Text Box: PIANist autographs


Price: $150.00



Two page typed letter signed to a young pianist by the important British concert pianist, May 16, 1958. Truly extraordinary content and most of his advice still stands.  We offer with a vintage 5” x 7” publicity photograph from his record label, Tower Music.

May 16th, 1958

Dear Michael,

You must be very disappointed with me, for your letter has, I think, been waiting for an answer for a long time.  For nearly two months I have been touring Russia and Holland and so have not had a chance to reply to letters before now.

I am interested in what you say about yourself.  The first thing to do is try to get a scholarship to one of the Schools of Music—Royal Academy or Royal College—or failing that I should do the ordinary entrance examination as a private student.

As a student you have a main study (piano in your case), a second study which can be another instrument, or conducting or composition, and harmony and counterpoint, also History of Music.  There are usually lectures and concerts to go to, and there are opportunities for the student to play in the students’ recitals or orchestral rehearsals.  The course is three or four years, although when I was at the Academy there was a fifth year which was discarded later on but may have been brought back now.

It is all very hard work and as far as practice is concerned, although I don’t believe in working for hours if I really feel I’m having an “off-day” when nothing will come right, I think it is necessary to do as much as possible to learn as many works as you can as well as possible.  It is a good plan, when learning something, to find out which is really the difficult part, then take that aside, make up exercises from it, and practice it in with your technical work every day before you do anything else.  I think technical exercises are essential and here in England we are not taught to use them nearly enough, so remember that even scales are worth practicing - Paderewski couldn’t do without scale practice every day!

I work as much as I can and have no average number of hours each day.  Some people, like myself, have to work in fits and starts, others must do a regular amount every day.  It all depends on you yourself and how you feel about it.  If you practice when you really want to you will get more work done than if you practice because you feel you ought.  And a great thing to remember is when you have a holiday try to get right away from the piano for a week or so.

Well, if there is anything else you would like to know just drop me a line.  I won’t be away for such a long time now!.....

Peter Katin (1930-2015) was a British concert pianist.  He was admitted to the Royal Academy of Music at age 12 and studied with Harold Craxton there.  (Craxton was a Matthay pupil.)  He also spent time with Myra Hess and Sir Clifford Curzon, both Matthay pupils.

 He made his professional debut at Wigmore Hall in December, 1948.  His 1953 performance of Rachmaninoff’s 3rd Piano Concerto at Albert Hall brought down the house and cemented his reputation.  He was the first British pianist to arrive in post war Russia in 1958 and also toured extensively in Europe, the United States and Africa.  A champion of the Romantic repertory, he rarely ventured into 210th Century piano works, though he did play the Khatchaturian concerto, assorted Rachmaninoff works and Malcolm Lipkin’s Fourth Piano Sonata which was dedicated to him and Bryan Kelly’s Tango, which was also dedicated to him.  For a time in the 1950’s he accompanied British violinist Alfredo Campioli and Victoria de los Angeles. Highly in demand, he played big Romantic concertos non-stop through the 1960’s and into the 1970’s.  He experienced a performance breakdown and a calling to teach in 1978 and moved to Canada, where he taught at the University of Western Ontario, returning to England in 1984.  Thereafter he played smaller venues, capping his playing days in 2004 with a final Wigmore recital.

A prolific recording artist, there are many recordings available.

Truly a “from the heart” letter!

The letter was trimmed and mounted at one time in an album, else fine.  Perfect for display.




Phone: 212-860-5541