Stavenhagen, Bernhard

1872-

 

German pianist, who was born at Greiz. Stavenhagen began his musical studies at an early age. His first teacher was Professor Rudolf, who had charge of him until he was twelve, when he entered the Berlin High School, where he pursued his studies under Frederick Kiel and Ernst Rudorff, and gained the Mendelssohn prize for harmony and thorough-bass. In 1885 he went to Liszt at Weimar, and remained with him until Liszt's death, in 1886. Liszt took a deep interest in him, and from him Stavenhagen learned much of his style of playing. He accompanied Liszt to England on his last tour in 1886, also to Rome, Budapest, Paris and to Bayreuth, where Liszt died. Stavenhagen has made many successful tours through Europe, playing with striking success at Crystal Palace and at Prince's Hall in London, and in other cities in Great Britain and on the Continent. He met with less success as a pianist than his talents deserved, although his playing was greatly admired. He was appointed Court pianist to the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar, and succeeded D'Albert as Court conductor at Weimar, and since 1898 has been Court conductor at Munich and director of the Royal Academy of Music at Munich. Stavenhagen has gained a great reputation as a conductor since giving up his career of pianist.