Artur Schnabel (1882–1951) left his mark on the music scene of his time in multiple ways – as a pianist, publisher, teacher and composer. He is considered to be one of the first musicians of his time to view concert programming with a critical eye. Taking to heart the conclusions he drew, he began to emphasize contextual coherence when putting together his concert programs, for example, rather than focusing on audience appeal. Groundbreaking in this respect was the very first performance of all Beethoven piano sonatas over the course of seven evenings in Berlin in 1927. A public display of virtuosity was also foreign to him.
He was both unconventional and ahead of his time as a teacher, in Berlin where he was appointed professor in 1925 at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik as well as in exile after he had to flee Germany when the National Socialists took power. Artur Schnabel has attracted more public attention as a composer since new recordings were made and new scores printed of many of his compositions towards the end of the 20th century. Marking the occasion of the 65th anniversary of his death, the rbb’s Kulturradio presents an homage in works, letters and images with the support of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin.