Siloti, Alexander [Ziloti, Aleksandr Il'yich]. (1863 - 1945)
A previously unknown early photograph thought to be of the young Alexander Siloti. By Carl Bellach of Leipzig, stamped 1889 or 1899 lower right (seems to have been altered by hand, thus unclear), verso with the printed photography studio date of 1879. Approx. 4 x 6 inches. Irregularly trimmed, else fine.
The photograph was acquired together with confirmed images of Siloti and his family and as noted by the grandson of the pianist, the present image bears "a striking resemblance to the famous photo of my grandfather with Liszt, especially the eyes....I would say it is likely a photo of Siloti, but can not confirm this."
One of the most celebrated pianists/pedagogues of the late 19th century, Siloti was a student of Nikolay Rubinstein, Taneyev and Tschaikovsky in Moscow before moving to Weimar to study with Liszt. He returned to teach at the Moscow Conservatory in 1887, where among his students, was his cousin - Sergei Rachmaninoff. He toured frequently, gave important premieres of works by Debussy, Elgar, Glazunov, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Rimsky-Korsakov, Scriabin, Sibelius and Stravinsky and was Tchaikovsky's trusted editor, especially for the first and second piano concertos. Later, Siloti settled in New York, where he taught, among others, Marc Blitzstein and Eugene Istomin.
We are also grateful for the assistance of Dr. Charles Barber, author of "Lost in the Stars: The Forgotten Musical Life of Alexander Siloti" in the identification of this image.