I heard on the radio this morning that today, 5 January, marks the birth date of several esteemed pianists. I love it when life throws up this kind of happenstance.

Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli (5 January 1920 – 12 June 1995) was an Italian classical pianist. According to Wikipedia, he is considered one of the greatest pianists of the twentieth century.


Alfred Brendel KBE (born 5 January 1931) is an Austrian pianist, poet and author, known particularly for his performances of Mozart, Schubert, Schoenberg, and especially Beethoven.  According to Wikipedia, he was largely self-taught. Amazing!


Maurizio Pollini (born January 5, 1942) is an Italian classical pianist. He is especially noted for his performances of Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Schumann, Brahms, Schoenberg, Webern and for championing modern composers such as Pierre Boulez, Luigi Nono, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Giacomo Manzoni, Salvatore Sciarrino and Bruno Maderna.


These great male musicians do not have a monopoly over this birth date, however. Here is the magnificent Erika Morini (January 5, 1904 – October 31, 1995), who was a Jewish Austrian violinist.


And last, but by no means least, here is Elizabeth Cotten, (January 5, 1893 – June 29, 1987), who was a brilliant American blues and folk musician, singer, and songwriter.


What an auspiciously musical day it is today! 🙂

9 thoughts on “On this day: celebrating musicians born on 5 January

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