1877 – 1952
Who was Adela Verne?
Adela Verne was a notable English pianist and minor composer of German descent, born in Southampton. She was considered one of the greatest woman pianists of her era, ranked alongside the male keyboard giants of the time. She toured with great success in many parts of the world.
Adela Verne was born into a musical family named Wurm. Three of her sisters were also notable pianists or composers: Mathilde and Alice both also adopted the surname Verne, but Mary retained the family name Wurm.
Clara Schumann heard Adela play when she was but a small girl. She was so impressed that she wanted to take her to Frankfurt for study, as she had done with Mathilde, however her parents would not permit this. Instead, she was instructed by Mathilde and Alice, and later by Clara Schumann's daughter Marie Schumann.
At age 13 she made her debut in Tchaikovsky's Concerto No.1 in B flat minor, conducted by Sir August Manns at the Crystal Palace. Tchaikovsky himself heard of this astonishing young prodigy and wanted to meet her. The following year she was introduced to Ignacy Jan Paderewski. He was so impressed with her playing that he predicted a great future for her. At his home in Morges in Switzerland, she studied Chopin with Paderewski, as well as most of his own works, including the Sonata in E flat minor, the Polish Fantasy and the Concerto in A minor, the work with which she made her orchestral debut in New York.
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- Feb 27, 1877
- Feb 5, 1952
on July 23, 2013