Peter Stadlen

Pianist, musicologist and music critic; born 14 July 1910 in Vienna, died 20 January 1996 in London.


Peter Stadlen studied piano with Paul Weingartner and composition with Joseph Marx and Max Springer in Vienna. Already a successful concert pianist, Peter studied conducting, composition and piano (with Leonid Kreutzer) in Berlin between 1929 and 1933. In 1927 he gave the world premiere of Variationen fuer Klavier Op. 27 by Anton Webern and conducted Schoenberg’s Suite Op. 29 in Venice in 1929.

Peter emigrated to the UK in 1938, after the Nazi takeover in Austria, and continued his career. This was increasingly as a specialist for works by Schoenberg and Webern. However, this had to be put on hold when he was interned and deported to Australia between 1940 and 1942. After his return to Britain he performed in the National Gallery Concerts and with the Austrian Musicians Group in London during the war. From 1943 he regularly recorded for the BBC and became the author of several programmes about contemporary music.

Between 1947 and 1951 he gave master-classes in Darmstadt, Germany and received the Austrian Schoenberg Medal in 1952. During the 1950s he turned more and more to musicology, research and broadcasting, beginning to reconsider the value of the serialist music he had been performing so much. He lectured at Reading University between 1965 and 1969, and held a visiting fellowship to All Souls College, Oxford in 1967-68. Alongside his academic pursuits, he built a career in journalism, becoming a music critic for the Telegraph in 1959, a position he held until his retirement in 1986.  

Links and sources

Obituary in The Independent

Elsewhere in this resource

Andrea Rauter interview

Back to top