Andre Tchaikowsky was a pianist and composer.  Born a Jew in Warsaw in 1935 under the name of Andre Krauthammer, as a young boy he found himself in The Warsaw Ghetto.  Thanks to his extraordinary grandmother he was smuggled out of the ghetto and given a new identity: Andre Tchaikowsky.  He hid with a Catholic family until the end of the war and it was only then, aged 9, that he was able to study piano.

It was soon apparent that Andre had exceptional musical talent and after studying at The Paris Conservatoire and Warsaw State Music Academy, he found himself touring the world with Arthur Rubinstein. Andre hated concert touring however, and would have preferred to have spent all his time composing. A polyglot, an eccentric, a rebel and a homosexual in a more disapproving time, as a Polish Jew Andre remained stateless for many years before finally settling in the UK.

His career was tragically cut short aged 46 when he died of cancer.  Nevertheless, before his untimely death, he had completed all but a few bars of his opera composition, “The Merchant of Venice”.  It was Andre’s dying wish that one day his opera be performed.  Thirty years later, in July 2013, that wish came true when “The Merchant of Venice” was performed for the very first time to critical acclaim at The Bregenz Opera Festival.