The Talent That Was Liberace
|By: Emanuel Daffy | Dec 10 2006 | 515 words | 361 hits|
Colorful Liberace is believed to be the most renowned and notorious piano player of all times. He rose from a very modest background to amass riches and came to be known as the king of pianos. He exhibited remarkable elegance, enthusiasm and style throughout his life.
Liberace was born in West Allis, Wisconsin. His father, Salvatore Liberace was an Italian who played the French horn in the Milwaukee Philharmonic and his mother Frances Liberace was a Polish who played the piano. Two of his siblings also showed musical prowess. Thus, the whole family was quite musically talented. As a child, Walter Valentino Liberace used to watch and listen to his parents playing their instruments of choice, but he fell in love with pianos. All this was long before he played his famous mirrored or jewel encrusted pianos.
He was offered a scholarship to the College of Music in Wisconsin by a family friend who visited their home and was impressed by his sheer talent. Liberlace grabbed the offer and studied at the college. He also received private tutions from Florence Bettray Kelly, who was known as the protege of celebrated Moritz Rosenthal. He finished his classical training at an early age of fourteen years and went on to give his solo debut performance at the Chicago Symphony.
He took the night club route and performed at some of the most famous clubs in the country like the Persian Room at the renowned Plaza Hotel in New York City. He preferred to be known by his last name only and started appearing with the gold cadelbra which ultimately became his trademark. Another seven years later he was playing his infamous piano having already returned a star.
Liberace became a part of Hollywood in the 1950s and started being a part of movie production. He was later offered a part in a television series and won two Emmy awards for his efforts. It proved to be a big hit all over the world both on television and radio. His television engagements however did not prevent him from performing and he gave house full performances in Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden.
He performed to full houses in Australia and Europe, touring all over the world in the 1960s and 1970s. He also started work on his autobiography and his now famous cookbook "Liberace Cooks". He always worked for charitable causes and set up the Liberace Foundation to provide scholarships for talented individuals in Performing and Creative Arts. He got Contemporary Keyboard Magazine's "Pop Keyboard Artist of the Year" award for three consecutive years and also set up his own Las Vegas museum.
In the 1980s, Liberace continued to enthrall audiences all over the world. He played the nominated songs flawlessly at the 1982 Academy Awards. He also traveled tirelessly, bringing fans at venues like Radio City Music Hall.
Shortly before his 68th birthday, the King of Pianos passed away in the comfort of his Palm Springs home. No one has yet to fill his shoes or sit at his rhinestone encrusted pianos since his passing and the world wonders will there ever be another Liberace?
Emanuel Daffy is the chief editor for F pianos
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