Walter Kaufmann - Sonatina for Piano

Walter Kaufmann - Prolific composer with over 80 orchestral works alone to his credit

Rose Goldblatt Plays The Music Of Walter Kaufmann – 1958 – Past Daily Weekend Gramophone

Walter Kaufmann - Sonatina for Piano
Walter Kaufmann – Prolific composer with over 80 orchestral works alone to his credit

Walter Kaufmann – Sonatina For Piano – Rose Goldblatt, Piano – CBC Studio Recording – 1958 – CBC Transcription Service.

The music of Walter Kaufmann this weekend. His Sontatina for Piano featuring Rose Goldblatt on this CBC Studio recording from 1958 (possibly from the same session as the Oskar Morawetz which I posted earlier this year).

According to his Wikipedia page:

Kaufmann was born in Karlovy Vary to Julius and Josefine Antonia. He studied at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin training under Franz Schreker and Curt Sachs between 1927 and 1930. He then studied in Prague under Gustav Becking and Paul Nettl (father of the musicologist Bruno Nettl). While a student he met and became friends with Albert Einstein. He graduated in 1934 with a dissertation on Gustav Mahler but refused a degree in protest of his ordinarius (=professor) Gustav Becking who was a Nazi supporter. For a time he worked as an assistant to the conductor Bruno Walter at the Charlottenburg Opera in Berlin and for Radio Prague and saw some of his earliest compositions played in Carlsbad, Berlin, Wroclaw, Prague and Vienna.

He married Gerti (Gertrude) Hermann (d. 1972), a niece of Franz Kafka and the family fled Nazi Germany in 1934. His father died when the family reached the Czech border. He moved to India and worked as a director of music at the All India Radio in Bombay from 1937 to 1946. His contemporary John Foulds, known for banning the harmonium from Indian radio, worked in New Delhi. He founded the Bombay Chamber Music Society along with others like Mehli Mehta (Kaufmann also taught the Mehli’s son Zubin Mehta). He also researched Indian and Asian music, writing about them in journals. He composed the signature tune for All India Radio in 1936.

Just before the war Kaufmann spent some time in America, unsuccessfully attempting to establish himself there, but ultimately returned to India. During World War II he served in the British Navy and after the war he tried to return to Prague but settled instead in London, arriving in August 1946, where he scored two documentary films for the Rank Organization and (at the invitation of Adrian Boult) occasionally conducted the BBC Theatre Orchestra. A year later he left England, moving to Nova Scotia, Canada where he taught at the Halifax Conservatory. With the support of by Sir Ernest MacMillan, Kaufmann was invited to become the first professional conductor of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra from 1948 to 1956. Divorced from his first wife Gerti he married the pianist Freda Trepel in 1951. After moving to the United States, he served as a professor of musicology at Indiana University from 1957 until his death in 1984 in Bloomington.

To familiarize yourself and become acquainted with another composer whose works have fallen into neglect, here is that 1958 CBC Studio recording of the Sonatina for Piano.

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