Culture House Daily

The greatest recordings by the oldest pianists

24 February 2014

Age has never been an impediment to great musicianship. YouTube is full of extraordinary late musical testaments from pianists who, refusing to retire, hit their stride in their eighth, ninth and, in Alice Herz-Sommer‘s unique case, tenth decades. Here is a selection of the finest:

1. Mieczysław Horszowski gave his first recital at the age of eight in 1900, his last at the age of 98 in 1991. He was present at the premiere of The Rite of Spring in 1913. He heard Busoni perform, played for D’Albert, Fauré and Saint-Saëns and was pals with Granados, Villa-Lobos and Szymanowski. His Chopin at the age of 98 in this Wigmore Hall recital is breathtaking: