Cassirer and Cohen - draft family genealogy - Person Sheet
Cassirer and Cohen - draft family genealogy - Person Sheet
NameDr. Kurt APPELBAUM 632
Birth3 Jun 1908, Berlin, Germany?811
Death28 May 1998
Mother(Antonelle) Toni BONDY (1883-1961)
Notes for Dr. Kurt APPELBAUM
See Also Notes, WD Falk Account.

Kurt Apelbaum was a fine concert pianist who lived in New York. Spelling of surname see 576

Louis Alexander, an amateur pianist who studied with Kurt Appelbaum from 1979-1981 in New York wrote:812
"Appelbaum (...) was from Berlin, studied with Artur Schnabel, and his first wife was Anna Cassirer (daughter of Ernst Cassirer). (...) Off and on, I have tried to write about the years I spent as his student as he was without doubt one of the most profound teachers and pianists I have come across. That you find his recording of Op2 #2 without such things as lightness, seriousness and so on I do find surprising. I will have to revisit this recording. Actually, this is a work we spent a great deal of time on and I found his insights and playing to be most insightful. As you pointed out, only one of his recordings was well received and this seems to have been the curse of his life. He was so frustrated with audiences not understanding his interpretations that he walked away from the stage in the early 1950's. As I recall, he felt that it was this move that led Westminster to drop his contract, but I am not certain if I am remembering this correctly. (...) Perhaps Appelbaum would have agreed with your criticism that there were times when his interpretation was a little less of Beethoven and more of him. But, I believe he would have said something to the effect that B would have understood this and indeed would have expected this from an interpreter. Actually, I am not sure how A would have answered this. One thing I do remember from my study of the Op 2 #2 with him was the tremendous difficulty I had with the runs in the first movement. Appelbaum had an uncanny ability to use langauge as a way of reaching an understanding of how to approach such difficulties. He said that in order to understand such passages one had to become a tiger and run up the keyboard as it would. This visual image had such physical power for me that I learned from it how to play these rather difficult runs. In fact, A had me practice them by playing the notes in bunches and to pounce my way up the keyboard as if I were a tiger running after its prey. Gradually, he had me play the notes in succession rather than in bunches. It worked! This (...) does show you something of his teaching style. About Appelbaum, I am afraid there is painfully little information as he led a rather hermetic life (...) when I knew him in the late 1970s. Your mentioning of Badura-Skoda taking over the recording contract did remind me of his mentioning this. I do not remember him as having any ill feelings towards Badura-Skoda. Appelbaum's life as a performer seems to have had a tragic quality to it in that public opinion seemed to go against him."
[The above text is greatfully quoted from]
Misc Note 2 notes for Dr. Kurt APPELBAUM
Technology Cannot Replace Transcendence813

by Jay Walljasper

Conscious Choice, March 2002

Andrew Kimbrell, a Catholic convert who unapologetically lists "faithfulness to family and society" as his greatest source of hope for the future, nonetheless relishes his role as a heretic.Kimbrell's wide-ranging focus takes in everything from wilderness preservation to workplace stress to the empty values we bestow on teenage boys -- a constellation of concerns. "When I talk about technological society, I mean systems, not just machines," he says. "A corporation's structure is a technology, and so is an assembly line. They were created the same way machines are created: to perform a particular function without much thought to other consequences of their existence."


813He attributes this view to his training as a classical pianist. "My teacher, Kurt Appelbaum, taught that the technique of playing actually creates the emotion of a piece of music -- in contrast to many teachers who say that you adopt a technique and add the emotion later. Years later it struck me that it's the same with technology. We create it to perform a function and then try to add our values -- and that doesn't work. Technology creates its own values. We need to be aware of that any time we implement a new technology."

Adapted from the book, Visionaries: People and Ideas to Change Your Life (New Society Publishers) available at your local bookstore or 800-880-UTNE.
Last Modified 23 Jul 2007Created 28 Jun 2021 by Jim Falk