News and Thoughts

Wassily Sapellnikoff

Wassily Sapellnikoff

Wassily Sapellnikoff (Vasily Sapelnikov) was a Ukrainian pianist and composer, born in Odessa in 1867. He trained at the Odessa Conservatory where he studied with Belgian pianist Louis Brasson and with German pianist Sophie Menter who had studied piano with Franz Liszt. After a highly distinguished career as concert pianist, Sapellnikoff died in San Remo, Italy in 1941.

The two recordings posted here were made on piano roll that the Stanford University Piano Roll Archive scanned and converted to MIDI. I have transferred the MIDI files to MP3 on my virtual Erard grand piano of 1922. The sound is exceptional and brings this inspiring musician a renewed audience.

He performs here Nocturne No. 1 by Franz Liszt which he recorded in 1910 and Overture to William Tell by Rossini transcribed by Liszt recorded sometime between 1913 and 1920.

Liszt Nocturne No. 1 performed by Wassily Sapellnikoff
Rossini Overture to William Tell, transcribed for piano by Liszt, played by Wassily Sapellnikoff

By Robert Cooper Rivard

Classical pianist, composer, member of ASCAP. Currently teaching online "Music of the United States" and "Music and the Human Experience" for a college in Missouri.