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Schnabel, Artur

Schnabel, Artur

Born in 1882


Inducted in 2002

At age seven, Artur Schnabel’s teacher said, “You’ll never be a pianist. You are a musician.” It was an exaggeration of course, because Schnabel went on to be a brilliant performer?but also a composer of some seventy challenging works that draw more and more praise each year. Roger Sessions said the compositions reveal “evidence of an authentic genius.” Schnabel’s concert career focused on Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and Brahms. He was the first to perform all the Beethoven piano sonatas in a series of solo recitals, and later, first to record the entire cycle. Indeed, his reading of the famous sonatas is considered one of the very best. His compositions explore surprising harmonies, melodic lines, and rhythmic patterns. Some works even have no traditional bar lines. One reviewer said that Schnabel’s creative energies follow in the line of Richard Wagner and even Gustav Mahler. At his peak, Artur Schnabel played with many famous musicians?violinist Joseph Szigeti, violist Paul Hindemith, and Pablo Casals among them. In 1933, Schnabel left Germany and settled in England, then in United States, teaching and performing, right up to his death. His son, Karl Ulrich Schnabel was also a classical pianist.