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Eduard Steuermann (1892 - 1964)

Eduard Steuermann, first name originally Eduard, was born in a small Polish city in eastern Galicia which is now part of the Ukraine. He first studied piano with Vilém Kurz, a Czech pianist, and then attended Ferruccio Busoni’s master-classes in Basle in 1910. The following year, at Busoni’s request, Steuermann joined Busoni in Berlin, taking private lessons in piano with him. Steuermann also wanted to study composition and his first teacher was Engelbert Humperdinck, but Humperdinck’s late nineteenth-century style did not suit the progressive young Steuermann. Busoni therefore suggested Arnold Schoenberg, with whom Steuermann forged close links, giving practically all the premières of Schoenberg’s works that included a piano, beginning with Pierrot Lunaire. This work was performed in fourteen or fifteen cities with Steuermann at the piano and the composer conducting some of the performances, other performances being conducted by Hermann Scherchen. In 1944 Steuermann was the soloist at the première of Schoenberg’s Piano Concerto with the NBC Symphony Orchestra and Leopold Stokowski.




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