boettner k           Bernhard Böttner (1924 - 2013)

    A long lasting friendship and a confiding collaboration between professor Bernhard Böttner, internationally renowned pianist, festival manager and teacher at the conservatoire, and his student Dr. Raphael Woebs made this present research project possible:

Bernhard Böttner was a private student of composer Günther Raphael and studied conducting and piano in Leipzig with Hermann Abendroth and Sigfrid Grundeis.
He fulfilled engagements as a conductor at the State Operas Katovice, Meiningen and Weimar. After a startling pianistic debut in the year of 1947 with the Dresden Staatskapelle under Joseph Keilberth, he devoted himself fully to his piano playing. Leading conductors such as Abendroth, Konwitschny, Mitropoulos, Rosbaud and Scherchen were his patrons. He repeatedly gave performances as soloist with the Berlin and Munich Philharmonics, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, almost all German State- and Radio-Symphony Orchestras. Numerous concert tours led him through entire Europe and the former USSR. He was founder and director of the international music festival “Sommerhausen Recitals“, which in particular dedicated itself to the promotion of the next generation of artists. He became professor of piano at the Meistersinger Conservatoire in Nuremberg. A number of publications concerning pedagogical questions of stylistics and playing technique followed. He received the Federal Cross of Merit for his life‘s work in the year 2005.

His intensive personal contacts documented in an comprehensive exchange of letters and particularly his commitment to works of composers, who were ostracised during Nazi-reign (amongst others Hartmann, Hindemith, Honegger, Raphael, Strawinsky, Schönberg) make Böttner one of the most important witnesses of culture and politics in the 20th century.


Bernhard Böttner & Raphael Woebs (Foto: T. Becker)

This documentation project evaluates extensive interviews and these following correspondences (selection):
    Günter Raphael:

Mary Wigman:

Hermann Abendroth:

Arnold Schönberg:

Karl Amadeus Hartmann:

Aram Chatschaturjan:

Dimitri Mitropoulos:

Artur Malawski:

Henryk Szeryng:
szer ng

Herbert von Karajan:

Emil Gilels:

Alfred Brendel:

Vladimir Ashkenazy:
boettner 2   Bernhard Böttner interviewed by the Denkunternehmung
(Foto: T. Becker)