Tag Archives: London

London Piano Institute: A Condensed History of Wilhelm Kempff

London-Piano-Institute-Wilhelm-Kempff Pianist and composer Wilhelm Kempff was a German native with a special interest in Beethoven interpretation. Here, London Piano Institute answers questions about this modern musical maestro.

Q: Where was Wilhelm Kempff born?

London Piano Institute: He was born in Jüterbog, Brandenburg, Germany and grew up in Potsdam. He also lived in Berlin and Italy.

Q: Where did he take studies?

London Piano Institute: He would have first learned piano from his father, an organist and the Royal Music Director for St. Nikolai Church. When he was 9, he enrolled at Berlin Hochschule für Musik.

Q: Prior to his formal education, did Wilhelm Kempff have any exposure to piano?

London Piano Institute: His father taught him at an early age, as did his grandfather who was an organist. He also had a brother who was the music director at the University of Erlangen.

Q: Did Wilhelm Kempff study under any notables?

London Piano Institute: While in Berlin, he studied the intricacies of compositions with Robert Kahn. Karl Henrich Barth instructed a young Wilhelm Kempff on piano.

Q: When did Wilhelm Kempff make his first recital?

London Piano Institute: Though he would have played for smaller audiences prior, Wilhelm Kempff played his first major presentation in 1917 when he debuted his interpretations of select Beethoven and Brahms works.

Q: How extensively did Wilhelm Kempff travel for performances?

London Piano Institute: He traveled throughout Europe. He was particularly fond of London. Abroad, Wilhelm Kempff made his first appearance in New York in 1964. He performed nearly a dozen times in Japan.

Q: Why did Wilhelm Kempff retire?

London Piano Institute: He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a neurological disorder that causes shaking of the hands. This undoubtedly made performing quite difficult.

Q: Were there any particular composers that Wilhelm Kempff was fond of?

London Piano Institute: He is particularly noted for his interpretations of Beethoven. However, he also enjoyed playing Chopin, Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, and a handful of other distinguished composers.

Q: Did Wilhelm Kempff strictly perform concert halls or did he leave behind any recordings?

London Piano Institute: Wilhelm Kempff actually recorded for around six decades. Interestingly, he is known for taping the Beethoven piano concert toasts twice—once with Berlin Philharmonic and later with Ferdinand Leitner.

Q: How would one describe Wilhelm Kempff’s technique?

London Piano Institute: All of his works stressed the spontaneity of the music. He was very lyrical and leaned toward moderation.

Q: When was Wilhelm Kempff’s first performance with the Berlin Philharmonic?

London Piano Institute: He first performed with the Berlin Philharmonic as a soloist in 1917, when he was 22 years old.

Q: What was Wilhelm Kempff’s last performance with the Berlin Philharmonic?

London Piano Institute: His last concert with this group was in 1979, when he was 84 years old.

Q: Did Kempff teach during his career?

London Piano Institute: He enjoyed teaching very much. For five years, Wilhelm Kempff directed the Stuttgart College of Music. Before his death, he founded Kempff Kulturstiftung in southern Italy. He taught there periodically until 1982.

Q: As a composer, what sort of works did Wilhelm Kempff leave behind?

London Piano Institute: He composed four operas, a number of songs and ballets, along with orchestra works and violin concertos.


London Piano Institute is a private adult-oriented learning academy located in London, England. More than just an education, London Piano Institute strives to instill an appreciation and understanding of music into each student. London Piano Institute accepts students from beginner to expert and takes great pride in educating correctly the first time.

Douglas Battista Offers Travelers a Rundown of London’s Best Attractions

Douglas Battista says no trip to London is complete without visiting these key landmarks.

The Churchill War Rooms

Located on King Charles Street, Douglas Battista reports that the Churchill War Rooms are not only an amazing historical find, honoring one of England’s most famous soldiers, but that this site’s proximity to St. James Park and other museums and parliamentary buildings makes it a great stop on an all-day London tour.

Hampton Court Palace

Want to step back in time? Douglas Battista notes that visitors can do just that at the Hampton Court Palace. This former home of King Henry XIII still hosts court where tourists can participate in a living anachronism, and may even have a chance to glimpse the King picking a midday snack off the world’s largest grapevine, which is located in the Gardens.

London Bridge Exhibition

According to Douglas Battista, a holiday in the nation’s capital is enhanced with a visit to the London Bridge Exhibition.  The landmark, which originated as a Roman pontoon military bridge in 50 AD, has been rebuilt at or near the same spot over the Thames numerous times in its 2000 year history. Douglas Battista also remarks that a unique and memorable restaurant, the Medieval Banquet, is close to the bridge, and is a must for hungry vacationers.

Thames River Cruise

The Tower Bridge may also be viewed from a cruise on the Thames, reports Douglas Battista. This cruise covers London in depth like no other tour in the area. Douglas Battista highlights the beauty of the River Boat itself with its large windows and open-air upper deck.

St. Paul’s Cathedral

According to Douglas Battista, this iconic figure of London’s skyline took 35 years to complete. It’s no wonder, when the amount of detail and quality of craftsmanship is considered. Douglas Battista claims that this attraction, in addition to its status as a mecca for Christians, is also a prime spot for those looking for a bit of a challenge. Five hundred and thirty steps lead to the top of the Golden Gallery, which boasts some of the best panoramic views of London’s core.

Windsor Castle

The home of a current British Royal, Her Majesty the Queen, Windsor Castle’s claim to fame is its continuous occupation for the last 900 years. The castle is purported as haunted by visitors, who claim the sound of Queen Elizabeth I’s heels are still heart wafting through this Gothic structure’s halls and passages, says Douglas Battista.

Douglas Battista is a travel enthusiast who says that London is among his favorite vacation destinations for its never-ending list of attractions and historical landmarks. He is the President of North America Field Operations of the Jenny Craig Company, and resides in sunny California.