Uploaded on Jun 2, 2007
Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 17 in D minor, Opus 31 No. 2
Kempff was born (1895 in Jüterbog, Brandenburg, Germany) in a family of distinguished church musicians. His father was his first teacher. He entered the Hochschule für Musik Berlin at age nine (deeply impressing the directors with his playing, improvisation and compositions) did furthur study in Potsdam, and finished up in Berlin 1916 also studying philosopy and music history.
His first appearance as a soloist was with the Berlin Phil Orch in 1918, Beethovens G major piano concerto under Arthur Nikisch.....Scandinavian tours continued after the war, culminating in a award bestowed on him by King Gustav of Sweden.
He was music director of Musikhochschule Stuttgart 1924-1929, and married piano pupil Helene Freiin Hiller in 1926. In 1927 took his first trip to Turkey and met with president Atatürk offering advice on appointments to Ankara college of music.
Then taught at Potsdam 1931-1941 with Edwin Fischer and Walter Gieseking. Premiere of his second opera "family Gozzi" in 1934 to good notices. He composed many works for orchestra, piano, organ, chamber ensembles and songs.
In 1951 he published his autobiography, ""Unter dem Zimbelstern, das Werden eines Musikers"
His first London concert in 1951 launched his strong international career (tho his first of many trips to Japan took place in 1936)
His first visit to US was for concerts in New York City, 1964
1969 TV broadcast of Beethoven's Piano Concerto G major with Rafael Kubelik (someone post that!!)
UNESCO Concert (1974) in Paris with Yehudi Menuhin and Mstislav Rostropovitch.
1979 was his last concert with orchestra, Beethovens piano concerto G major with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Vladimir Ashkenazy.
1981 his second book came out "Was ich hörte, was ich sah".
23 May 1991, William Kempff died. He is buried in the private forest cemetery of the Baron von Künssberg at Upper Franconia.
recorded in Paris, 1968
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