Harold Bauer

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Fritz Kreisler, Harold Bauer, Pablo Casals, and Walter Damrosch at Carnegie Hall on March 13, 1917
Harold Bauer

Harold Victor Bauer (28 April 1873 – 12 March 1951) was a noted pianist of Jewish heritage who began his musical career as a violinist.


Harold Bauer was born in Kingston upon Thames; his father was a German violinist and his mother was English. He took up the study of the violin under the direction of his father and Adolf Pollitzer. He made his debut as a violinist in London in 1883, and for nine years toured England. In 1892, however, he went to Paris and studied the piano under Ignacy Jan Paderewski for a year, though still maintaining his interest in the violin. An anecdote reports that Paderewski jokingly told Bauer to concentrate on the piano because "You have such beautiful hair". In 1893, in Paris, he and Achille Rivarde premiered Frederick Delius's Violin Sonata in B major.[1][2]

During 1893-94 he travelled all through Russia accompanying the noted soprano Mademoiselle Nikita and giving piano recitals and concerts, after which he returned to Paris. Further recitals in the French capital brought him renown, and he almost immediately received engagements in France, Germany and Spain. His reputation was rapidly enhanced by these performances, and his field of operation extended through the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, England, Scandinavia and the United States.

In 1900, Harold Bauer made his debut in America with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, performing the U.S. premiere of Johannes Brahms' Piano Concerto No.1 in D minor. On 18 December 1908, he gave the world premiere performance of Claude Debussy's piano suite Children's Corner in Paris. After that he settled in the United States, and was a founder of the Beethoven Association.

Between 1915 and 1929 he recorded over 100 pieces for the Duo-Art and Ampico reproducing pianos, one of the most prolific virtuoso pianists in this medium of his era.

Harold Bauer was also an influential teacher and editor, heading the Piano Department at the well known Manhattan School of Music. Starting in 1941, Bauer taught winter master classes at the University of Miami and served as a Visiting Professor at the University of Hartford Hartt School of Music with Maestro and Founder - Moshe Paranov and head of the Piano Department - Raymond Hanson, from 1946 until his death in Miami, Florida, in 1951.[3]

He published Harold Bauer, His Book (New York, 1948).


Harold's sister Ethel Bauer was also a concert pianist active in London. Harold was married twice. He first married the divorcée Maria Knapp (1861–1940) in 1906 until her death. In January 1941, he married again, the concert pianist, colleague, and his former student, Wynne Pyle.[4] He had no children by either marriage.


Students of Harold Bauer include notably Abbey Simon,[5] Dora Zaslavsky, and Robert Schrade (1924-2015), touring concert pianist (with critically acclaimed performances at Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, Lincoln Center, Greece, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, etc.), co-founder of Sevenars Concerts [6] in Massachusetts with wife Rolande Maxwell Young (who also studied with Bauer), and teacher at several schools, including at the Manhattan School of Music (and MSM Prep Division). Robert Schrade was praised by leading critics, including Virgil Thomson and Harold Schonberg, and remastered recordings have been highly praised by American Record Guide and others.

Harold Bauer taught many other prominent pianists in his day, including composer Viola Cole-Audet,[7] John Elvin, who was a piano professor at Oberlin College in Ohio [8] and Consuelo Elsa Clark, a piano teacher at the New York College of Music from 1918 to 1968 and the teacher of the composer Michael Jeffrey Shapiro.



General references

  1. The Art of the Piano. Its performers, literature, and recordings. Third edition, by David Dubal. The Pianists section begins on page 11. Pompton Plains, NJ: Amadeus Press, 2004.
  2. The ASCAP Biographical Dictionary. Third edition, New York: American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, 1966
  3. Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians
    Sixth edition, revised by Nicolas Slonimsky, London: Collier Macmillan Publishers
    Seventh edition, revised by Nicolas Slonimsky, New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., Schirmer Books, 1984
    Eighth edition, revised by Nicolas Slonimsky, New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1992
    Ninth edition, edited by Laura Kuhn, New York: Schirmer Books, 2001
  4. Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Classical Musicians, by Nicolas Slonimsky, New York: Schirmer Books, 1997
  5. Biographical Dictionary of American Music. By Charles Eugene Claghorn (1911–2005), West Nyack, New York: Parker Publishing Co., 1973
  6. Biography Index; A Cumulative Index to Biographical Material in Books and Magazines, New York: H.W. Wilson Company
    Volume 1: January 1946–July 1949 (1949)
    Volume 2: August 1949–August 1952 (1953)
    Volume 3: September 1952–August 1955 (1956)
    Volume 4: September 1955–August 1958 (1960)
    Volume 7: September 1964–August 1967 (1968)
    Volume 8: September 1967–August 1970 (1971)
    Volume 9: September 1970–August 1973 (1974)
    Volume 11: September 1976–August 1979 (1980)
    Volume 12: September 1979–August 1982 (1983)
    Volume 16: September 1988–August 1990 (1990)
    Volume 21: September 1995–August 1996 (1996)
  7. Britannica Book of Music, edited by Benjamin Hadley, Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Co., 1980
  8. The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, edited by John S. Bowman, Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1995
  9. Musicians since 1900; Performers in Concert and Opera, compiled and edited by David Ewen, New York: H.W. Wilson Company, 1978
  10. The New American Dictionary of Music, by Philip D. Morehead with Anne MacNeil, New York: Dutton, 1991
  11. The New Grove Dictionary of American Music, four volumes, edited by H. Wiley Hitchcock & Stanley Sadie, London: Macmillan Press, 1986
  12. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 20 volumes, edited by Stanley Sadie, London: Macmillan Publishers, 1980
  13. Notable Twentieth-Century Pianists: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook, two volumes, by John Gillespie & Anna Gillespie, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1995
  14. The Penguin Companion to Classical Music, by Paul Griffiths, London: Penguin Books, 2004
  15. The Penguin Dictionary of Musical Performers: A Biographical Guide to Significant Interpreters of Classical Music — Singers, Solo Instrumentalists, Conductors, Orchestras and String Quartets — Ranging From the Seventeenth Century to the Present Day, by Arthur Jacobs, London: Viking Press, 1990
  16. The Pianist's Dictionary, by Maurice Hinson, Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 2004
  17. American National Biography, 24 volumes, edited by John A. Garraty & Mark C. Carnes, New York: Oxford University Press, 1999
  18. Dictionary of American Biography, Supplement 5, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1977
  19. Who Was Who in America, A Component of Who's Who in American History, Vol. 3, 1951–1960, Chicago: Marquis Who's Who, 1966

Inline citations

  1. ^ Tamino Classic Forum
  2. ^ The Delius Society Journal, Number 87, Autumn 1985[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Memories of Harold Bauer as a Teacher
  4. ^ New York City Marriage Licenses; Borough: Manhattan; Year: 1941
  5. ^ Schonberg, Harold C. "Evolution of a Pianist's Pianist". New York Times. Retrieved 27 May 2022.
  6. ^ "Home". sevenars.org.
  7. ^ "Viola Cole School of Piano (advertisement)". Chicago Tribune. 1909-09-26. p. 72. Retrieved 2019-12-18.
  8. ^ "James Heuser Piano Teacher Lineage". Austin Piano Lessons in Your Home. Retrieved 2019-06-29.

External links[edit]

Public DomainThis article incorporates text from a publication that prior to 1923, is in the public domain: The Etude, Philadelphia: Theodore Presser Company {{citation}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)