Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli (Italian: 5 January 1920 – 12 June 1995) was an Italian classical pianist. He is widely considered one of the greatest pianists of the twentieth century. Born in Brescia, Italy, he began music lessons at the age of three, initially with the violin, but quickly switched to the piano. At ten he entered the Milan Conservatory. In 1938, at the age of eighteen, he began his international career by entering the Ysaÿe International Festival in Brussels, Belgium, where he was placed seventh. (A brief account of this competition, at which Emil Gilels took first prize, is given by Arthur Rubinstein,[where?] who was one of the judges. According to Rubinstein, Benedetti Michelangeli gave "an unsatisfactory performance, but already showed his impeccable technique.") A year later he earned first prize in the Geneva International Competition, where he was acclaimed as "a new Liszt" by pianist Alfred Cortot, a member of the judging panel, which was presided over by Ignacy Jan Paderewski.