Max Rostal

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Max Rostal
Born (1906-07-07)7 July 1906
Teschen, Austria-Hungary
Died 6 August 1991(1991-08-06) (aged 85)
Bern, Switzerland
Ethnicity Jewish
Citizenship Austrian, Swiss
Occupation Violinist

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


Max Rostal was born in Cieszyn[1] and studied with Carl Flesch. He won the Mendelssohn Scholarship in 1925.[2] From 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 Yfrah Neaman, Howard Leyton-Brown, Igor Ozim, Edith Peinemann, Bryan Fairfax and members of the Amadeus Quartet. He died in Bern.

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.

He premiered Alan Bush's Violin Concerto of 1946–8 in 1949.[3] He was the dedicatee of Benjamin Frankel's first solo violin sonata (1942),[4] and he also made the premiere recording.

He played in a piano trio with Heinz Schröter (piano) and Gaspar Cassadó (cello), who was replaced in 1967 by Siegfried Palm.[5]

He edited a number of works for Schott Music, and produced piano reductions as well.[6]

His daughter Sybil B. G. Eysenck became a psychologist and is the widow of the personality psychologist Hans Eysenck, with whom she collaborated.



  • 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. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • 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, München, 1981
  • Rostal, Max, Handbuch zum Geigenspiel, unter Mitarbeit von Berta Volmer, Musikverlag Müller & Schade, 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. 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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 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. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Craggs, Stuart R. Alan Bush: a source book. Aldershot, England: Ashgate. p. 66. ISBN 0-7546-0894-8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Description Page of Frankel Sonata". Chester Novello. Retrieved 7 November 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Obituary by Margaret Campbell in The Independent". 2 July 2005. Retrieved 31 August 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 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.)
  7. "Benjamin Frankel Website Discography". Retrieved 18 October 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Description from Label Site of Testament SBT1319". Retrieved 18 October 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Elgar Foundation Information for the Testament Delius/Walton/Elgar CD". Retrieved 18 October 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "MusicWeb Review of Max Rostal in Memoriam CD". Retrieved 18 October 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>