Text Box: PIANIST autographs


Phone: 212-860-5541  *  Fax: 917-677-8247


Price: $150.00



Autographed tri-fold program for his 1948-1949 concert tour under the auspices of the Fédération Nationale des Déportés, March 11, 1949.  The pianist signs on the cover of a reproduced Harcourt of Paris photograph on the heavy stock program.

Kartun (1895-1981) was born in Paris to a Jewish family.  Accepted in to the class of legendary pedagogue Louis Diemer at the Conservatoire in 1911 at the age of 15, he received a premier prix a year later in 1912.  He began his professional career after World War I with a concert with the Concerts Colonne in 1918.  The same year he gave 25 solo recitals in Paris and then went on a tour of France and Europe.  He made his British debut with Sir Henry Woods at the Proms in 1924 playing the Bach Concerto.  During those years, Georges Enesco was a frequent musical partner in the concert halls of France.  In additional to his classical performances, he also was enamored with jazz and in the early 1930’s had his own jazz orchestra where jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli and classical violinist Michel Warlop played under the pseudonym Waclaw Niemczyk.

Kartun had an enormous repertory and recorded a wide range of music including; Bach, Rameau, Couperin, Scarlatti, Mozart, von Weber, Mendelssohn Chopin, Liszt, Fauré, Albeniz, Falla and Ravel among others.  He also made several jazz recordings with Warlop.  He was renowned for his Chopin interpretations and the Baroque came from his teacher Diemer who was responsible in many ways for bringing those composers back before the public.

Kartun apparently was kept safe during the Nazi invasion of Paris as she was Catholic.  However, in July, 1942 he was arrested in the village of Hagetmau and taken to three different camps, Mérignac, Drancy and then Pithiviers, where he was assigned trash detail.  He became ill in September of 1942 and was hospitalized until March 1943 when the camp was closed.  He was then transferred to a camp in Beaune la Rolande, where he had further issues as he was married to an “Aryan woman”.  He was then transferred to Drancy a day later and then to a camp in a channel island called Alderney. At that camp despite his occupation he was forced to carry heavy cement bags and was severely beaten. He was given an opportunity to play the piano for the first time in the camp on January 30, 1944.

After Kartun was freed, he healed and went back to the piano to bring himself back to a concert level.  In 1947 under the auspices of the Fédération Nationale des Déportés, an organization dedicated to remembering Holocaust victims, helping victims settle, educating he public on what had transpired and hunting Nazi’s and bringing them to justice, Kartun made a European tour.  The program we offer was the tour program, no specific date, however, inside it does mention that in September, 1949 there was to be a celebration of the centenary of the death of Frederic Chopin.  The program is quite varied, from Bach’s Italian Concerto, to the Beethoven 32nd Sonata, op. 111, a Chopin group, as well as works by Rameau, Debussy, Szymanowski, Delvincourt, Granados and Ravel.  He also performed his own jazz tribute to Paganini, “Caprice Rythmique sur un motif de Paganini” which he had written in 1946. The program also lists the number of Jews they have assisted or sought since their founding in 1945 including 208,000 deportees, 38,000 re-entries from camps, 170,000 missing, 6,000 who had since passed away and 176,000 in memory.

The pianist remained on the concert platform through 1949, however, the last 30 years of his life are shrouded in mystery. Though in 1965 he published a technique for piano.

Quite a scarce autograph!