Kurt Neumüller

University Professor Emeritus
* 1914     † 1982
from 1957 to 1982 Professor for piano at Universtiy Mozarteum Salzburg
from 1968 to 1979 Head of Department keyboard instruments at University Mozarteum Salzburg

O. Professor Kurt Neumüller was an Austrian pianist, an internationally renowned pedagogue, and one of the leading personalities on the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst Mozarteum in Salzburg. (Today, the University Mozarteum) He was born in Salzburg on June 22nd, 1914, and studied piano at the Mozarteum with Franz Ledwinka, who was also the teacher of Herbert von Karajan. Neumüller received his Artist Diploma with highest honors in the class of Elly Ney, for whom he also served as teaching assistant. He studied further with Edwin Fischer, and was greatly influenced in his own teaching by the principals of Alfred Cortot.

During World War II, Neumüller held the reputation of being one of Austria´s most promising young artists. He performed as soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe, and after the war, appeared on the programs of the Salzburger Festspiele. His chamber music partners were, among others, the Bläservereinigung der Wiener Philharmoniker (Vienna Philharmonic Wind Ensemble), und the Vienna Philharmonic Quartet. He founded the Mozarteum Trio ( Josef Schröcksnadel, violin and Georg Weigl, cello) , and recorded all of Mozart´s piano trios with this ensemble for Philips Records. The list of his many duo partners included Ludwig Hoelscher, Riccardo Odnopossoff, Franz Bruckbauer, Eberhard Finke und Willi Boskovsky.

Professor Neumüller began teaching piano on the Mozarteum in 1941. By the 1950´s, he had already earned an outstanding reputation as pedagogue. Gernot Sieber, Gustav Kuhn, George Kern, David Renner, Gary Wolf, and Peter Lang are among his most successful students, and during his teaching career he trained more than 60 candidates for the Artist Diploma. The Director of the Mozarteum in the 1960´s, Eberhard Preussner, described Neumüller as ?einen Pädagogen aus innerster Berufung?( ?a pedagogue of innermost vocation?). Neumüller was particularly known for his tasteful interpretations of Mozart´s piano repertoire.

In 1963 he married Susan Heimbach, a Fulbright piano student, who also became his piano duo-partner. Their daughter, Gabriele, was born in 1964.

In 1978, the Austrian President awarded him with the Ehrenkreuz für Wissenschaft und Kunst I. Klasse (Cross of Honour in Science and Art, first class), and in 1981 the Mozart Society awarded him with their Silver Medal for special service to Mozart`s musical legacy.

Kurt Neumüller died suddenly of heart failure on June 5th, 1982, just shortly before his 68th birthday.