"To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it's about, but the music the words make." - Truman Capote

Karlrobert Kreiten

KARLROBERT KREITEN was born on 26 June 1916 in Bonn and grew up in Düsseldorf, where he gave his first public performance at the age of ten in the auditorium that has now become the Tonhalle.

In 1933 he became immediately known to a wider audience: as one of the youngest participants in the Vienna International Piano Competition he was awarded the Silver Badge of Honour; soon thereafter he won the Mendelssohn Prize in Berlin.

After having studied in Cologne and Vienna, Karlrobert was admitted to the class of Claudio Arrau in Berlin, where he studied from 1937 to 1940. Soon he was invited to perform in major concert venues: for instance, he appeared twice with the Berlin Philharmonic. Kreiten’s repertoire extended from Classical and Romantic works to Prokofiev and Stravinsky; audiences and the press hailed him as a piano phenomenon. Claudio Arrau was deeply shaken by his death: more than four decades later, he still pointed out his former pupil’s exceptional artistic rank.

Karlrobert Kreiten is one of the greatest piano talents I ever met. If the Nazi regime had not put him to death, he undoubtedly would have earned his rightful place among the great German pianists of his day. He belonged to the ‘lost generation’ of those who could have taken up the gauntlet of the likes of Kempff and Gieseking. Kreiten possessed an incredible ease; nothing was difficult for him. Moreover, his playing always revealed a profound musical intention. Kreiten was always an artist, never a mere ‘virtuoso’. 

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Karlrobert Kreiten