Artist Catalog

Leopold Godowsky

Leopold Godowsky (13 February 1870 – 21 November 1938) was a Polish-American virtuoso pianist, composer, and teacher. He was one of the most highly regarded performers of his time – known for his theories concerning the application of relaxed weight and economy of motion within pianistic technic – principles later propagated by Godowsky's pupils, such as Heinrich Neuhaus.

He was heralded among musical giants as the "Buddha of the Piano" and was probably the most astonishing instance of a self-taught performer and creator in the history of art. Ferruccio Busoni claimed that he and Godowsky were "the only composers to have added anything of significance to keyboard writing since Franz Liszt."

As a composer, Godowsky is best known for his Java Suite, Triakontameron, Passacaglia and Walzermasken, alongside his transcriptions of works by other composers: best known work in the field is 53 Studies on Chopin's Études (1894–1914).