He settled in England and took British citizenship in 1937. Moiseiwitsch was made a Commander of the British Empire in 1946, for his consistent contributions during the Second World War, performing hundreds of recitals to servicemen and charities. He married Daisy Kennedy, an Australian concert violinist, and had one daughter, Tanya Moiseiwitsch. Moiseiwitsch was particularly known for his interpretations of the late Romantic repertoire, especially the works of Sergei Rachmaninoff (who was an admirer of his playing and referred to Moiseiwitsch as his "spiritual heir"). At the piano, Moiseiwitsch was noted for his elegance, poetry, lyrical phrasing, brilliance, rhythmic freedom, and relaxed virtuosity. He made recordings for His Master's Voice (now EMI) starting in the 78RPM shellac era, continuing with long playing records and into the early stereo era.
His distinctive style can be heard in his recording of Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini and the Barcarolle, Ballade No. 4 and Nocturne Op. 62 of Chopin. In 1950 critic and musicologist Irving Kolodin said about the Ballade in F of Chopin played by Moiseiwitsch: "A featherweight touch in the opening section of this work, an apt feeling for its "once upon a time" narrative quality give Moiseiwitsch pre-eminence among present day interpreters...", thus summing up the sensitivity of the playing by Benno Moiseiwitsch.
He worked meticulously and amicably as a chamber musician, including in Rachmaninov's Elegiac Trio and Cello Sonata in G minor. American critic Harold C. Schonberg praised Moiseiwitsch's formidable technique and free approach to the music, adding that such freedom was "always tempered by impeccable musicality." Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
show me more