"Antonietta Rudge was born in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1885; she came from a traditional Brazilian family and her ancestors were among the first Portuguese who arrived to colonize the country, especially the State of São Paulo. She started playing piano at four; at seven she gave her first recital, calling especial attention of the Music teachers for her remarkable virtuosity. Luigi Chiaffarelli, a former disciple of Busoni, took her under his guidance. All her musical training was in Brazil.
Soon she would become one of the foremost Brazilian pianists of her generation.
Chiafarelli received in his house most of the great artists who played in Brazil; there, Anotonietta Rudge met Pablo Casals, Bauer, Saint-Saëns, among others, and played four-hand pieces with them.
Her repertoire was huge. It is said that she could play by heart the 48 Preludes and Fugues of Bach's Well Tempered Clavier and transpose all of them into any key. Her playing had an almost masculine strength, which allowed her to master works by Alkan, Liszt and even Balakirev's Islamey, that few women pianists dared play. Being part of the cultural elite of her time in São Paulo, she also gave premières of a lot of music composed by Brazilian composers of her generation (Alexandre Levy, Luiz Levy, Henrique Oswald, Alberto Nepomuceno, Artur Napoleão, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Camargo Guarnieri, Francisco Mignone). She also premiered in São Paulo in 1941 the famous Concerto em Formas Brasileiras for piano and orchestra by Hekel Tavares.
Antonietta Rudge married Charles Miller, an Englishman who introduced soccer in Brazil, and travelled to Europe, where she had an appointment with an agent in London. He asked her to play something and was asked back what at all did he want her to play for him; her repertoire included anything one might think of. Immediately the agent booked her a concert tour. She played in England, France, Germany, with extremely favorable reviews by the critics.
There are 78 rpm. discs with around 35 recordings that she made during her early years. Her only daughter still had all those discs; now some of them are being reamastered for future release on CD.
In Brazil she was highly admired by Artur Rubinstein (who mentioned her in his memois), who used to make concert tours in South America often. Rubinstein said to the poet Menotti del Picchia, who later became Mme. Rudge's second husband and her greatest passion: "I have three loves: Chopin, Beethoven and Antonietta Rudge playing Beethoven and Chopin; now, to those loves I add the love I have for my wife" (Rubinstein had just got married)".
Once the London Quartet came to São Paulo for a recital and in the program was Schumann's Piano Quintet in E flat. The pianist got sick at the last moment and Antonietta Rudge was called to replace him. She played the Quintet at first sight at her success was enormous.
Mme. Rudge left the stage too soon, for personal reasons, and decided to dedicate her efforts to teaching; apparently she preferred to play at home, for her close friends and colleagues. She became Director of the Music Conservatory in Santos, a city on the Atlantic Coast, 50 miles from São Paulo. She still gave some public performances; the last one was in a Benefit Concert, with Guiomar Noaves and Souza Lima, playing Bach's and Mozart's Three Piano Concertos with the São Paulo Municipal Orchestra.
Shortly before her death, some of her admirers managed to release an LP with some of her old 78 rpm. recordings and some live recordings made at her home. She died in São Paulo in 1974."