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Aloys Kontarsky

German pianist Aloys Kontarsky was born in Iserlohn on 14 May 1931, and, when still very young, had lessons with Franz Hanemann before going on to study with Else Schmitz-Gohr in Cologne and Hamburg, and with Eduard Erdmann in Hamburg.

He was an instructor at the Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music and the Cologne Courses for New Music, and a member of the Darmstadt International Chamber Ensemble. He also played as a duo with cellist Siegfried Palm.

But he was best known as a duo-pianist with his younger brother, Alfons Kontarsky, and in this role the Kontarsky Brothers gave a number of first performances of contemporary works. Their international reputation was built on performing modern music, but they also performed standard repertoire, and occasionally their younger brother Bernhard Kontarsky joined them to perform works for three pianos.

Aloys had two debilitating strokes in 1983, and retired from performing. He died on 22 August 2017, aged eighty-six.

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