Erwin Schulhoff

Czech composer and pianist (Prague, 1894 - Wülzburg concentration camp, 1942)

Czech composer and pianist, Erwin Schulhoff experienced success early in his life. His style marked a true transition between modern and contemporary music.

Child prodigy, Erwin Schulhoff was noticed by Antonin Dvorak at a very young age. He performed many concerts and played for music newspapers as well as for the radio. He was a true jazz enthusiast.
Jewish, homosexual, communist and utterly avant-garde, Erwin Schulhoff very quickly found himself under the radar of Nazis. Deported to Wülzburg, he would there continue to play and ended up composing piano pieces and his eighth symphony, Heldensymphonie, on Marx, Lenin and Stalin texts.

His style marked a distanciation from romanticism and accentuated his fondness for atonality, surrealism but also popular and ancient music.

Six landmark dates in the life of Erwin Schulhoff:

1901: He received his first piano lesson under Antonín Dvořák
1913: He received the Wüllner Award and took composition lessons with Debussy
1914: He received the Mendelssohn Award for piano
1920: He taught piano in Saarbrücken
1927: He was a very appreciated pianist in Paris
1941: He was deported to Wülzburg

Six key works by Erwin Schulhoff: 

1925: Ogelala opus 53, a ballet which includes the very first percussion solo in the history of Western music.
1913: Sonata for violin n ° 1, op.71910-1920: Cinq études de Jazz pour piano
1932: Flammen, opera in two acts and ten scenes, premiere in Brno
1932: Cantate opus 82 set during the Communist Party Manifesto
1941: Heldensymphonie (unfinished)