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He is considered to be one of the greatest pianists of all time [ citation needed ]. He became a French citizen in Cziffra was born to a poor family in Budapest in His parents had lived in Paris before World War I , when they were expelled as enemy aliens. His earliest training in piano came from watching his sister practice. She had decided she was going to learn the piano after finding a job which allowed her to save the required amount of money for buying an upright piano.
Cziffra, who was weak as a child, often watched his sister practice, and mimicked her. He learned without sheet music, instead repeating and improvising over tunes sung by his parents. He gave numerous concerts in Hungary, Scandinavia and the Netherlands.
Hungary was allied with the Axis during the Second World War. Cziffra had just married his wife Soleilka, who was pregnant when he entered military training. His unit was sent to the Russian front. He was captured by Russian partisans and held as a prisoner of war. After the war he earned a living playing in Budapest bars and clubs,   touring with a European jazz band from — and earning recognition as a superb jazz pianist and virtuoso.
After attempting to escape communist Hungary in he was again imprisoned and subject to hard labour in the period — In Cziffra escaped with his wife and son to Vienna, where his recital was warmly received.
His successful Paris debut the following year preceded his London debut at the Royal Festival Hall playing Liszt 's first piano concerto and Hungarian Fantasy which was also well received. Cziffra always performed with a large leather wristband to support the ligaments of his wrist, which were damaged after he was forced to carry pounds of concrete up six flights of stairs during his two years in a labor camp.
In Cannons and Flowers , his autobiography, which has been described as "a hallucinatory journey through privation, acclaim, hostility and personal tragedy", Cziffra recounts his life story up until In , he founded the Festival de musique de La Chaise-Dieu in the Auvergne, and three years later he inaugurated the piano competition named after him at Versailles. In he founded the Cziffra Foundation, sited in the Saint Frambourg chapel in Senlis, Oise , which he bought and restored, with the aim of helping young musicians at the outset of their careers.
However, his promising career was cut short by his death in an apartment fire in Cziffra died in Longpont-sur-Orge , Essonne , France, aged 72, from a heart attack  resulting from a series of complications from lung cancer.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the pianist. A Dictionary for the Modern Pianist. Retrieved 5 June Dissertation, University of North Carolina Greensboro, In Finscher, Ludwig ed. The New York Times. Retrieved 11 April Categories : births deaths Musicians from Budapest 20th-century classical composers Franz Liszt Academy of Music alumni Deaths from lung cancer Hungarian classical composers Hungarian male classical composers Hungarian classical pianists French male pianists Composers for piano 20th-century classical pianists French classical pianists Hungarian jazz pianists Male jazz musicians Hungarian Romani people.
Rimsky-Korsakov (Cziffra) – Flight of the Bumblebee – Wang, Piano
This octave-heavy piano version of Flight Of The Bumblebee is utterly crazy