Nikita Magaloff

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Magaloff and Georg Solti (1965)

Nikita Magaloff (Russian: Никита Магалов; 21 February [O.S. 8 February] 1912 – 26 December 1992) was a Georgian-Russian pianist.

He was born in Saint Petersburg to a Georgian noble family named Maghalashvili. Magaloff and his family left Russia in 1918 for Finland. His musical interest first stimulated by family friend Serge Prokofiev, he studied with Alexander Siloti before going to Paris, where he studied with Isidor Philipp, chair of the piano department at the Paris Conservatory. He numbered Ravel among his friends there, who, when he graduated in 1929, said 'In Magaloff a great, a truly extraordinary musician is born.'[1]

He was best known for his espousal of the music of Chopin and was accustomed to perform the complete piano works in series of six recitals.[1] He was the first to record Chopin's complete works.[citation needed] While these recordings have been criticised for their failure to plumb the depths of Chopin's works, they were innovative for their textual fidelity and unsentimentality. Magaloff, for example, preferred and recorded Chopin's own manuscript versions of the waltzes rather than the familiar versions published posthumously by Julian Fontana.[citation needed]

Nikita Magaloff 1954 dedicated photo from tour of Southern Africa organised by Hans Adler.[1]

In 1949 he took over his friend and colleague Dinu Lipatti's master class at the Geneva Conservatory after Lipatti became too ill to teach (Lipatti died the following year at age 33). Magaloff continued regular teaching until 1960, when the demands of his concert career took priority, and he toured in the United States, South America, Japan, Israel, South Africa, and throughout Europe including Russia and Scandinavia. He still gave occasional master-classes, and took part in juries at international piano competitions.[1] In 1982 and 1987 he served on the jury of the Paloma O'Shea Santander International Piano Competition.[2]

Among his many pupils were the pianists Martha Argerich, Maria Tipo, Ingrid Haebler and Valery Sigalevitch, and the organist Lionel Rogg.[citation needed]

Nikita Magaloff was married to Irene, the daughter of the violinist Joseph Szigeti with whom he had established his international reputation in concerts before the war interrupted his career.[1] He died in Vevey, Switzerland on 26 December 1992.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d Jonathan P., Ellis (1976). Chopin, Ballades Nos. 1-4, Impromptus Nos. 1-4 (liner notes). Nikita Magaloff. Philips. 6580 117.
  2. ^ Paloma O’Shea Santander International Piano Competition “Winners, members of the jury and artistic guests”

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