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Hungarian pianist and music educator. Kestenberg studied piano with Kullak and Busoni, embarked on a career as a concert pianist and taught at the Stern and Klindworth-Scharwenka Conservatories in Berlin.

In 1918, Kestenberg became music adviser to the Prussian Ministry of Science, Culture and Education, and in 1922 Director of the music department of the Zentralinstitut für Erziehung und Unterricht (Central Institute for Education and Teaching) in Berlin. His Musikerziehung und Musikpflege (Music Education and the Cultivation of Music) (Leipzig, 1921, 2/1927), Schulmusikunterricht in Preussen (School Music Instruction in Prussia) (Berlin, 1927) and several other books expressed his reforming ideas about music education, many of which were incorporated into government policies. In the 1930s, he and Georg Schünemann were involved in reforming every aspect of music education in Prussia. He played a role also in the development of Gebrauchsmusik, declaring that it was "artistically as important as, and nowadays materially more promising than, concert music."

As a Jew, he left Germany for Prague in 1934, and in 1938 moved to Tel Aviv, where he became general manager of the Palestine Symphony Orchestra while continuing his music-educational work.

Kestenberg and Schenker's Circle and Correspondence

It was Kestenberg who, at the instigation of Wilhelm Furtwängler, invited Hans Weisse to deliver a lecture at the Central Institute in 1930. Copies in Jeanette Schenker's hand of two letters from him to Weisse, in which he evinces sympathy with Schenker's ideas, are preserved at OJ 71/20, [1] and [2] (July 15 and August 4, 1930). (Weisse's replies are not known to survive. There is no known correspondence between Kestenberg and Schenker.


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