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Helen Schnabel (1911 - 1974)

Helen Schnabel was born in New York on 22nd July 1911, or so most official biographies claim. An interesting New York Times (28th March, 1923) review of Helen Fogel’s concert début at Aeolian Hall, however, states that the “14 year old… demonstrated a technique far beyond her years”. The confusion is compounded when one reads the New York Times (25th April, 1925) in its review of Fogel’s second Aeolian Hall concert. It reads: “Helen Fogel, a 12-year-old pianist, gave a second recital…” Perhaps the newspaper got the age wrong. What is not in dispute is that Fogel studied piano with Manfred Malkin and Alexander Siloti at the Juilliard Institute of Musical Art. Then for four years (1934-1938) she studied with Artur Schnabel at Lake Como. She met Karl Ulrich Schnabel at Lake Como and they married in 1939. During the war she assisted her husband in war work at an electronic laboratory in Massachusetts. In 1947 she made her London début. She toured with Karl Ulrich in duo-piano recitals and performed many solo concerts in the United States, Canada, England, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Holland, Italy, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. On 16th February 1956 she gave the first Viennese performance of the piano version of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, a work she also recorded. Helen Schnabel died of cancer at Gravedona (Lake Como), Italy, on 29th September, 1974. Her first recordings were made in Vienna in 1952. She also made recordings for Epic and SPA in America and for Philips in Europe. Her




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