KAROL MIKULI (1819 - 1897)
A Pole of Moldavian origin, Karol Mikuli was born on 20 October 1819, in Czerniowice, Bukovina. As a child he learnt to play the piano from Franciszek Kolberg, a performing pianist. In 1839 he started to study medicine in Vienna, where he met many prominent people from the world of music, including Eduard Hanslick. In 1844 he moved to Paris, where, during the next four years, he developed his skills as a pianist under the supervision of Fryderyk Chopin, relatively quickly becoming his favourite student and shortly after also one of his closest friends. Chopin used to commission Mikuli to copy his compositions before handing them over for publication. Mikuli was also very often the first one to hear Chopin’s works. In the years from 1847 to 1858 he gave concerts in France, Austria, Romania and Poland, with particular attention to the performance of Chopin’s compositions. Despite great successes, in 1858 he retired from his career to become head of the Conservatoire of the Galician Music Society in Lviv. He taught both theory and practice of piano-playing and gained considerable fame and recognition. Among Mikuli’s students were such outstanding pianists as Aleksander Michalowski, Maurice Rosenthal and Raul Koczalski. Mikuli died in Lviv on 21 May 1897.
– Małgorzata Krzyżanowicz