Here was a truly monumental talent. Imbued with music from his earliest days by his clarinetist father and pianist mother, Busoni made his debut in Vienna at the age of eight and toured Italy at 17.
In 1890 he won the Rubinstein prize for composition and piano playing. He taught in many of the major cities of Europe as well as at New England Conservatory in Boston. Percy Grainger, only one of Busoni's many famous pupils, described his attributes in a 1921 Etude article, "Pianistically speaking, the range of his additions to keyboard technic, the uncanny infallibility of his manual precision, the scope of his inventivity and imagination as an arranger for the piano, outstrips anything I have witnessed by any other great virtuosi."
Busoni toured the U.S. in 1909 and 1911 which prompted Ampico to release the earliest of his Hupfeld conversions. [/b]
Edward J. Dent said, ".....the louder Busoni played the more beautiful the sonority of his tone became." Composer Isidore Phillip observed, "There was something fairylike about his technique, a blend of audacity and delicacy of flexibility and the most thorough precision." Not content to bask in such adulation, Busoni busied himself with composing everything from short piano pieces to symphonies and operas. In addition he wrote works of Liszt. He really excelled, however, in performing his own piano arrangements of Bach's organ works.
After his death in 1924, Etude magazine said, "He will be best remembered for his devotion to the works of Bach of which he was the greatest transcriber and interpreter among pianists." And later: "The exquisite beauty with which he suffused his playing of Bach was unforgettable." Busoni's own advice on pianistic technique was given succinctly in a discussion with Phillip: "It is in the perfection of details that a great pianist is recognized."