He is generally regarded as one of the greatest heinrich neuhaus the art of piano playing pdf of the 20th century. Richter moved in with his aunt Tamara. Unusually, he was largely self-taught.
Even at an early age, Richter was an excellent sight-reader and regularly practised with local opera and ballet companies. Neuhaus apparently whispered to a fellow student, “This man’s a genius”. Richter to be “the genius pupil, for whom he had been waiting all his life,” while acknowledging that he taught Richter “almost nothing. Early in his career, Richter also tried his hand at composing, and it even appears that he played some of his compositions during his audition for Neuhaus.
He gave up composition shortly after moving to Moscow. Years later, Richter explained this decision as follows: “Perhaps the best way I can put it is that I see no point in adding to all the bad music in the world”. By the beginning of World War II, Richter’s parents’ marriage had failed and his mother had fallen in love with another man. Because Richter’s father was a German, he was under suspicion by the authorities and a plan was made for the family to flee the country.
Due to her romantic involvement, his mother did not want to leave and so they remained in Odessa. In August 1941 his father was arrested and later found guilty of espionage, being sentenced to death on 6 October 1941. Richter didn’t speak to his mother again until shortly before her death nearly 20 years later in connection with his first US tour. In 1945, Richter met and accompanied in recital the soprano Nina Dorliak. Richter and Dorliak thereafter remained companions until his death, although they never married. She accompanied Richter both in his complex life and career.