Sascha Gorodnitzki

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Sascha Gorodnitzki (24 May 1904 – 4 April 1986)[1] was an American pianist.


Born in Kiev (then in the Russian Empire, now in Ukraine), Gorodnitzki emigrated as an infant to Brooklyn, NY, where his parents founded a college of music. He was a child prodigy; his teachers included his mother, then Percy Goetschius, Rubin Goldmark, William J. Henderson, and Krehbiel at the Institute of Musical Art. At Juilliard Graduate School, he was taught by Josef Lhévinne.[2]

He won the Schubert Memorial Competition in 1930, which launched a long concert career, his parents having refused to allow him to embark on a concert career as a child.[3] In 1942 he married a pianist, Virginia Henderson (1917–2009).[4]

He began teaching at Juilliard in 1932. Merely in the interval between 1977 and 1979 his students won 40 major awards in world-class competitions. He was described by The New York Times as a "perfectionist";[5] his style of coaching was described as "supportive and intimidating."[6]

He remained a member of the Juilliard faculty until his death. His widow endowed the Sascha Gorodnitzki Faculty Chair in Piano Studies at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture in 2008.

His recorded legacy for Capitol and Columbia includes solo works by Brahms, Liszt, Chopin, and Debussy. His playing was described as "electrifying" and "exciting."[2]


  1. ^ Harold C. Schonberg, Great Pianists. Retrieved 27 March 2014
  2. ^ a b "Sascha Gorodnitzki Collection". International Piano Archives at Maryland. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
  3. ^[clarification needed]
  4. ^ "Virginia H. Gorodnitzki". The East Hampton Star. Archived from the original on 2 October 2009. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
  5. ^ Page, Tim. "Sascha Gorodnitzki, Pianist, and Juilliard Faculty Member". New York Times. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
  6. ^ People. May 14, 1979 Vol. 11 No. 19 For Sascha Gorodnitzki's Roster of Prize-Winning Pianists, Being Good Is Not Good Enough. By Barbara Rowes