Claudio Arrau

Biography

Born: February 6, 1903; Chillán, Chile   Died: June 9, 1991; Mürzzuschlag, Austria  
A patrician artist whose matinee-idol appearance was as elegant as his playing, Claudio Arrau achieved a major reputation for his performances of Brahms and Liszt. Indeed, few Romantic-period composers, from Beethoven onward, were beyond his grasp. In addition to that repertory, his Debussy was regarded by many connoisseurs as exemplary. Arrau believed that his abiding interest in psychoanalysis aided him in probing the intent of those whose Read more works he performed. Certainly, Arrau's performances were marked by a balance between heart and intellect.

Arrau was born in Chillán, Chile, on February 6, 1903. He received piano instruction from his mother at an early age, making his debut performance in Santiago at the age of five playing Mozart, Beethoven, and Chopin. At the age of 10 the Chilean government sent him to Berlin, where he enrolled in Stern's Conservatory of Music. His teacher there was Martin Krause. While studying he entered competitions, and won the Ibach Prize and the Gustav Holländer Medal. He also began giving recitals in Germany and Scandinavia, earning excited comment over the excellence of his technique, and the maturity of his interpretations. In 1918 he made a major European tour, giving concertos accompanied by illustrious conductors such as Nikisch, Furtwängler, and Mengelberg. He returned to South America in 1921, and made a triumphal tour beginning in Santiago de Chile. He made his first North American tour in 1924, appearing with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He joined the faculty of the Stern Conservatory in 1924. He won the Grand Prix Internationale des Pianistes in Geneva in 1927, and toured in the Soviet Union in 1929, and again in 1930.

He continued a notable concertizing career throughout the 1930s, including a famous series in 1935 and 1936 in Berlin, in which he played the complete keyboard works of J.S. Bach followed by the complete keyboard works of Mozart. He then announced that he would no longer play Bach, asserting that his music was not conceived for the modern grand piano. In 1938 he played all of the Beethoven piano sonatas and five piano concertos in a series of recitals in Mexico City, and repeated the feat during the next two years in Buenos Aires and Santiago. When World War II broke out he ended his association with the Stern Conservatory and returned to Chile, founding a piano school there. But the next year, after a tour of the United States where he received the highest critical acclaim, he and his family moved permanently to New York. He devoted himself to concertizing, teaching, and recording. His complete Beethoven cycles became legendary; in 1952 he performed such a series, in which each recital was broadcast live by the BBC.

After World War II his concert tours included Australia, Czechoslovakia, Romania, India, South Africa, Israel, and Japan. In the 1960s he made definitive recordings of the complete Beethoven piano sonatas; he also supervised the editing and publication of an Urtext edition of the same sonatas. In the 1970s, Chile, which had enjoyed a record as one of South America's most democratic nations, fell to the military government of Pinochet. In protest, Arrau gave up his Chilean citizenship in 1978, and became a naturalized citizen of the U.S. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, he continued to be a revered figure in Chile; in 1983 he was awarded the Chilean National Arts Prize. He returned at the age of 81 to tour Chile in 1984, his first performances there in 17 years. He died in Mürzzuschlag, Austria, on June 9, 1991. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 126 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Claudio Arrau: The Complete RCA Victor & Columbia Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 307165 Release Date: 10/07/2016   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
    Conductor:  Karl Krueger,  Desiré DeFauw,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Detroit Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra
    CD: $39.99
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  • 2.
    Beethoven: Sonatas for Piano & Violin / Grumiaux, Arrau
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186235 Release Date: 08/26/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Arthur Grumiaux,  Claudio Arrau
    SuperAudio CD: $19.99
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  • 3.
    Schubert: Moments musicaux, Klavierstucke & Wandererfantasie / Arrau
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 554930 Release Date: 04/15/2016  
    Composer:  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
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  • 4.
    Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 & Handel Variations / Arrau
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 350068 Release Date: 02/19/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik
    SuperAudio CD: $23.99
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  • 5.
    Philips Classics: The Stereo Years
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002445602 Release Date: 02/19/2016   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Salvatore Accardo,  Elly Ameling,  Dalton Baldwin,  Jörg Demus  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis,  Bernard Haitink,  Raymond Leppard,  Eduard Van Beinum  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $134.49
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  • 6.
    Brahms: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 / Giulini, Arrau, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 553997 Release Date: 01/29/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 7.
    Claudio Arrau Plays Beethoven: Sonata No. 23, Schumann: Fantasia, Liszt: Gnomenreigen
    Label: Idi   Catalog: 6695 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
    CD: $14.99
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  • 8.
    Dvorak, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Schumann - Recordings 1960-1963 / Rafael Kubelik
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 726143 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  János Starker,  Claudio Arrau
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik
    CD: $54.49
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  • 9.
    Claudio Arrau: 3 Classic Albums
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002044402 Release Date: 05/06/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $21.99
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  • 10.
    Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Nos 3, 32 & 23
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5122 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
    CD: $17.99
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  • 11.
    Claudio Arrau: Rarities 1929-1951
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 639427 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
    Conductor:  Basil Cameron
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 12.
    Liszt - Solo Recordings / Claudio Arrau
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001225941 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
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  • 13.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 3
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 557 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Denis Wick,  Dennis Egan,  Claudio Arrau
    Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
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  • 14.
    Carlo Maria Giulini: The Concerto Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 31761 Release Date: 12/03/2013   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Alexis Weissenberg,  Manoug Parikian,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Itzhak Perlman  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 15.
    Great Pianists - Legendary Recordings from Arrau, Cherkassky, Cziffra, Gilels, Katchen
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5114 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Emil Gilels,  Claudio Arrau,  Julius Katchen,  György Cziffra  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult,  Christoph von Dohnányi,  Otto Klemperer,  Rudolf Kempe  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 16.
    Chopin: Ballades & Scherzi / Claudio Arrau
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001912402 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
    CD: $7.99
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  • 17.
    Claudio Arrau Live At Tanglewood 1964
    Label: Music & Arts   Catalog: 1274 Release Date: 06/25/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
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    CD: $29.99
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  • 18.
    Colin Davis: The Philips Years
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001850302 Release Date: 06/18/2013   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich,  Claudio Arrau,  Jessye Norman,  Jon Vickers  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    CD: $65.99
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  • 19.
    Claudio Arrau In Recital, 1969-1977
    Label: Music & Arts   Catalog: 1263 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Robert Schumann,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
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    CD: $48.99
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  • 20.
    Liszt: Concerto No 1, Etc / Arrau, Ormandy
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 62338 Release Date: 08/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 21.
    Chopin: Ballade No 3, Scherzo No 3, Fantasy In F Minor; Beethoven: Sonatas 23 & 32 / Van Cliburn, Claudio Arrau
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5073 Release Date: 05/29/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Van Cliburn,  Claudio Arrau
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 22.
    Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas / Claudio Arrau [12-CD Collector's Edition]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001677002 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
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    CD: $64.49
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  • 23.
    Claudio Arrau: 80th Birthday Recital
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2058678 Release Date: 01/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Claude Debussy,  Franz Liszt,  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
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  • 24.
    Schumann, Brahms / Arrau, Milstein, De Sabata, Nypo
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 086 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Nathan Milstein,  Claudio Arrau
    Conductor:  Victor De Sabata
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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    CD: $9.99
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  • 25.
    Beethoven, Chopin: Concertos / Arrau, Klemperer, Dohnanyi
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5045 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
    Conductor:  Christoph von Dohnányi,  Otto Klemperer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra
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    CD: $17.99
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