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German pianist and teacher active in Berlin.

Career Summary

Breithaupt studied at the Leipzig Conservatory (Paul, Jadassohn, Teichmüller), and musicology at Leipzig University (Riemann, Kretzschmar). He worked in Dresden and Vienna as a writer on music in 1900‒02, and moved to Berlin in 1903. There he wrote articles and reviews about living pianists in the periodical Die Musik . He then turned to piano teaching, specializing in the physiological technique of arm, hand, and fingers, becoming in 1918 head of the piano classes at the Stern Conservatory.

He is author of Die natürliche Klaviertechnik, 2 vols (Leipzig: Kahnt, 1905, 1909) and Praktische Studien zur natürlichen Klaviertechnik (1916‒21). Kahnt also published an English translation of some of these works.

Breisach and the Schenker Circle

In 1930‒31 Anthony van Hoboken took lessons from him, thereafter using him as a consultant on piano technique (e.g. OJ 89/4, [2], OJ 89/4, [3]). Schenker was ambiguous about this, seeing it on one occasion as "a betrayal, a chess move, as a way of escaping my lesson fee" (diary July 20, 1930). There is no known surviving correspondence between Breithaupt and Schenker, but in August 1934 Breithaupt contacted Schenker to ask for a current address for Hoboken; Schenker reported this to Hoboken (OJ 89/7, [14]).


  • MGG


  • Ian Bent

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