Natalia Janotha

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Natalia Janotha

Natalia Janotha (8 June 1856 – 9 June 1932) was a Polish pianist and composer.


Natalia Janotha was born in Warsaw, Poland, the daughter of Juliusz Janotha, who was a composer and teacher at the Music Institute in Warsaw. She started piano lessons with her father at a young age and later studied music in Berlin with Ernst Rudorff and Woldemar Bargiel, with Clara Schumann, and possibly had lessons from Johannes Brahms. She performed her first recital in 1868 and toured Europe as a concert pianist.

She was known as an interpreter of the music of Chopin, whose sister was a very close friend of her mother's;[1] and she received advice from Chopin's pupil Princess Czartoryska née Radziwill.[2] In 1885 she became the Imperial Court pianist in Berlin. She became noted as a mountain climber, sometimes wearing men's trousers.[3] She lived in London for a few years, but was deported to her homeland in 1916 owing to the political circumstances of World War I. She died in The Hague in 1932.[4] She was known for performing only as long as her dog was on stage within her view and a prayer book was placed on the piano.[5]


Janotha composed about 400 works, mostly for piano. Selected works include:

  • Mountain Scenes, dedicated to Schumann
  • Gavotte impériale
  • Tatras
  • The Impression from Zakopane
  • Morskie Oko
  • Sabala
  • Gerlach
  • Kościelisko
  • Bandit

Natalie Janotha also translated and edited books on subjects relating to Chopin, including:

  • Chopin's Greater Works (Preludes, Ballads, Nocturnes, Polonaises, Mazurkas): How they should be understood (including Chopin's Notes for a 'Method of Methods') by Jan Kleczyński (William Reeves, London: Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, no date (1st Edn c. 1895, 2nd c. 1900)). (Kleczynski's last Lectures, delivered at Warsaw in 1883.)
  • Chopin as revealed by extracts from his diary by Stanisław Tarnowski (William Reeves, London, no date (c.1905)).[6]


  1. ^ Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 5th ed (1954), Vol. IV, p. 587
  2. ^ J. Methuen-Campbell, Chopin Playing from the composer to the present day (Victor Gollancz, London 1981), pp. 41, 71.
  3. ^ Zofia i Witold H. Paryscy, Internetowa Wielka Encyklopedia Tatrzańska
  4. ^ Johnston, Rovi. "Artist:Natalia Janotha". Retrieved 21 October 2010. 
  5. ^ Schonberg, Harold C. (1963). "The Ladies". The Great Pianists from Mozart to the Present. New York: Fireside. p. 335. ISBN 0-671-21339-3. 
  6. ^ Includes portrait of Natalie Janotha facing p. 20, see here.

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