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Keller, Hans Heinrich, 1919-1985 (music critic)



  • Existence: 1919 - 1985


Hans Heinrich Keller (1919-85), music critic, was born in Döbling, Vienna, Austria, on 11 March 1919, the son of the architect Fritz Keller (d. 1939) and his wife, Grete Grotte (1883-1959). In the 1940s he took his licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music, played violin in string quartets and orchestras, and later became a coach (or 'anti-coach') of string quartets; he reviewed film music, and in a book's worth of polemical notices, essays, and pamphlets related practice to (his own) theory; he began to champion the music of Benjamin Britten, on whom he edited an influential collection of essays (1952); he wrote music and dramas (though little remains) as well as the librettos for Benjamin Frankel's opera Marching Song and Josef Tal's Der Turm; he later taught composition and translated librettos. He died childless from motor neurone disease at his home, 3 Frognal Gardens, Hampstead, on 6 November 1985 and was cremated at Golders Green crematorium. He was one of many distinguished Austro-German émigrés who enriched British musical culture in the post-war years.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:


Hans Keller: Music manuscripts

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.9371
Scope and Contents

MS music compositions, sketches, 'functional analyses'; also a composition by Judith Bingham (1981), first proof opers vocal score of Benjamin Britten's 'The turn of the screw', amended by [Britten], [Imogen Holst] and [Keller] (c.1955); vocal score of Britten's 'War Requiem', pre-publication dye-line, not published in this form, with amendments possibly by Britten (1961); André Chaikowsky, 'Trio notturno for violin, violoncello and piano', MS score (1978).

Dates: 1958-1981 (Circa)
Conditions Governing Access: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (