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Paul Badura-Skoda - An Obituary

27.9.2019: Paul Badura-Skoda—the last active doyen of the Vienna Piano School—died on Wednesday, 25. September 2019, after a long illness. He marks the end of the era of a unique and unmistakable piano style.
In addition to many concerts, we will never forget our shared experiences, such as the presentation of his GENUIN box at Bösendorfer's 75th birthday in Vienna and the extensive concert celebration on the occasion of his 80th birthday in Paris, including a subsequent "dinner" with all guests from midnight onwards.
During numerous private meetings we enjoyed his incomparably lovingly charming and open manner, peppered with countless anecdotes from his life and many musical wisdom told in his unmistakable Viennese accent.
Paul Badura-Skoda won the First Austrian Music Prize at the age of 20 in 1947, which enabled him to take a master class with Edwin Fischer. Shortly afterwards he asked Badura-Skoda to represent him at a trio concert. With this substitute an unprecedented career began, which Badura-Skoda led for the following almost 70 years on all major stages worldwide. Badura-Skoda was also considered the musician with the most recordings for record and radio for a long time.
Badura-Skoda influenced generations of pianists both at master classes worldwide and during his professorships at the music academies in Essen and Vienna. At leading piano competitions he was a welcome and highly esteemed member of the jury.
Together with his wife Eva he published two important books "Mozart-Interpretation" (1957) and "Bach-Interpretation" (1990) and published numerous notes with his comments and fingerings for the publishers Wiener Urtext and G. Henle.
Paul Badura-Skoda was one of the first to recognize the idealistic value of historical keyboard instruments in the early 1960s of the 20th century and, in addition to collecting them, researched and restored countless instruments together with the Viennese piano maker Alfred Watzek.
Since 1978, Paul Badura-Skoda has worn the Bösendorfer Ring, which is awarded for life and which only Wilhelm Backhaus wore before him.

On the occasion of his 90th birthday on 15 October 2017, Paul Badura-Skoda, already marked by illness, presented his legacy to the public in the completely sold out Golden Hall of the Vienna Musikverein: the last two piano sonatas by Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert.
We are very grateful for 17 years of intensive cooperation and deep, friendly solidarity.

Alfredo Lasheras Hakobian

Photography: Irène Zandel

All CDs of Paul Badura-Skoda on GENUIN