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Now playing (2 of 2)

As I mentioned yesterday, the January 12 1948 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained two notices of upcoming performances at the Eaton Auditorium and two at Massey Hall. Here’s the two at Massey Hall.

Massey Hall advertisements sometimes require a bit more work to identify, as they tended to list only the last name of the upcoming performer. For instance, here’s who was playing that night:

This was almost certainly Samson Pascal François (1924-1970). His Wikipedia page informs us that his “extravagant lifestyle, good looks, and passionate but highly disciplined playing gave him a cult status as a pianist”. His lifestyle must have been quite extravagant indeed, or perhaps he was cursed with a bad heart, as he suffered a heart attack on stage when he was only 44 years old. He passed away two years later.

The second notice also just included the performer’s last name, but, thankfully, it was more unusual:

Witold Małcużyński (1914-1977) was, indeed, born in Poland. He was in France when the Second World War broke out; when France surrendered, he and his wife escaped in a sealed train car to Portugal, and then eventually went to Argentina. He moved to the United States in 1942, and then to Switzerland after the war.

Apparently, according to Wikipedia, his piano playing was marked by great passion and poetry. YouTube has a number of links to his performances, including this one, so you can decide for yourself whether this is true.

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