New Book: The Teaching of Karl Ulrich Schnabel


 Richard Rhodes
The Teaching of Karl Ulrich Schnabel

Born in Berlin in 1909, Karl Ulrich Schnabel—son of the pianist Artur Schnabel and the singer Therese Behr—studied with his father as well as with Leonid Kreutzer at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik. He gave his debut in 1926. Apart from his remarkable international solo career, he formed the Schnabel Piano Duo, first with his wife Helen, and later with the Canadian pianist Joan Rowland. After the war, Karl Ulrich Schnabel became famous as teacher of piano master classes around the world. Leon Fleisher, Claude Frank, Richard Goode and Peter Serkin were among his students. Karl Ulrich Schnabel died in 2001. His archive is held at the Akademie der Künste, Berlin.

Richard Rhodes was born in Devonshire, England, in 1929 and was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, where he obtained an Honours Degree in Modern History. A member of the English Bar, he practised international law in South America, Paris and Geneva, where he lives today. About his experiences in South America as oil executive he wrote the satirical novel Gushing. He is married to Luba, the daughter of the conductor Leopold Stokowski. For more than 30 years Rhodes took lessons with Karl Ulrich Schnabel. In his preliminary notes, the author writes: “As a musician, Karl Ulrich Schnabel had a sensibility to and understanding of great music that I have never encountered in anyone else. That is why I decided to write this book.”

7 Responses to “ New Book: The Teaching of Karl Ulrich Schnabel ”

  1. Sue Hammond says:

    Francois, How can I pay without Paypal? I have a regular VISA card for Canada or USA. I don’t understand the German method. Very excited about this. Can you help me? Would this publisher include VISA/MC for all those interested like me? Regards to Ann. Warmly, Sue Hammond

  2. Peter D. Pecere says:

    I am presently studying Mozart’s Piano Sonata in C-major, K. 330, which is one of the lessons in this book. As I studied with Karl Ulrich Schnabel for three years, I found myself smiling as I read this particular lesson. K.U. Schnabel’s attention to detail is all there, as well as various insights and ways to bring OUT the MUSIC, which was always the preferred end-result. I say this because with Artur Schnabel, the means AND the end-result were BOTH equally important, but with K.U.S., he focused on the music, the “end result”. All of his terminology and teaching tools (HE NEVER LIKED THE WORD, “METHOD”) are present and are expressed beautifully in this terrific text. Some of the problems I was having with K. 330 were brought up in detail, and I found myself marking up my score with my beloved teacher’s comments. Let me summarize by saying this book is a MUST HAVE for ANY musician (whether you are a composer, pianist, violinist, conductor…..). I also feel that one would BENEFIT if one purchased K.U. Schnabel’s book, “MODERN TECHNIQUE OF THE PEDAL”. It would make a wonderful companion to this already complete text. I also wish to invite the reader of my short review to purchase some of K.U. Schnabel’s CDs and the DVD made about him and his teachings ( We musicians are fortunate that WE live in an era whereby we can “get to know” such a great artist and teacher as K.U. Schnabel, through books, DVDs, and CDs.

    K.U. Schnabel was MORE than a teacher to me. He taught me about music, literature, poetry, art, and LIFE.

    If you want to know more, I welcome serious inquiries to me at

    Peter D. Pecere

  3. Peter D. Pecere says:

    Kindly give me another week to really dig in deep, and I would be honored to share my thoughts.

  4. Will you share what you think? I’m certain many former disciples of K.U. Schnabel would like to hear from you.

  5. Peter D. Pecere says:

    I received my copy of this book a few days ago. I am VERY excited as I will begin reading this fine volume over the weekend! Many thanks!

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