Text Box: PIANIST autographs


Phone: 212-860-5541


Price: $185.00



Two page autographed letter by the Ukrainian born, French, later Swiss pianist on a picture postcard of herself at the keyboard, September 18, 1937.


She writes to two male friends from La Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland in a partly illegible scrawl.  The information contained in her letter mentions a “small sign of life” and then goes on to describe an upcoming program she is pulling together as well as her impending travel schedule. Her program for a concert on the 17th of October with a second performance will be held on the Place de la Fusterie. (The Temple Fusterie was used for concerts and recitals.)  Panthes plans to perform two etudes by Chopin, number 3 from op. 10 and number 12 from op. 25. However, at the time of the letter, she was finalizing the other works on the program.  She then lists her extensive upcoming travels including Neuchatel Peseux on the 18th through the 20th with 5 colleagues, at the Mirabeau Hotel in Geneva the 21st through the 23rd, in Brussels on the 27th of September, Paris on the 29th and 29th and back to Geneva from September 30th through October 17th. She also mentioned she will be on the radio in Lyon on the 9th of November.


Panthes (1981-1955) is a most interesting figure in French and Swiss pianism.  Born in Odessa to well connected diplomatic parents who were French/Polish and French/Russian.  She was sent to Paris at fourteen to the Conservatoire where she studied with Louise Aglaé Massart-Masson and then with Henri Fissot.  She also allegedly studied privately with pianist Riccardo Vińes, which makes some sense as she programmed both Albeniz and Granados from time to time on her programs.  While at the Conservatoire she earned a first in solfege in 1884, and a first in pianoforte in 1886.   In 1888 she won another first prize in pianoforte. 


Panthes established herself as one of the most toured female piano virtuosos on the European circuit from the late 1890s through the late 1940’s. The pianist performed in Paris every year from 1886 through 1936. She made her touring debut in 1888 in her hometown of Odessa. Her 19th Century performances included, Switzerland 1892, Germany annually from 1896  through 1899; Prague 1898, Warsaw 1899 and London 1899. In the early 20th Century, Germany 1910 1912 and 1913; London 1904 and 1914; Austria 1905, 1910, 1911 and 1913.  The Netherland 1908-1912.  From 1902 through 1954 she toured Switzerland, Belgium and Provincial France.  Interestingly, she also performed quite a bit with violinists during her career, Alexandre Petchnikoff and her husband Maurice Darier most significantly.


Early in her career she performed with both the Concerts Colonne and Lamoureux when they were on Swiss tours.  Her recitals generally contained works by Chopin, which she also recorded. Interestingly, despite her consistent rave reviews, her studio recordings of Chopin’s works are not wonderful.  In fact her best recording is of the “Mozart” attributed “Pastrale Variée”, which is a complex 19th Century work and she acquits herself admirably in that performance.  There is a rare Swiss LP that was issued in the 1950’s of her few studio recordings which sells in the mid $300’s at auction.  Panthes would also create thematic concerts starting in the 17th Century with selections through the 19th Century. She was the dedicatee and performed the premiere of Emánuel Moór’s Piano Concerto in D Minor op. 57 and Claude Debussy’s Six Epigraphes Antiques.  Interestingly, in 1921 during her Geneva recital, she performed several piano pieces of the then late George Templeton-Strong, an amateur American composer who was on the board of the New York Philharmonic Society. 


Whilst she maintained an apartment in Paris, her career as a professor of pianoforte was at the Conservatoire de Musique de Geneve from 1904 to 1917, leaving after a dispute with the Board.  She moved with her husband the violinist Maurice Darier to Lausanne until 1931 when she returned to Geneva to teach once again at the Conservatoire until a malignant brain tumor forced her to resign in 1951. (She gave her last public recital in 1953 and sought specialist treatment in New York in 1955 where she passed away.)

  Some of her students there include, composer Julien-François Zbinden, pianists, Johnny Aubert, Isabelle Nef, Annie Pautex and Margarite Roesgen and singer Marcelle Privat.  She also served on the juries of important piano competitions, including the famed 3rd Chopin Competition in 1937.  


Panthes made a few studio recordings, mostly Chopin and not to her best advantage, though as we stated before the 78’s and the LP are highly collected.  However, she made endless live radio broadcasts throughout Europe and England and they have not been released.  Having read reviews of these broadcasts from the time of the performances, they should be issued, as the critics loved her!