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German pianist, writer on music, editor, and composer.

Career Summary

August Spanuth studied piano (Heymann) and composition (Raff) at the Hoch Music School in Frankfurt, and made his debut as a pianist in 1874. After touring the United States in 1886, he taught at the Chicago Musical College from 1887 to 1893, and then in New York from 1893 to 1906, where he also worked as a music critic. He returned to Germany in 1906, teaching at the Stern Conservatory in Berlin. He had already been a contributor to the Berlin- and Leipzig-based Signale für die musikalische Welt from 1902 and continued to do so, serving as the journal's editor from 1907 to 1919. He published two volumes of piano exercises and with X. Scharwenka the book Methodik des Klavierspiels (1907), and three volumes of Liszt's piano works.

Spanuth and Schenker

In 1911 Ludwig Karpath solicited an article from Schenker for Spanuth's Signale, which Schenker refused to provide (diary November 11, 1911), and the incident evidently still rankled more than a decade later, because he mentioned the incident to Otto Erich Deutsch as recorded in his diary for January 9, 1924.

No communication between the two men is known to have taken place. One review by Spanuth from 1918 is preserved among Schenker's papers at OC 79/3510‒11.


  • Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians (1971)
  • Frank, Paul and Altmann, Wilhelm, Kurzgefaßtes Tonkünstler-Lexikon, vol. 1 (Wilhelmshaven: Heinrichshofen’s Verlag, 1936), p. 593
  • Painter, Karen, "The Aesthetics of Mass Culture: Mahler's Eighth Symphony and its Legacy," Mahler and his World, ed. Karen Painter (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002), pp. 127‒56


  • Ian Bent

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