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Austrian-Jewish concert pianist and composer.

Robert Friedmann studied piano as a child with Paul de Conne, then from 1908 to 1912 composition with Ferruccio Busoni and piano with Leopold Godowsky at the Akademie für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna (Clare claims that he was a pupil of Leschetizky). He also studied privately with Richard Heuberger and Franz Schreker; and musicology with Guido Adler at the University of Vienna, receiving his PhD with a dissertation on the piano works of Carl Maria von Weber. In 1923-24 he taught piano at the Neues Wiener Konservatorium. He embarked on a career as a concert pianist in the 1920s.

He married Sally Klaar on September 14, 1924. After the Anschluß, he emigrated to England, where he remarried, and taught piano in Birmingham. He returned to Vienna in the 1950s.

Friedmann and Schenker

Schenker heard Friedmann play on Vienna Radio several times, commenting on his performances in his diaries: April 19, 1926 (Mendelssohn, Piano Trio in D minor), March 30, 1927 (Beethoven, Piano Concerto No. 4, Vienna Philharmonic/Weingarten), Nov 27, 1927 (Brahms, Piano Quartet Op. 25, Weissgärber Quartet), Feb 5, 1928 (Mozart, Piano Concerto K 453, Vienna Symphony Orchestra/Messner). There is no evidence that the two men met or corresponded.

Sources:

  • Müller, Erich H., ed., Deutsches Musiker-Lexikon (Dresden: Wilhelm Limpert, 1929)
  • Frank, Paul and Altmann, Wilhelm, eds., Kurzgefaßtes Tonkünstler-Lexikon (Regensburg: Gustav Bosse Verlag, 1936)
  • Clare, George [Klaar, Georg], Last Waltz in Vienna: the Destruction of a Family 1842‒1942 (London: Macmillan, 1981; Pan Books, 1982), 51‒53, 104
  • "Wiener Radio-Programm," Neue Freie Presse April 18, 1926; Nov 27, 1927 and Feb 5, 1928

Contributor:

  • Marko Deisinger

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Diaries