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Franz Schmidt - Wikipedia
Toggle navigation MENU. Like Share. Franz Schmidt Composer, Artist of the past Follow. Toggle navigation Menu. Profile Photos Videos Audios News. Franz Schmidt 22 December — 11 February was an Austrian composer, cellist and pianist. His father was half Hungarian and his mother entirely Hungarian. He was a Roman Catholic. He received a thorough foundation in theory from Brother Felizian Moczik, the outstanding organist at the Franciscan church in Pressburg.
He studied piano briefly with Theodor Leschetizky, with whom he clashed. He moved to Vienna with his family in , and studied at the Vienna Conservatory composition with Robert Fuchs, cello with Ferdinand Hellmesberger and theory the counterpoint class with Anton Bruckner , graduating "with excellence" in He beat 13 other applicants and obtained a post as cellist with the Vienna Court Opera Orchestra, where he played until , often under Gustav Mahler.
Mahler habitually had Schmidt play all the cello solos, even though Friedrich Buxbaum was the principal cellist. Schmidt was also in demand as a chamber musician. Schmidt and Arnold Schoenberg maintained cordial relations despite their vast differences in style. Also a brilliant pianist, in Schmidt took up a professorship in piano at the Vienna Conservatory, which had been recently renamed Imperial Academy of Music and the Performing Arts.
Apparently, when asked who the greatest living pianist was, Leopold Godowsky replied, "The other one is Franz Schmidt. As teacher of piano, cello and counterpoint and composition at the Academy, Schmidt trained numerous musicians, conductors and composers who later achieved fame. He received many tokens of the high esteem in which he was held, notably the Franz-Josef Order, and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Vienna. Schmidt's private life was in stark contrast to the success of his distinguished professional career, and was overshadowed by tragedy.
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