Hambourg, Mark

Mark Hambourg – English pianist of Russian origin, that was born in Boguchar, Voronezh province on June 12, 1879. The musician was called “the prodigy from Boguchar”.

Music was playing constantly in the family of the future musician. Primarily young Mark studied playing the piano from his father, Michael Hambourg, who was once a very famous pianist from Yaroslavl. Mikhail Hambourg studied at the Moscow Conservatory under Nikolai Rubinstein and Sergei Taneyev, and then at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, from which he graduated in 1879. His firstborn son Mark was born the same year and the family moved to Voronezh. Two more children were born there - Yan and Boris. They became famous musicians with time. The Hambourg family lived In Voronezh until 1888, and then moved to Moscow. It was there that the piano debut of Mark took place. He played the 20th piano concerto by Mozart, and two years later, he went on tour to England. In London, Mark gave a concert, which featured works by Bach and Beethoven. With his brilliantly successful performances, the young pianist significantly improved the financial situation of his family, which allowed the family moving to London.

In 1900, in London, another son was born in the family – Clement, who later became a famous Canadian pianist.

Mark Hambourg wrote in his memoirs, “... our house was full of music and musicians. What a joy is to have an inherited musical talent, this is a real bliss. In the evenings, after dinner, everyone played chamber music. Many great musicians in those days were friends of my parents”.
Ferruccio Busoni, Anton Rubinstein, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Ignaz Friedman played music with Mark in the house of Michael Hambourg. Busoni even dedicated Sonatina No. 2 to Mark Hamburg.
In London, Mark had vast concert activity, and in 1891, on the recommendation of Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Mark was sent to Vienna to study under the great pianist Theodor Leschetizky. Three years later, Mark Hambourg performed the First Concert by Frederic Chopin, together with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Hans Richter. His performance impressed his teacher Theodor Leschetizky so much that the teacher returned all money the family paid for three years of studying.
After such successful performances, Mark actively toured in Europe. He performed in Australia, Canada, and the USA as well.

At the age of 17, Mark received British citizenship and soon married the daughter of Lord Mackenzie – Dorothea Muir.
By 1913, Mark performed more than two thousand concerts. It is an interesting fact is that Hambourg was one of the first pianists, whose performances were recorded.

In 1919, Mark’s daughter was born. She inherited her father’s talent and became a famous pianist. Since the age of 12, she was touring with her father around the world. Moreover, in 1930, she toured in the UK with the famous singer Paul Robson.
During the Great Patriotic War, Mark Hambourg gave charity concerts. A documentary was filmed about him in 1942.

Mark Hambourg left behind a small but important musical heritage: several piano works, Variations on the theme of Paganini (1902), three books – “From Piano to Forte”, “The Eighth Octave” and “How to become a pianist”.

Ref.: Romanov Eugene. Proza.ru
electronic resource: https://www.proza.ru/2017/11/10/1732