The International Master Institute of Music "Leopold Godowsky", Inc., the foremost leading authority in the field, provides worldwide education in the principle of weight release (frei Gewichtkeit), rather than muscular impetus, as the most efficient method of piano playing. The International Master Institute of Music "Leopold Godowsky", Inc. acts for the preservation and promotion of the teachings to the principle of high virtuosity in piano playing of the most astonishing performer and creator in the history of the art, the legendary Pianist's Pianist Leopold Godowsky and will continue to elevate its educational and artistic standards, remaining responsive to changing conditions in the worldwide performing arts community and will uphold its commitment to the diversity of its community by fostering an environment that is inclusive, supportive, and welcoming to all. The International Master Institute of Music "Leopold Godowsky", Inc. also serves as the core of a research affiliation investigating the Godowsky piano-playing methodology making related information available to the public globally.The International Master Institute of Music "Leopold Godowsky", Inc.
World-class Bulgarian pianist and pedagogue, Velichka Savova (Wella Sawowa) studied with Leopold Godowsky during her most formative years in Berlin, Germany. She considered herself solely a disciple of Leopold Godowsky. She spoke in length about Maestro Godowsky and the "frei Gewichtkeit" as his piano-playing method. In her words, she was only a humble student and follower of the great Maestro.
After Maestro Godowsky's departure, she applied to the Munich Conservatory to pursue a formal degree and it is there where she performed for Berthold Kellerman who was one of the last students of Franz Liszt and who was "frequently acclaimed as the living embodiment of the Liszt tradition". Naturally, Kellerman also knew Clara Schumann personally and naming Ms. Savova (Wella Sawowa, as she preferred her name at that time) as the second Clara Schumann is of great significance.
In 1918, due to WWI , Ms. Savova went back to Bulgaria. In 1923, she returned to Berlin and studied with Ferruccio Busoni and his assistant and friend, Gottfried Galston. Galston in turn asked Ms. Savova to be his assistant, a position which she readily assumed for three years. In 1927, Galston left for the United States. After Galston's departure, Ms. Savova became a student and the assistant of Leonid Kreutzer. With the rise of the political changes in Germany in 1931 she left for Poland and in 1932, she returned to Bulgaria once again. In 1933, Kreutzer emigrated to Japan and invited Ms. Savova to be his assistant there. Having been entrusted by Maestro Godowsky to expand his work and methods in Eastern Eutrope Ms. Savova did not accept Kreutzer's invitation, but instead stayed in Bulgaria for the rest of her life.
In Bulgaria, Ms. Savova became a central figure in the musical scene. She formed a duo with the phenomenal Bulgarian violinist Nedyalka Simeonova and later with Todor Vazharov, who became her husband. During this time she became the lead professor in the Boarding School for Gifted and Talented and later became a professor at the National Academy of Music (Conservatory). Due to political changes in Bulgaria, she was forced to leave the Conservatory, while her husband continued his position there.
In all of the following years Ms. Savova remained the most beloved, respected and sought after private pedagogue of world class stature. In turn she authorized Professor Konstantinov to continue her work in US. The International Master Institute of Music "Leopold Godowsky", Inc. owe our most heartfelt thanks and respect to Ms. Velichka Savova because without her, we would not be in existence. Unfortunately, majority of Ms. Savova's recordings have been destroyed. One recording remains in the private collection of her favorite student, Professor Konstantinov. We invite you to hear our great Maestro Savova's recording on our YouTube channels: www.youtube.com/godowskyinstitute and www.youtube.com/aninhey. We invite you to contact us should you like to contribute any information and/or lost recordings of Ms. Velichka S Savova(Wella Sawowa). Photo property of Tzvetan Konstantinov's private collection
Johann Sebastian Bach
Ludwig van Beethoven
Leopold Godowsky III
Evgeny (Eugene) Malinin
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli
Yeol Eum Son
Michael von Zadora
Yakov ZakCarlo Zecchi