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Franz Reizenstein, pianist, composer and teacher, was born in Nürnberg in 1911.
He Studied at the Berlin Hochschule with Leonid Kreutzer, piano and Paul Hindemith, composition, from 1929 till his exile from Nazi Germany in 1934, when he came to London. He later became a British citizen. When he arrived in the UK he studied further with Solomon, piano and Vaughan Williams, composition. Of his teachers, the two he honoured most were Hindemith and Solomon.
Equally brilliant as pianist and composer he was particularly admired for his chamber music collaborations with distinguished colleagues such as violinists Max Rostal, Szymon Goldberg and Erich Gruenberg, and his outstanding film scores, of which the most famous is “The Mummy”. He also wrote a great deal of outstanding chamber music — the Oboe Sonatina, Sonata for Violin and Piano, and Piano Quintet are particular successful. Together with violinist Maria Lidka he formed the Reizenstein Piano Trio, with Christopher Bunting, Derek Simpson, and Rohan de Saram. Other works include two Piano Concertos, a Violin Concerto, a Cello Concerto, and two Oratorios, one of which, “Voices of Night” was a great favourite with conductor Josef Kripps, who directed it in the Royal Festival Hall and took it to Boston and Vienna. The other Oratorio, “Genesis”, was commissioned by the Three Choirs Festival. He is also remembered for his hilarious collaborations with his friend Gerard Hoffnung, for whose Festival he wrote the comic “Concerto Populare — Concerto to end all Concertos”.
Franz Reizenstein was an outstanding teacher, both privately and at the Royal Academy and the Royal Manchester College of Music.
Diagnosed with diabetes during the 1950s, he battled with declining health for many years and died in 1968 at the tragically early age of 58.
(Contribution by David Wilde <email@example.com>.)