

Moissaye Boguslawski was editor of: Piano Play Books and Coles Library of Familiar Piano Music, in collaboration with Lillian Boguslawski (published by Cole). Strauss Waltzes, Kohler Piano Method, Library of Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, others (published by Cole Co.). He also wrote many articles for leading publications on the psychological and therapeutic effects of music. He is regarded as an authority in this field and has been quoted by such psychologists as Walter Pitkin, and Dr. Kimball Young of the University of Wisconsin. He contributed to Who Is Who in Music (1940-1941 Edition).

Source: Nettheim Website (from various sources)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (July 2007)

Moissaye Boguslawski: Short Biography | Piano Transcriptions: Works | Recordings

Links to other Sites

Short biography of Moissaye Boguslawski in Who is Who in Music, 1941 (Nettheim)
Index of Moissaye Boguslawski materia(Nettheim)

Article on Moissaye Boguslawski in The American Magazine, May 1923 (Nettheim)



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