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William Kapell

Biography

Born: September 20, 1922; New York, NY   Died: October 29, 1953; King's Mountain, CA  
William Kapell was one of the most promising American pianists of the postwar generation, producing a few recordings that have attained legendary status after his untimely death.

He studied in New York with Dorothea Anderson la Follett, and then at the Philadelphia Conservatory with Olga Samaroff. He went to the Juilliard School when she relocated there. He won the Philadelphia Orchestra's youth competition and the Naumberg Award in 1941.
Read more He debuted in New York through his prize from the Naumberg Foundation; this debut recital won him the Town Hall Award for the outstanding concert of the year by an artist under 30.

A national recital career quickly developed, leading to a recording contract with RCA Victor's Red Seal records. One of his enthusiasms was for the recently composed Piano Concerto in D flat major by Soviet composer Aram Khachaturian, which he frequently played. Because it is an extroverted and flashy work, he gained a reputation as a specialist in such music. His recorded legacy shows that he performed in the appropriate style from graceful renditions of Mozart to powerful Prokofiev.

After World War II, he expanded his touring to cover the world. It was on his return from a tour of Australia that his airplane crashed into King's Mountain near San Francisco. Read less
Browse 1-23 of 23 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Jascha Heifetz Plays Great Violin Sonatas
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 5440152 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Gabriel Fauré,  Johannes Brahms,  Ottorino Respighi  ... 
    Performer:  Brooks Smith,  Jascha Heifetz,  Emanuel Bay,  Lillian Steuber  ... 
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  • 2.
    William Kapell - Complete Recordings 1944-1953
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 5431362 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  William Kapell,  Jascha Heifetz,  William Primrose,  Edmund Kurtz
    Conductor:  William Steinberg,  Fritz Reiner,  Serge Koussevitzky,  Antal Doráti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robin Hood Dell Orchestra of Philadelphia,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Dallas Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 3.
    The Heifetz Collection Vol 8 - 1950-1955
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 61739 Release Date: 05/26/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Max Bruch,  Henri Wieniawski  ... 
    Performer:  William Kapell,  Jascha Heifetz,  Emanuel Bay,  Brooks Smith  ... 
    Conductor:  William Steinberg,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Alfred Wallenstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 4.
    A Century Of Romantic Chopin
    Label: Marston   Catalog: 54001 Release Date: 08/19/2010   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Moritz Rosenthal,  Alfred Cortot,  Rosita Renard,  Sydney Foster  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
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  • 5.
    William Kapell Rediscovered - The Australian Broadcasts
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 68560 Release Date: 05/06/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Thomas Augustine Arne  ... 
    Performer:  William Kapell
    Conductor:  Sir Bernard Heinze
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Victorian Symphony Orchestra
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  • 6.
    William Kapell Plays Chopin: The Sonatas, Mazurkas
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 5998 Release Date: 08/06/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  William Kapell
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  • 7.
    William Kapell - Unissued Broadcasts
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1109 Release Date: 07/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Aram Khachaturian
    Performer:  William Kapell
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Philadelphia Orchestra
    CD not available
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  • 8.
    Sunday Evenings With Pierre Monteux - California 1941-52
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1192 Release Date: 03/13/2007   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  Olivier Messiaen,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Dorothy Warenskjold,  William Kapell,  Boris Blinder,  Naum Blinder  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Monteux
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Standard Symphony Orchestra
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    CD: $118.99
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  • 9.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2; Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini
    Label: Naxos Historical   Catalog: 913854 Release Date: 02/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  William Kapell
    CD not available
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  • 10.
    Casals Festivals At Prades - Live Concert Performances
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1113 Release Date: 02/25/2003   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Milton Thomas,  Paul Tortelier,  Arthur Grumiaux,  William Kapell  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Végh String Quartet
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  • 11.
    Kapell Plays Brahms And Prokofiev
    Label: Music & Arts   Catalog: 4990 Release Date: 11/28/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  William Kapell
    Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos,  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 12.
    Legendary Treasures - William Primrose Collection Vol 2
    Label: Doremi Records   Catalog: 7722 Release Date: 03/14/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Stephen Foster,  Fritz Kreisler,  Niccolò Paganini  ... 
    Performer:  William Primrose,  Joseph Kahn,  Gerald Moore,  William Kapell
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  • 13.
    William Kapell Edition Vol 6 - Bach, Debussy, Mozart, Et Al
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 68995 Release Date: 03/07/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Robert Palmer,  Claude Debussy,  Abram Chasins  ... 
    Performer:  William Kapell
    CD not available
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  • 14.
    William Kapell Edition Vol 7 - Brahms, Rachmaninoff
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 68996 Release Date: 03/07/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  William Kapell,  Edmund Kurtz,  William Primrose,  Jascha Heifetz
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  • 15.
    William Kapell Edition Vol 1 - Chopin: Mazurkas
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 68990 Release Date: 02/08/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  William Kapell
    CD: $6.99
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  • 16.
    William Kapell Edition Vol 2 - Chopin: Sonatas;  Et Al
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 68991 Release Date: 02/08/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Robert Schumann,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  William Kapell
    CD not available
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  • 17.
    William Kapell Edition Vol 3 - Rachmaninoff: Concerto No 2
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 68992 Release Date: 02/08/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  William Kapell
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner,  William Steinberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robin Hood Dell Orchestra of Philadelphia
    CD not available
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  • 18.
    William Kapell Edition Vol 4 - Khachaturian, Prokofiev
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 68993 Release Date: 02/08/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Aram Khachaturian
    Performer:  William Kapell
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti,  Serge Koussevitzky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dallas Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra
    CD not available
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  • 19.
    William Kapell - Frick Collection Recital
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 68997 Release Date: 02/09/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Aaron Copland,  Frédéric Chopin,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  William Kapell
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  • 20.
    William Kapell Edition
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 68442 Release Date: 09/29/1998   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  William Kapell,  Jascha Heifetz,  William Primrose,  Edmund Kurtz
    Conductor:  William Steinberg,  Fritz Reiner,  Serge Koussevitzky,  Antal Doráti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robin Hood Dell Orchestra of Philadelphia,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Dallas Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD not available
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  • 21.
    Kapell In Recital - Beethoven, Shostakovich, Et Al
    Label: Arbiter   Catalog: 108 Release Date: 02/18/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Ferruccio Busoni
    Performer:  William Kapell
    Conductor:  Leon Barzin,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Orchestral Association,  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 22.
    William Kapell Vol 2 - Bach, Mozart, Debussy, Liszt
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1048 Release Date: 04/04/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Franz Liszt,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  William Kapell
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  • 23.
    Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No 3;  Khachaturian / Kapell
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1027 Release Date: 06/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Aram Khachaturian,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  William Kapell
    Conductor:  Frank Black,  Sir Ernest MacMillan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  Toronto Symphony Orchestra
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