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PAUL WEINGARTEN - PIANIST

Two page autographed letter by the pianist to conductor Rudolf Nilius in Baden, Leipzig, October 28, 1921.

 

Leipzig, den 28. Okt. 1921.

Dear Herr Kapellmeister! My mother's letter has just reached me in a round-about way in which she informs me of your kind inquiry regarding November 27th. In principle I agree very much, but I'm supposed to start a 10-day Yugoslav tour on November 24th. But it is very likely that I will only do Agram, then I would be back on the 27th and would be happy to be at your disposal. The decision on this must be made in the next few days; I'll be back in Vienna on November 3rd (I. Schultergasse 5) and will then come to an agreement with you if you can wait that long. It obviously is Mozart's concert rondo? Hopefully I can say yes to you soon - With best regards, your devoted, Paul Weingarten.

Herrn Kapellmeister Nilius Baden bei Wien

N.[ieder] Österreich

The concert discussed in Weingarten‘s letter occured on the 27th of November and was announced in the „Neues Wiener Journal“.  Rudolf Nilius conducted a chamber orchestra made up of 30 musicians from the Vienna Staatsoper in the Big Hall of the Musikverein.  The Mozart „concert rondo“ described in the letter was the concert aria, „Ch'io mi scordi di te...Non temer amato bene“ K. 505, scored for soprano, piano obbligato and orchestra.  Gertrud Förster was the soprano.  The following day, Hedwig Kanner gave the concert a great review in the newspaper, „Der Morgen“.

Paul Weingarten (1886-1948) and Rudolf Nilius (1883-1962) were appointed teachers at the Vienna Conservatory in 1921.

 

Weingarten was born in Moravia, but spent the bulk of his life in Austria.  His father was a judge in Brno.  He first studied from the age of 8 with Marie Katholicky-Soffé a pupil of Julius Epstein in Vienna.  He made his debut with orchestra at the age of 15.  Upon graduating from high school, he enrolled at the Vienna Conservatory where he studied with Liszt’s pupil Emil v. Sauer.  He also studied theory and counterpoint with Robert Fuchs and music history with Guido Adler.  He graduated in 2 years, winning the Nikolai Rubinstein Prize.  From 1910 to 1915 he served in the Hoch und Deutschmeister No. 4 Regiment of the Austrian Army. He made his first concert tour in 1917, this time at the front towards the end of World War I.  After 1918 his regular concert tours began, based in Vienna, he toured in The Netherlands, Germany, Italy France and the Balkan countries. He performed the Austrian solo piano premiere of Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” in 1920.  Weingarten was appointed teacher of Piano at the Vienna Conservatory in 1921. (Lecturer 1924, Associate Professor 1928 and Professor in 1931, when he was appointed to lead the advanced class and in 1933 the master class. The appointment did not disturb his travels as he continued to tour in Europe, Sumatra and Java in 1927 and made his London debut in 1929. He performed the World Premiere of Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s 3rd Piano Sonata in C major, op. 25 in March, 1932. He also premiered a number of the piano and chamber works of his friend, the composer Josef Marx. Bruno Walter hired him to perform at the Salzburg Festspiele in 1931. During those years he often performed with the Rosé and Fitzner String Quartets. Weingarten also served on the 1932 International Chopin Competition in Warsaw.  During the Summers from 1929 to 1933 he gave masterclasses in Wilhelm Kienzl’s Austro-American Conservatory in Mondsee.  In 1936 he took his sabbatical to the Far East and taught in Japan where he also gave recitals and soloist concerts in Japan and China.  His sabbatical ended 2 years later in 1938 at the time of the Anschluss. Jewish, he had first converted to Christianity as a Protestant in 1904 and then in 1926 to Catholicism, neither for religious purposes.  He knew better to return to Austria and headed to England via Italy.  He stayed there a year, his most famous appearance was at a Josef Haydn concert memorializing the 130th anniversary of his death at the Royal College of Music with his old friends Arnold Rosé and Friedrich Buxbaum.  His wife Anna Maria came from a Bohemian aristocratic family, she was in fact a Countess.  The couple took a risk during the Summer of 1939 and went to her mother’s home in Hungary where they waited out the War.  Apparently no one took notice of him and he taught there until the War was over.  Weingarten returned and gave his first concert in post war Vienna in October, 1945.  His position was restored in 1946 with the title of Hofrat and the chairmanship of the department. He taught for the last 2 years of his life, occasionally giving concerts during the school year and giving recitals and performances with chamber groups and orchestra in the Summers in Salzburg. He made four records for Columbia Japan in 1936 and also several Hupfeld rolls.

 

Weingarten’s pupils included, Walter Flieschmann, Jan Gorbaty, Ingrid Haebler, Josef Hoffmann, Daria Hordynsky, Alexander Jenner, Alfred Kitchin, Károly Krombholc, Rena Kuryakou, Moura Lympany, Hans Redlich, Livia Rev, György Sebok, Ridgway Shin, Andre Singer, Peter Stadlen, Jenö Takás, Viktor Urbantschitsch and Hans Weber