Het is vandaag al 175 jaar geleden dat pianovirtuoos Carl Filtsch is gestorven. Hij was amper veertien jaar oud.
Filtsch was born in Mühlbach (Sebeș) in present-day Romania. His father, a Lutheran church pastor in Mühlbach, was his first piano teacher. It was his first public success at the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna. Carl and his brother Joseph, also a child pianist, arrived in Paris on November 29, 1841 and immediately sought out Chopin to be Carl’s teacher. Though Chopin almost never taught children, and rarely gave a student more than one lesson per week, he agreed to teach Carl, and gave him three lessons per week.
According to numerous letters from Chopin and his acquaintances, Chopin considered Filtsch the most worthy interpreter of his music. A friend of Chopin, Ferdinand Denis, reported in an article in Vienna’s Der Humorist in February 1843 that on one occasion after listening to Filtsch, Chopin exclaimed: “My God! What a child! Nobody has ever understood me as this child has…It is not imitation, it is the same sentiment, an instinct that makes him play without thinking as if it could not have been any other way. He plays almost all my compositions without having heard me [play them], without being shown the smallest thing – not exactly like me [because he has his own cachet], but certainly not less well.”
Considered Chopin’s most talented pupil, Filtsch received high praise from Franz Liszt, Friedrich Wieck, Giacomo Meyerbeer, Ignaz Moscheles, the music critic Ludwig Rellstab, and fellow child prodigy, Anton Rubinstein. Filtsch began touring Europe on concert tours at the age of 13. After triumphant concerts in Paris, London, and Vienna, his promising career was cut short by an early death in Venice from tuberculosis. (Wikipedia)