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Carl Friedberg (1872-1955)

Carl Rudolf Hermann Friedberg (September 18, 1872 Bingen, Germany - September 9, 1955 Merano, Italy) was a German pianist and teacher.

He studied piano with James Kwast and with Clara Schumann at the Hoch Conservatory, Frankfurt. He later became a teacher there (1893–1904) and later at the Cologne Conservatory (1904–1914).

From 1923 until his retirement in 1946, Carl Friedberg was principal piano teacher at the New York Institute of Musical Art (the institution which later would became the Juilliard School of Music.

His pupils include Malcolm Frager, Bruce Hungerford, William Masselos, and Elly Ney.

Friedberg's career as a performer spanned over 60 years in both Europe and America. He made his official debut on December 2, 1900 with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra under Mahler.

In 1893 he had given an all-Brahms recital in the presence of the composer, who highly admired his playing and who later coached him in private on the performance of the majority of his piano works.

As a chamber musician he replaced Artur Schnabel in the Schnabel-Flesch-Becker Trio in 1920 and played in that ensemble until 1932. Friedberg gave many recitals with Fritz Kreisler throughout America and in 1937 formed his own trio with Daniel Karpilowsky and Felix Salmond. Although Friedberg's repertory was wide, he became much associated with the music of Beethoven, and especially of Schumann and Brahms.

from Carl Friedberg: Artist and Teacher, by Barbara Holmquest, 2003:

When I came to him [Friedberg] in 1940 as a graduate student, age 19, he had been teaching at the Institute and at Juilliard for 24 years.

. . . Eagerly anticipating future study with Friedberg (on Epstein’s recommendation), I was dismayed when there were rumors that he wasn’t well, and that he might not live long enough for me to study with him. Happily, these were false rumors, for in spite of his frail appearance he was in fact physically and emotionally strong, summoning real power at the piano when necessary. He was, by choice, a vegetarian!

While Friedberg was teaching at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfrurt, 1893-1904, two of the students were Percy Grainger and Cyril Scott, both of whom were vegetarian at some point in their lives.


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