Maja Purdue on Tour
Maya Purdue has had another great week. On 27 September, she was fortunate enough to be allowed to play the original piano that belonged to the great pianist and composer Wilhelm Kempff. Maya is following in the footsteps of the great pianists and is continuing to capture audiences worldwide. If you compare the two pictures, you can see the same tapestry is still hanging on the wall. Her next concert is in Napoli, Italy, and the concert details can be found on our calendar page.
Wilhelm Walter Friedrich Kempff was born in Jüterbog, Brandenburg, in 1895. His father, who was a royal music director and organist at St. Nicolai Church, taught him to play the piano from a young age. In 1904, he was accepted at Berlin Hochschule für Musik at the age of nine and studied composition with Robert Kahn and piano with Karl Heinrich Barth. In 1914 Kempff continued his studies at the Viktoria gymnasium in Potsdam before returning to Berlin to finish his training.
Kempff was in charge of Stuttgart College of Music from 1924 to 1929 and also was the co-founder of the summer courses at Marmorpalais Potsdam. In 1957, Kempff stayed in Positano in Italy, where he founded the Fondazione Orfeo where he held his first Beethoven interpretation masterclass and continued to teach there annually until 1982.
He is well-known for his musical versions of Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert and included Bach, Brahms, Chopin, Liszt, Mozart, and Schumann in his repertoire. He is still considered to be one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century.
Wilhelm Walter Friedrich Kempff died in Positano, Italy on 23 May 1991.