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 160 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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
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  • 2.
    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
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  • 3.
    100 Hits: Classical Greats
    Label: 100 Hits   Catalog: 1017490 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Myra Hess,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Geraint Jones,  Karl Münchinger,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Myra Hess  ... 
    Conductor:  Geraint Jones,  Karl Münchinger,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Leopold Stokowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici,  Members of the Vienna Octet (Members)
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  • 4.
    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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  • 5.
    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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  • 6.
    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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  • 7.
    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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  • 8.
    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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  • 9.
    Chopin: Ballades & Scherzi
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001912402 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
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  • 10.
    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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  • 11.
    Colin Davis: The Philips Years [15-CD Set]
    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: $76.99
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  • 12.
    Philips Original Jackets Collection  [55-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001767702 Release Date: 12/04/2012   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Max Bruch,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Salvatore Accardo,  Elisabeth Unger,  Claudio Arrau,  Thomas Zehetmair  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur,  Bernard Haitink,  Frans Brüggen,  Simon Rattle  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Beaux Arts Trio  ... 
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  • 13.
    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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  • 14.
    Liszt: Concerto No 1, Etc / Arrau, Ormandy
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 62338 Release Date: 09/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 15.
    Chopin: Piano Encores
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001706302 Release Date: 07/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Zoltán Kocsis,  Claudio Arrau,  Bella Davidovich,  Nikita Magaloff  ... 
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  • 16.
    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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  • 17.
    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: $61.49
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  • 18.
    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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  • 19.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: ARPCD0443 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
    Conductor:  Paul Kletzki,  Igor Markevitch,  Carl Schuricht
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  • 20.
    The Nbc Recordings - Beethoven, Schubert, Etc / E. Kleiber
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 5005 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Maurice Ravel,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
    Conductor:  Erich Kleiber
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 21.
    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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  • 22.
    The Liszt Legacy / Arrau, De Larrocha, Lewenthal, Moiseiwitsch, Petri [10-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001611702 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin,  Joaquin Turina,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau,  Alicia De Larrocha,  Raymond Lewenthal,  Benno Moiseiwitsch  ... 
    CD: $94.49
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  • 23.
    Late Night Liszt
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001606702 Release Date: 10/04/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz,  Claudio Arrau,  Daniel Barenboim,  Wilhelm Kempff  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 24.
    Claudio Arrau - The Maestro And The Masters
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2058668 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Schubert,  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
    Conductor:  Victor Tevah
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  University of Chile Symphony Orchestra
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 25.
    Arrau & Brahms: The Two Romantics
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2058658 Release Date: 08/30/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau
    Conductor:  Juan Pablo Izquierdo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santiago Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD: $24.99
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