Text Box: PIANist autographs


Phone: 212-860-5541


Price: $150.00



Autographed one page Carnegie Hall program excerpt for Fischer’s Carnegie Hall debut recital, November 14, 1982.  Only the third tour she took of the United States, she had not been there since 1968.  We offer with the advertising handbill for the concert, apparently not well distributed prior to the concert.  Perfect for display!


Fischer (1914-1995) was a pupil of Arnold Szekeley and Ernst v. Dohnanyi at the Liszt Conservatory in Budapest.  She made her public debut at the age of 8 playing the Beethoven 1st piano concerto with orchestra in Budapest. She was known for her prodigious memory and as a wunderkind could remember complex pieces. Fischer made her professional recital debut in Zurich, 1928, followed by two concerts with concertos by Mozart and Schumann.  A critic wrote, “her supreme technical ability or the depth and maturity of her musical understanding which is incomprehensible at this age.”  In 1933 she won the first Prize in the first International Franz Liszt Piano Competition, a home town winner.  She travelled via plane throughout Europe concertizing until as a Jew, it became untenable to do so.  She and her much older husband, musicologist Aladar Toth escaped to Sweden in 1940 when Hungary joined the Axis and continued to concertize in Scandinavia where it was safe for her to perform; she also was an in-demand pedagogue.  Tough on her students, it was the only point in her career where she had the time and desire to teach.  She returned to Budapest after the War.  Without missing a beat, Fischer picked up where she had left off with even more prestigious concerts and recitals.  Whilst her live performances in many cases were recorded for broadcast, she did not record commercially until the 1950’s.  At her request, her complete Beethoven sonata cycle was not released until after her death.  Fischer had her own style and it can be heard to great advantage in her filmed Beethoven 3rd Piano Concerto performance with the NHK Symphony Orchestra in 1989.  She came to the Americas in 1961, making her debut with the Cleveland Orchestra under her old friend George Szell at Carnegie Hall.  A pianist making their American debut late in life is not unheard of, but it is rare.  She returned to tour the United States in 1968 and then again 14 years later in 1982 with this concert, her Carnegie Hall recital debut.  Apparently poorly advertised, the public was unaware of this recital as her manager Jacques Leiser did nothing to publicize the concert, nor did Carnegie Hall.  Once the concert became known at the last minute, they very quickly sold out the house.  Despite Harold Schoenberg and Donal Henehan’s aversion to her “older Eastern European style” in their New York Times criticism, the public were familiar with her records and, her what was thought to be authoritative readings of the works of Beethoven and Schumann.  She also was heavily attended with the great pianists of the day who took a special joy in her interpretations.  Today, she is considered a giant among pianists and a pianist’s pianist.