German pianist, son of exiled German, born on November 5, 1895 in Lyon (France) and died on October 26, 1956 in London. He noted especially in the classical and Impressionist repertoire, especially as an interpreter of the works of Ravel and Debussy; his performances were sober, precise and colourful, and recognized him as a master of the technique of the pedal.
He began his musical studies at the Conservatory in Hanover in 1911 and made his debut in 1913. During the first world war it was part of a military band of the German army. Since the beginning of the Decade of the 1920s, he made several tours of Europe and the United States. He became known as an interpreter of Beethoven, Prokofiev , and Domenico Scarlatti, as well as the French Impressionists. Their way of interpreting the piano was the result of a reaction to the tradition of Franz Liszt.
At the end of the second world war, was accused of collaborating with the German nazi Government, charges of which was free. However, in 1949, it had to suspend a recital in New York due to a violent public protest. It was finally acquitted by a court in Germany. With success of public and critics, conducted a tour of the United States in 1953. In 1955 he was seriously injured in a car crash in Germany, but continued his activities as a soloist until the following year.
His recorded legacy includes the works of the French composers Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Also played music of the 20th century, especially that of the Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg. Hans Pfitzner dedicated his Concerto for piano and Orchestra.