April 17, 1882 – August 15, 1951
Born – Lipnik, Moravia
Artur Schnabel enjoyed a very successful career as a concert pianist, teacher, and composer. As a pianist, Schnabel departed from the Romanticist tradition of playing to pursue his ideals found in the Classicists style; this style being characterized by intellectual seriousness and the avoidance of virtuosic bravura.
Schnabel was renowned for his interpretations of the Viennese classical composers, most noteworthy that of Beethoven and Schuman, as well as Mozart and Schubert.
He began his studies at an early age at the Vienna Conservatory under the tutelage of Hans Schmitt. Later when only 9, he was accepted as a student by the legendary Theodor Leschetizky, who he studied with for the next 7 years.
Schnabel made his concert debut in Vienna in 1890 and began his touring later in 1899. A year later, he moved to Berlin where he resided until 1933, when the Nazi party took control of Germany. Eventually, he moved to the United States where he became a citizen.
In 1905, he married the famous contralto singer Theresa Behr which resulted in a historic series of Schubert programs performed in Berlin.
In addition to his solo performances, Schnabel was a very active chamber musician, forming several chamber groups which included such notables as Bronislaw Huberman, Paul Hindemith, Gregor Piatigorsky, and Pablo Casals.
Throughout his career, he was a very active teacher, having taught at the Berlin State Academy from 1925-1933. Later he taught extensively in the United States. Some of his significant students include Leon Fleischer and Claude Frank.
As a composer, he was a modernist, composing in the atonal style writing string quartets, symphonies and sonatas.
Hear Schnabel play: