Paula Szalit (* 1887 Drohobycz- † 1920 Kulparków near Lviv)
Born in Drohobycz, Paula Szalit was an exceptional figure in the history of pianism and unjustly overlooked. Probably because of her great sensitivity, which at some point caused the artist to withdraw from musical life. Among its outstanding teachers were Robert Fischhof, Eugen d’Albert and Józef Hofmann. The culmination of her musical education was studies in Vienna under the tutelage of the eminent professor Teodor Leszetycki. She made her stage debut from an early age. She gave concerts in Leipzig, Vienna, Wrocław, Berlin and St. Petersburg. The Polish audience could listen to Paula Szalit at the Warsaw Philharmonic, where she performed as a soloist with the concert in E minor by Fryderyk Chopin, with the orchestra conducted by Emil Młynarski. According to sources, her last concert took place in Krakow, together with the outstanding Polish violinist Paweł Kochański.
This extremely sensitive artist was described as “the most gifted prodigy of world pianism” and “the subtlest reproductive talent of that time”. The pianist’s rich repertoire included works by J. S Bach, W. A Mozart, D. Scarlatti, R. Schumann, F Liszt, F. Chopin as well as her own compositions. These are small miniatures (mazurkas, nocturnes, preludes, caprices) stylistically referring to the era of Romanticism.
Paula Szalit died at the age of 33 in a hospital for nervous illnesses, where she spent the last years of her life.
CD with piano works performed by Elżbieta Tyszecka.