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Rudolph Ganz (Composer, Arranger)

Born: February 24, 1877 - Zürich, Switzerland
Died: August 2, 1972 - Chicago, Illinois, USA

The distinguished Swiss-American pianist, conductor, and pedagogue, Rudolph [Rudolf] Ganz, studied music assiduously, first as a cellist (with Friedrich Hegar), then as a pianist (with Robert Freund) in Zürich. He also took composition lessons with Charles Blanchet at the Lausanne Conservatory. In 1897-1898 he studied piano with F. Blumer in Strasbourg, and in 1899 took a course in advanced piano playing with Ferruccio Busoni in Berlin.

Rudolph Ganz made his first public appearance at the age of 12 as a cellist, and at 16 as a pianist. In 1899 he was the soloist in L.v. Beethoven's Emperor Concerto and Frédéric Chopin's E-minor Concerto with the Berliner Philharmoniker, and in May 1900 the Berliner Philharmoniker performed his 1st Symphony. In 1901 he went to the USA and was engaged as a professor of piano at the Chicago Musical College. Between 1905 and 1908 he made several tours of the USA and Canada, and from 1908 to 19V toured Europe. After 1912 he toured in both Europe and America. From 1921 to 1927 he was music director of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. From 1938 to 1949 he conducted a highly successful series of Young People's Concerts with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Concurrently (1929-1954) he served as director of the Chicago Musical College. He played first performances of many important works, including those of Ferruccio Busoni, Ravel, and Béla Bartók. He was a highly successful pedagogue, and continued to teach almost to the time of his death, at the age of 95.

Besides the early symphony, Rudolph Ganz wrote a lively suite of 20 pieces for Orchestra, Animal Pictures (Detroit, January 19, 1933, composer conducting); Piano Concerto (Chicago, February 20, 1941, composer soloist); Laughter-Yet Love, Overture to an Unwritten Comedy (1950); solo piano pieces; and about 200 songs to German, French, English, Swiss, and Alsatian texts. He published Rudolph Ganz Evaluates Modern Piano Music (New York, 1968).


Source: Bakerís Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Classical Musicians (1997)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (July 2007)

Rudolph Ganz: Short Biography | Piano Transcriptions: Works | Recordings

Links to other Sites

Rudolph Ganz, Composer and Conductor (Spurenschuch)
Rudolph Ganz (Saint Louis Symphony)

Rudolph Ganz (Wikipedia)
Rudolph Ganz (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
Rudolf Ganz (


J. Collester: Rudolph Ganz: A Musical Pioneer (Metuchen, NJ., 1995).

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