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German-Czech conductor.

Career summary

Pollak was principal conductor at Bremen from 1905, Leipzig 1910‒12, Frankfurt 1912‒17. In 1917 he became Hanseatischer Generalmusikdirektor in Hamburg, remaining in that post until 1931, when he conducted in Chicago 1931‒32, then returned to Prague.

Egon Pollak and Schenker

Schenker refers to Egon Pollak explicitly in a letter to Moriz Violin of Feb 14, 1924: "In short, if you can arrange something with Egon Pollak, please do so. You will most certainly be pleased with him, of that I have no doubt." (OJ 6/7, [8]). There are other allusions to him around that time merely by last name, and it is sometimes unclear whether he is referring to Egon or the violinst Robert Pollak.


One letter from Egon Pollak to Moriz Violin from 1933 survives among the Violin papers (OJ 70/32). No correspondence between Egon Pollak and Schenker is known to survive.


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  • OJ 6/7, [8] Handwritten letter from Schenker to Moriz Violin, dated February 14, 1924

    Schenker reports continuing trouble with Hertzka, especially over delays to the publication of Tonwille 5 and 6, which were supposed to appear the previous year, and is beginning to think about legal action. Hertzka has made his position so difficult that he feels obliged to turn down Max Temming's offer of direct financial support for his work. He asks Violin to help find a post in Hamburg for Carl Bamberger, a gifted pupil who, though he neglected his piano studies for a while, is keen to make up for lost time. Finally, he asks if Violin received any of the four volumes of the Beethoven piano sonata edition.

  • OJ 14/45, [31] Handwritten letter from Moriz Violin to Schenker, dated March 16, 1924

    Violin acknowledges receipt of Tonwille 5 and the Beethoven sonata edition. In the former, he finds the graphs of the short preludes by Bach more difficult than anything that Schenker has previously done. He will write to Bamberger with the offer of help (in finding an accompanist post in Hamburg). In response to a question on the "Appassionata" Sonata from one of his pupils, he offers an explanation for the falling direction of the transitional theme (measures 24-30) and its reappearance in the development section (measures 94-100) in inverted, ascending form; he asks if this interpretation is sensible.

  • OJ 14/45, [36] Handwritten letter from Moriz Violin to Schenker, dated October 22, 1924

    In the process of arranging for copies of Der Tonwille to be distributed, Violin discovers that a pupil of his paid twice as much for one issue as the marked price in Austria. He has made some inquiries into this matter, and asks Schenker what an issue currently costs in Austria. There are no respectable music institutions in Hamburg, so Violin will distribute copies there personally.

  • OJ 14/45, [60] Handwritten letter from Moriz Violin to Schenker, dated January 3, 1927

    Violin reports on his son Karl's continued health problems and also his affection for his "Onkel Heinrich" (and with it, a wish to be in Vienna rather than in Hamburg). Agnes Becker has apparently sent Schenker some analytical work on a sonata for comment. Finally, he announces a forthcoming concert, with (Egon) Pollak, of a concerto for two pianos by C. P. E. Bach in an arrangement by Schenker.

  • OJ 6/7, [32] Handwritten letter from Schenker to Violin, dated February 16, 1927, with postscript from Fanny Violin

    Replying to Violin's previous letter, Schenker expresses surprise about (Egon) Pollak's enthusiasm for C. P. E. Bach's Double Concerto. He also expresses uncertainty about whether to accept an honor from the Academy of Arts and Science in Vienna. A translation and adaptation of part of his Counterpoint, vol. 2, has been prepared; and Herman Roth's book on counterpoint has also been published. He sends little Karl a picture of himself, and leaves space for Violin's sister Fanny to add a short greeting.