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Robert Kahn (1865 –1851) – The Sprudeling Fountain

März 2019, 19.30 Uhr

Akademie der Künste Berlin, Hansatenweg, Studio, 11.


Ensemble Émigré / Royal College of Music

Curated by Norbert Meyn​




Nora Pester

Werner Grünzweig

Steffen Fahl




Emily Sun, Violine

Ingrid Pearson, Klarinette

Flora Bain, Horn

Thomas Carroll, Cello

Danny Driver, Klavier


Ana Beard Fernandez, Sopran

Leilani Barratt, Mezzosopran

Laurence Kilsby, Tenor

Norbert Meyn, Tenor

Peter Edge, Bariton

George Ireland, Klavier

Brian Hughes, Klavier

Robert Kahn


‘The sounding fountain is sprudeling without unterlass - a happiness!’, Robert Kahn wrote to his brother Paul on January 29, 1940 from his refuge in the Kent village of Biddenden. When he emigrated to Britain in 1939 at the age of 73, he was able to look back on a long and rich career as a composer, chamber musician, professor and distinguished member of the Akademie der Künste Berlin. Born into a wealthy and benevolent Jewish family in Mannheim in 1865, he enjoyed the support of Johannes Brahms, Clara Schumann and Joseph Joachim from the age of 20 and remained active as a successful composer of Lieder and chamber music, pianist and esteemed teacher in Germany for almost 50 years. This beautiful musical life at the top of his profession ended in 1933, when Kahn, classed as non-arian, lost all possibilities of public activity. He was expelled from the Akademie in 1934 and had to withdraw to his rural home in Feldberg in north-eastern Germany. There he began to compose his astonishing “Tagebuch in Tönen” (diary in music), which he continued almost throughout his 12 years in Britain, where he died in Biddenden (Kent) in 1951. By the time he concluded it, the diary consisted of a staggering 1160 piano pieces, an unprecedented and unparalleled achievement in the history of music which is only just being discovered. During his long and versatile career, Kahn produced over 300 vocal compositions including many settings of poems by his friends Gerhard Hauptmann and Christian Morgenstern as well as Goethe, Mörike or Rückert, over 100 choral pieces and 25 chamber music compositions.


Norbert Meyn

For further information please see:


Seit vielen Jahren arbeitet der Musikwissenschaftler Steffen Fahl an der Aufarbeitung von Kahn’s Erbe. Seine Dissertation (Fahl, Steffen: Tradition der Natürlichkeit, Zu Biographie, Lyrikvertonung und Kammermusik des spätromantischen Klassizisten Robert Kahn, Studiopunktverlag Köln 1998, ISBN 978-3-89564-044-5) ist heute die umfangreichste Quelle über Kahn. Darüber hinaus hat Steffen Fahl hunderte Werke Kahn’s erstmals digital realisiert und hörbar gemacht. Diese Aufnahmen, eine interaktive Zeitleiste, eine Werkübersicht und zahlreiche andere Informationen hat Steffen Fahl unter zur Verfügung gestellt. 

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