Life and career
Roberto Szidon was born in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 1941. He gave his first concert at age 9 in his home town. He then studied composition with Karl Faust, and continued his pianistic studies in the United States with Ilona Kabos and Claudio Arrau.
He played with many renowned orchestras. In 1977 he completed an acclaimed Southern Africa tour. He was the soloist at the premiere of Camargo Guarnieri's Piano Concerto No. 4, in Porto Alegre, on 6 September 1972.
As a recording artist, Szidon was best known for his complete recording of the 10 Piano Sonatas and the Fantaisie in B minor by Alexander Scriabin and his complete recording of the 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies and the Rhapsodie espagnole by Franz Liszt.
He recorded a prize-winning LP in 1965 of Heitor Villa-Lobos's Rudepoêma. Other Villa-Lobos works in his discography were A fiandeira, Saudades dos selvas brasileiras, New York Skyline (1957 version), Carnaval dos crianças, A lenda do caboclo, Suite floral, Op. 97 (1949 revision), and 16 Cirandas and 12 Cirandinhas. He also recorded the works of other Brazilian composers such as Ernesto Nazareth, Francisco Mignone and Chiquinha Gonzaga.
He also recorded Frédéric Chopin's 4 Scherzos and 4 Impromptus (Deutsche Grammophon LP 536 378), Sergei Rachmaninoff's 2nd Sonata, Sergei Prokofiev's 6th Sonata, and Gershwin's Concerto in F. He accompanied Thomas Quasthoff in Schumann's Dichterliebe, Liederkreis, Op. 39, and other songs.
From August 1970 until his death he shared his life and work with his companion, the pianist and composer Richard Metzler.