Miłosz Magin

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Magin's grave in Paris.

Miłosz Magin (6 July 1929 – 4 March 1999) was a Polish composer and pianist.

Born in Łódź, Poland, Miłosz Magin showed considerable musical abilities from early childhood. He was a student of piano with Margerita Trombini-Kazuro and composition with both Kazimierz Sikorski and Jan Maklakiewicz; the latter he considered his spiritual father. Magin also studied violin, cello and ballet. In 1957, he completed his piano, composition and conducting studies and graduated from the Warsaw Higher School of Music with highest distinction.

Miłosz Magin won prizes in several international competitions: the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, the Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud Competition in Paris and the Vianna da Motta Competition in Lisbon.

He left his native country together with his wife Idalia Magin and stayed in Portugal, Germany, and England until finally settling in Paris in 1960. His brilliant career as an international soloist was interrupted in 1963 because of a serious car crash in which his left wrist was broken.

With remarkable courage, he regained his technique and by 1968 was able to start recording the complete works of Chopin for Decca, a set regarded as a revelation and a reference for young pianists (complete reissue on CD by Universal in 2000). During these years of recovery, Magin came back to composition, which became a priority until the end of his life. Prodigious virtuoso of piano, he regularly gave concerts in many different European countries and overseas, mainly performing works by Chopin, his favorite composer; Magin's own compositions; Mozart; and Polish, French and Russian music.

Parallel to his career as a pianist and composer, Miłosz Magin became a very popular teacher with students who came to him from all over the world, including such famous performers as Jean-Marc Luisada. According to his students, Magin was an exceptional master, not only sharing his knowledge but having the gift to inspire and tactfully advise while demanding high standards of his students.

He left a considerable body of music: brilliant pieces for piano including four sonatas and collections for young pianists, many concertos (four for piano, two for violin, one of each for cello and clarinet ), two symphonies, and a ballet as well as vocal and orchestral works. Not belonging to any particular musical school or style, Miłosz Magin’s music gives equal value to melody, rhythm and harmony. He was often inspired by the rhythms of his native Poland. Particularly appreciated by the public, his works are recorded and published as well as featured in the repertory of great performers.

With the help of his wife Idalia, also a pianist, Magin founded the Miłosz Magin International Piano Competition in 1985. Devoted to the discovery of young international talents and to the promotion of Polish music, this competition takes place every two years in Paris with increasing notoriety.

Magin died on 4 March 1999 of a heart attack, during a tour of concerts in Tahiti. He is buried next to Chopin’s tomb at the Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris, France. In the history of Polish music, Miłosz Magin is considered one of the greatest Polish composers of the 20th century.[citation needed]

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