Max Rostal

Max Rostal (7 July 1905 – 6 August 1991) was a violinist and a viola player. He was Austrian-born, but later took British citizenship.[1]

Max Rostal
Max Rostal, 1988
Max Rostal, 1988
Background information
Born(1905-07-07)7 July 1905
Teschen, Austria-Hungary
Died6 August 1991(1991-08-06) (aged 86)
Bern, Switzerland
InstrumentsViolin, viola


Max Rostal was born in Cieszyn[2] to a Jewish merchant family. As a Child prodigy, he started studying the violon at the age of 5, and played in front of Emperor Franz Josef I in 1913.[3]

He studied with Carl Flesch. He also studied theory and composition with Emil Bohnke and Matyás Seiber.[4] He won the Mendelssohn Scholarship in 1925.[5] In 1930–33 he taught at the Berlin Hochschule, from 1944 to 1958 at the Guildhall School of Music, and then at the Musikhochschule Köln (1957–82) and the Conservatory in Bern (1957–85). His pupils included Maria Vischnia, Yfrah Neaman, Paulo Bosísio, Howard Leyton-Brown, Igor Ozim, Ole Bohn, Peggy Klinger, Paul Rozeck, Edith Peinemann, Bryan Fairfax and members of the Amadeus Quartet.[citation needed] In 1945, in honour of Flesch, he co-founded what was later known as the Carl Flesch International Violin Competition with Edric Cundell.[6]

Rostal played a wide variety of music, but was a particular champion of contemporary works such as Béla Bartók's Violin Concerto No. 2. He made a number of recordings. Rostal premiered Alan Bush's Violin Concerto of 1946–8 in 1949.[7] He was the dedicatee of Benjamin Frankel's first solo violin sonata (1942),[8] and he also made the premiere recording. He commissioned the violin concerto by Bernard Stevens in 1943.[9]

Rostal played in a piano trio with Heinz Schröter (piano) and Gaspar Cassadó (cello), who was replaced in 1967 by Siegfried Palm.[10] He edited a number of works for Schott Music, and also produced piano reductions.[11]

Rostal's daughter Sybil B. G. Eysenck became a psychologist and is the widow of the personality psychologist Hans Eysenck, with whom she collaborated. Rostal died in Bern.



  • European Archive Copyright free LP recording of Beethoven's Kreutzer sonata by Max Rostal (violin) and Franz Osborn (piano) at the European Archive (for non-American viewers only).



  • Rostal, Max; Horace and Anna Rosenberg, translators, Foreword by the Amadeus Quartet. With a Pianist's Postscript by Günter Ludwig and a History of Performance Practice by Paul Rolland (1985). Beethoven: The Sonatas for Piano and Violin: thoughts on their interpretation. London: Toccata Press. ISBN 0-907689-06-X.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  • Rostal, Max, Ludwig van Beethoven: Die Sonaten für Violine und Klavier, Gedanken zu ihrer Interpretation, Mit einem Nachtrag aus pianistischer Sicht von Günter Ludwig, R.Piper & Co. Verlag, Munich, 1981
  • Rostal, Max, Handbuch zum Geigenspiel, unter Mitarbeit von Berta Volmer, Müller & Schade publishing house, Bern, 1993
  • Rostal, Max, Violin – Schlüssel – Erlebnisse, Erinnerungen, Mit einem autobiografischen Text von Leo Rostal, Ries & Erler, Berlin, 2007



  • Max Rostal: Studie in Quinten, für Violine mit Klavierbegleitung, 1955
  • Max Rostal: Studie in Quarten, für Violine mit Klavierbegleitung, 1957


  1. ^ "Objekt-Metadaten @ LexM – Universität Hamburg".
  2. ^ Silvela, Zdenko (2001). A new history of violin playing : the vibrato and Lambert Massart's revolutionary discovery. New York: Universal Publishers. p. 378. ISBN 1-58112-667-0.
  3. ^
  4. ^ M. Rostal, Violin – Schlüssel – Erlebnisse, pp. 16–39
  5. ^ Schenk, Dietmar (2004). Die Hochschule für Musik zu Berlin: Preussens Konservatorium zwischen romantischem Klassizismus und neuer Musik, 1869-1932/33. Pallas Athene. Beitrage zur Universitats- und Wissenschaftsgeschichte (in German). Franz Steiner Verlag. p. 318. ISBN 978-3-515-08328-7. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  6. ^ Noël Goodwin (2001). "Rostal, Max". Grove Music Online. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.23914.
  7. ^ Craggs, Stuart R (2007). Alan Bush: a source book. Aldershot, England: Ashgate. p. 66. ISBN 978-0-7546-0894-3.
  8. ^ "Description Page of Frankel Sonata". Chester Novello. Retrieved 7 November 2007.
  9. ^ 'Max Rostal - In Memoriam', Symposium CD 1142/43, reviewed at MusicWeb International
  10. ^ "Obituary by Margaret Campbell in The Independent". 2 July 2005. Retrieved 31 August 2009.
  11. ^ A keyword search at turns up – after disabling fuzzy search – 16 items of sheet music – one, the Studie in Quinten for violin and piano (ISMN M-001-06487-3), of his own composition, but mostly edited by him. (Also two items in periodicals that are about his music-making or influence, but not by him.)
  12. ^ "Benjamin Frankel Website Discography". Archived from the original on 14 November 2007. Retrieved 18 October 2007.
  13. ^ "Description from Label Site of Testament SBT1319". Archived from the original on 10 June 2008. Retrieved 18 October 2007.
  14. ^ "Elgar Foundation Information for the Testament Delius/Walton/Elgar CD". Archived from the original on 11 June 2008. Retrieved 18 October 2007.
  15. ^ "MusicWeb Review of Max Rostal in Memoriam CD". Retrieved 18 October 2007.

See alsoEdit