Eugen Francis Charles d'Albert (April 10, 1864 ? March 3, 1932) was a German pianist and composer. D'Albert was born in Glasgow to an English mother and a French/Italian father, Charles Louis Napoleon d'Albert, a dancer, pianist and music arranger who had formerly been ballet-master at the King's Theatre and at Covent Garden. Eugen d'Albert never spoke English fluently, and considered himself to be German. Eugen was taught by his father until he won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London. There he studied with Ernst Pauer, Ebenezer Prout, John Stainer, and Arthur Sullivan. He arranged the piano reduction for the vocal score of Sullivan's sacred music drama The Martyr of Antioch, to accompany the chorus . While he later said that he considered his work during this period more or less worthless, he is credited with writing the overture to Sullivan's Patience. Ainger wrote 'That evening (April 21, 1881) Sullivan gave his sketch of the overture to Eugene d'Albert to score. D'Albert was a seventeen-year-old student at the National Training School (where Sullivan was the principal and supervisor of the composition dept.) and winner of the Mendelssohn Scholarship that year.' Several months before that, Sullivan had given d'Albert the task of preparing a piano reduction of The Martyr of Antioch for use in choral rehearsals of that 1880 work. David Russell Hulme studied the handwriting in the score's manuscript and confirmed that it is that of Eugene's not of his father Charles (as had erroneously been reported by Jacobs), both of whose script he sampled and compared to the Patience manuscript..
He became a pupil of the elderly Franz Liszt in Weimar, and can be heard in an early recording of that composer's works. Liszt called him 'the young Tausig'.
His output includes a symphony, two string quartets, two piano concertos, a cello concerto, and many lieder and piano works. His greatest compositional successes, however, were his many operas, though these have not maintained a place in the repertoire.
D'Albert was married six times, one of his wives being the Venezuelan pianist, singer and composer Teresa Carreño (1892-95), herself much married. D'Albert and Carreño were the subject of a famous joke: 'Come quick! Your children and my children are quarreling again with our children!' The line, however, has also been attributed to others.
He died in Riga, where he had traveled for the divorce from his sixth wife. He was buried in the beautiful cemetery overlooking Lake Lugano in Morcote, Switzerland.
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