Text Box: PIANIST autographs


Price: $375.00



Two page letter by the pianist in French to her manager there, Vienna, September 3, 1882.

All understood, I will agree to the time you have arranged for me for a tour in France.  So, from the end of January until the end of March, I am at your disposal.  Make me play as often as possible, because I am indefatigable and am used to playing 4-5 concerts a week.  Have the kindness to write to me how many concerts you intend to arrange for me during these two months and what are your conditions.

Essipova (1851-1914) was the single most important female Russian concert pianist of her day.  She was also one of the great pianists of her day of either sex.  Essipova studied with Theodor Leschetiszky at the St. Petersburg Conservatoire.  At a Conservatory examination concert, to show off her skills, Leschetiszky placed a full score of a Schubert quintet in front of her on the music stand and asked her to transcribe the work from the score, she did so to rapturous applause.   

The pianist made her professional debut in 1874 in auspicious company with Franz Liszt and Piotr Tchaikovsky in the audience, who were well impressed.  When she met Hans von Bülow later in 1874, he inscribed a photograph to her, To the most dangerous and to the most charming of his rivals. The same year she made her debut London, Paris in 1875 and the United States in 1876 to rave reviews everywhere. She met Fanny Bloomfield Zeisler in 1876 and sent her to Leschetiszky.  She married her teacher, Leschetiszky in 1880, his second wife.  He was so enamored with her he gave up his concert career for her and directed all concert engagement requests to be sent to her. They had a daughter Therese who was the apple of Leschetiszky’s eye, but also as a young child was used to spy on her Mother, as he would ask her what her Mother did each day.  As the wife of one of the foremost piano pedagogues in Europe, Essipova was also in her husband’s employ working with his very best pupils.  Jan Paderewski was an example of one of them and it has been long rumored they had an affair.  Paderewski dedicated his Piano Concerto, Minuet in G and several other works to her, which she premiered. During this time she also taught Artur Schnabel.  When she wasn’t in Vienna, she was touring Europe and America, our letter from 1882 shows her desire to perform as much as possible.  Between 1870 and 1885 she gave 669 concerts and recitals.  In 1885 she was awarded the title of Pianist to the Prussian Court.  She divorced Leschetiszky in 1893 and he became despondent.  In order to be out of his way in Vienna, she returned to Russia and taught at the St. Petersburg Conservatoire.  Her list of pupils is a who’s who of Russian pianists including; Isidor Achron, Simon Barere, Victor Borovsky, Thomas de Hartmann, Ignace Hilsberg, Leonid Kreutzer, Leo Ornstein, Leff Pouishnoff, Sergei Prokofiev, Sergei Tarnowsky, Jozef Turczynski,  Isabelle Vengerova, Anastasia Virsaladze and Maria Yudina among others. She retired in 1908 from the Conservatoire.  She also recorded Welte Mignon piano rolls, a recording on the Julius Block cylinders but did not make commercial acoustic records.

A rare letter by Essipova with ideal content.



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