|1910 - 1920's
began her piano studies at the age of four in Moscow where she was
born in 1910 -- exactly one hundred years after the birth of her
idol, Frederick Chopin.
By the time she was seven, Ludmilla was recognized as a great piano
prodigy and successfully auditions for the prestigious Kiev Conservatory,
playing three piano pieces, one of which she actually recalls and
plays here eighty-six years later!
At Kiev, Ludmilla was fortunate to study in the company of notable
older schoolmates pianist Vladimir Horowitz and
violinist Nathan Milstein. By the time Ludmilla was eight, she gave
her first public concert in Kiev.
When the Bolshevik Revolution strikes in Russia, wealthy families
are considered suspect. Ludmilla's father, a successful recording
engineer, fears reprisal. In 1919 he flees to Poland, and Ludmilla
and her mother follow five years later.
Musical gains made at the Kiev Conservatory are put aside until
the impressionable young Ludmilla (now 14 years old) attends a moving
performance at a piano recital which inspires her
to make the most out of her talent. She then enters the Krakow Conservatory,
graduating with the highest honors by her sixteenth birthday!
By this time Ludmilla had already played as piano soloist with
nearly every major symphony in Poland and was accepted as the YOUNGEST
contestant in the coveted First International Chopin Competition
held in 1927. Competing against her is the Soviet composer Dmitri
As a prize, Ludmilla was awarded a fully paid scholarship to the
Warsaw Conservatory by the Competition Judge, Joseph Turczinsky,
who served as her Master Teacher, until her graduation, with the
highest honors, before her eighteenth birthday.