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A Napoleon of the Piano

The name Napoleon is used so frequently and so inappropriately to describe the successful men of finance and in other lines of human endeavor that it has become ridiculed by many. However, our readers may be somewhat surprised to learn that there was a pianist by the name of Arthur Napoleon who, during the middle of the past century, aroused such expectations that many felt that he would become one of the greatest virtuosos of his time. He was born in Oporto, Portugal, in 1843. When he was six years of age he played with the Philharmonic at Oporto. Before he was ten years old he had played with much success in Paris and in London. His only teacher up to this time had been his father, who was an Italian. Meyerbeer took such an interest in him that he called the attention of the King of Prussia to the child and he was given a royal audience. Later he toured England with such noted artists as Sivori and Piatti. When thirteen he went to Brazil and was so successful that he made fifteen thousand dollars with his first four concerts. Later he made long tours in the United States and in the West Indies, where he frequently appeared with Gottschalk. His playing up to this time had been somewhat superficial, but he now gave himself up to the study of the classical composers and toured Spain and Portugal with great success. Notwithstanding his pronounced success, he suddenly decided in 1808 to abandon his promising opportunities to become one of the greatest of pianists, and established himself in the music and pianoforte business in Rio Janiero. The firm of Napoleon and Miguez which he founded has become one of the leading firms in the South American continent.
 
 
 

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