She also graduated with a Premier Prix in violin. Haskil then began to tour Europe, though her career was interrupted by one of the numerous physical ailments she suffered throughout her life. In 1913 she was fitted with a plaster cast in an attempt to halt the progression of scoliosis. Other frequent illnesses, combined with extreme stage fright kept her from critical or financial success.
Most of her life was spent in abject poverty. It was not until 1949, during a concert series in the Netherlands, that she began to win widespread critical acclaim. As a pianist, her playing was marked by a purity of tone and phrasing that may have come from her skill as a violinist. Transparency and sensitive inspiration were other hallmarks of her style. Dinu Lipatti described her playing as "the sum of perfection on earth," Wilhelm Backhaus called it "the most beautiful in the world," Tatyana Nikoleyeva burst into tears when she first heard Haskil, and Rudolf Serkin nicknamed her "the perfect Clara." Exactly one month before her 66th birthday, Clara Haskil died from injuries sustained in a fall.
She was traveling to Brussels to begin a concert tour with the Belgian violinist Arthur Grumiaux, arriving a few days after a triumphant concert with him in Paris. She lost her grip and tumbled down a steep concrete stairway at the railway station. She came around briefly and asked that Grumiaux be told how sorry she was not to be able to play with him the next day. Holding up her hands weakly, she whispered with smile, "At least I didn’t damage these." Read more on Last.fm.
User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
show me more