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Austrian conductor, pianist, teacher; pupil of Schenker's.

Career Summary

The son of Hungarian-Jewish concert pianist Sigmund Hupka and grandson of the composer-performer Ignaz Brüll (on his mother's side), Felix Hupka studied piano, harmony, and counterpoint with Leon Erdstein 1905-11, then piano with Eugen d'Albert (1911-12), before being recommended to Schenker in June 1912 by d'Albert. By then, he had already begun appearing as a concert pianist in 1910, at the age of 15.

Hupka was active as an opera conductor from 1922 in Frankfurt, Berlin, and Cologne, and then in Paris 1930-33. In 1939 he emigrated to Holland, where after the war he was active as a teacher at the Amsterdam Sweelinck-Konservatorium, among his pupils being Bernard Haitink. (Felix Hupka was the uncle of the celebrated photographer and recording engineer Robert Hupka.)

Hupka and Schenker

Hupka was a pupil of Schenker's from October 2, 1912 to the 1921/22 season. Schenker, who often called him "the little Hupka," took evident delight in his youthful enthusiasm (so much so that Hans Weisse showed signs of jealousy), and was sympathetic to the fact that he was poor. In addition to working on piano repertory and interpretation, Hupka undwent a year's study of harmony, at least one year of counterpoint, and also use of instruments, and form.

Hupka's sister, Frau Kaposy, was also a pupil of Schenker's.

Correspondence with Schenker

Much correspondence between Hupka and Schenker is recorded in Schenker's diary; only two items are known to survive from Hupka to Schenker (misfiled with the correspondence from Felix Salzer to Schenker in OJ 14/1).

Sources:

  • Fink, Evelyn, ed., Rebell und Visionär: Heinrich Schenker in Wien (Vienna: Lafite, 2003)
  • "Felix Hupka," in Schenker-Traditionen: Eine Wiener Schule der Musiktheorie und ihre internationale Verbreitung, ed. M. Eybl & E. Fink-Mennel (Vienna: Böhlau, 2006), pp. 242-43
  • Private communication from Robert Kosovsky (July 9, 2008)
  • Private communication from Hedi Siegel (August 10, 2009)

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Correspondence

Diaries

Lessonbooks