Mischa Levitzki


Our exhibition Bad Hair Day includes a caricature by Leo Bensemann of the Ukrainian-American pianist Mischa Levitzki (1898-1941), who toured New Zealand in 1921 and again in 1931.

Reviews suggest he was a superlative technician and a poor communicator and his popular reputation has not really lasted. Vladimir Horovitz was scathing: 'Just fingers, and you cannot listen only to fingers. There is a difference between artist and artisan. Levitzki was an artisan.'

Listen below to his performance of his own Valse de Concert, opus 1, recorded 23 May 1924.