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What else do we know of Schulz-Evler? He studied at the Instytut Muzyczny (Institute of Music) in Warsaw with Rudolf Strobl (piano) and Stanisław Moniuszko (composition), graduated at fifteen and then went to Berlin to develop his skills under Carl Tausig. In 1882, after a few years teaching in Warsaw, he left for Moscow where he was lauded by no less than Anton Rubinstein before being appointed head of piano at a private music school in St Petersburg. In 1888 we find him in Kharkov (Ukraine’s second largest city) as a professor in a local conservatory. In 1905 Schulz-Evler relinquished his professorship and returned to Warsaw where he intended to make his home again. Sadly, he died only months afterwards and was buried at the Cmentarz Ewangelicko-Augsburski (a Protestant cemetery) on 17 May 1905.
He must have been quite a pianist. The dazzling Blue Danube transcription aside, Schulz-Evler’s other solo works, whatever their musical merits, are for top flight virtuosos only, as a brief acquaintance with his Variations in G and (especially) his fearsome 1896 Octave Étude will make clear. The reviewer of a concert Schulz-Evler gave in Warsaw at the beginning of 1896 would seem to agree, describing him as ‘a pianist with an exceptional technique, who combines subtlety and delicacy of sound with bravura and power. It is a shame, however, that Mr Schulz-Evler does not always apply these qualities, because as much as the audience was enthralled by his renditions of Handel, Bach and Scarlatti, we were not entirely convinced by his interpretation of Schumann. Mr Schulz-Evler also presented works that he himself wrote, yet his own compositions, with quite ordinary themes, do not sound overly attractive: they only seem to prepare the ground for a display of brilliant technique.’
from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2016