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Frieda Valenzi was born on 15th May, 1910, in Vienna. She studied at the Viennese State Academy for Music and Dramatic Art. Her teachers included the composer Joseph Marx, cellist/composer Franz Schmidt, and pianists Walter Kerschbaumer and Friedrich Wührer. Already in the years before World War II she was a teacher herself at that same academy and resumed teaching in 1950 (meanwhile the institute’s name had been changed to the Academy for Music and Dramatic Art). In 1959 she received the title of professor, eventually retiring from active teaching duties in 1980. She continued to work, however, for another two years, but had to stop when a stroke paralyzed her on one side, making it impossible to continue teaching and performing. She died in 2002. Frieda Valenzi made her début in Vienna in the Musikvereinssaal performing the Piano Concerto of Edvard Grieg. She made extensive concert tours in Germany, Italy, Portugal, Canada, the United States and even Mozambique. Her vast repertory extended far beyond the great works of the classic and romantic periods.

As a pianist she always had a strong affinity for the works of the modern composers and her list of performances of the contemporary piano literature is enormous, and included the concertos of Cristóbal Halffter, Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Wilhelm Hübner, Ernst Krenek, Bruno Maderna, Frank Martin, Joseph Marx, Karl Franz Müller, Alois Pachernegg, Sergey Prokofiev, Albert Roussel, Arnold Schoenberg, Oscar Straus, Igor Stravinksy, Erich Urbanner, Francesco Valdambrini, Roger Vuatas, and Heinz Walberg, to name just a few.

Frieda Valenzi regrettably did not make many recordings. Her three recordings for the Remington label were made around 1951. She also recorded for radio broadcasts with RAI in Rome. Her Goyescas recording on Remington was for a long time the only recording available until 1954 when the recordings of José Falgarona on VOX. Valenzi’s edition suffered from an inferior recording and manufacturing technique. Remington did not do any editing at that time, so all of Valenzi’s recordings are single, splicefree takes. From that historic recording we present Granados’ El fandango de Candil.

This biography includes material written by Rudolf A. Bruil and reproduced with his kind permission. For further information about Frieda Valenzi please visit http://www.soundfountain.org/rem/remvalen.html.

Albums featuring this artist are available for download from ClassicsOnline.com
Role: Classical Artist 
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