Life and career
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.
Szidon played with many renowned orchestras. In 1977 he completed a 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.
Szidon 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.
Szidon 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, as well as Charles Ives's "Concord Sonata" and Gershwin's Concerto in F. He frequently performed and recorded chamber music with violinist Jenny Abel, and accompanied Thomas Quasthoff in Schumann's Dichterliebe, Liederkreis, Op. 39, and other songs. He taught piano at the music academies in Hannover and Düsseldorf, where he was a professor of piano until his death. Among his most prominent students were the Italian pianist Igor Cognolato and the German pianist Tobias Koch.
From August 1970 until his death, Szidon shared his life and work with his companion, pianist and composer Richard Metzler.