Stefan Askenase

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Stefan Askenase
Born (1896-07-10)10 July 1896
Lemberg, Austria-Hungary
Died 18 October 1985(1985-10-18) (aged 89)
Bonn, West Germany
Occupation pianist
External image
Stefan Askenase

Stefan Askenase (10 July 1896 – 18 October 1985) was a Polish-Belgian classical pianist and pedagogue.


Askenase was born in Lemberg into a Jewish family.[1]

At the age of five he began playing the piano with his mother, a pianist and pupil of Karol Mikuli. He studied with Theodor Pollak, a professor and director of the Ludwik Marek School of Music in Lemberg, then with Emil von Sauer, a pupil of Liszt, at the Vienna Academy of Music.

During World War I he served in the Austro-Hungarian army.[1]

In 1919 he made his debut in Vienna, and subsequently toured throughout the world. He lived in Cairo and then Rotterdam,[1] where he taught at the Conservatory of Music from 1937 to 1940.

During the Second World War he hid in France.[1]

Askenase's first concert in Poland after World War II took place on 17 May 1946. In 1950 he became a naturalized Belgian citizen[1] and from 1954 to 1961 he taught at the Brussels Conservatory of Music.

He recorded extensively the works of Chopin for the Deutsche Grammophon label in the 1950s and 1960s.

Stefan Askenase was also noted for his master-classes in Hamburg, Cologne and Jerusalem.[1]

In 1965 he founded The Arts and Music Society, whose aim was to preserve the historical Rolandseck railway station upon the river Rhine. After its restoration the building became a venue for artists such as Pierre Fournier, Hans Arp, Oskar Kokoschka, Yehudi Menuhin, Martin Walser, Marcel Marceau, Henryk Szeryng, Salvador Dalí and Askenase himself.

His pupils included Martha Argerich, László Gyimesi, John McKay, André Tchaikowsky and Mitsuko Uchida.

Stefan Askenase died in Bonn on October 18, 1985, shortly after giving a concert in Cologne.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Obituaries" (PDF). AJR Information (Volume XL No. 12, December 1985). London: The Association of Jewish Refugees in Great Britain. December 1985. p. 7. Retrieved 13 December 2015.