Peter Stadlen

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Peter Stadlen (14 July 1910 – 21 January 1996) was a composer, pianist, and musicologist, specializing in the study and interpretation of Beethoven.

Stadlen, who was born in Vienna, premiered the Variations for piano, Op. 27 by Webern, and was the soloist in the European premiere of Schoenberg’s Piano Concerto. After the "Anschluss" he had to leave Austria and sought refuge in Britain. Eventually, however, a neurological finger malfunction caused him to give up performing, and he became a music critic, serving the Daily Telegraph for 26 years (the last 10 as chief music critic).

Stadlen spent many years trying to track down Beethoven's metronome, an invention which Beethoven had commissioned. It was believed that the weight on his metronome was faulty as some of the speeds written on his pieces seemed incorrect. Peter wished to ascertain the make-up of this weight and to see the correct speeds which Beethoven himself had intended. He finally tracked it down to a small antiques shop only to discover that, although the metronome itself was intact, the weight itself was missing.

Stadlen died in London, he was married to Hedi Stadlen and left two sons: Nicholas (who became a High Court judge) and Godfrey (a civil servant in the Home Office).

Stadlen's archive and scores are preserved by the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna.


  • Cummings, David M.; McIntire, Dennis K. (Ed.). International who's who in music and musician's directory. In the classical and light classical fields, 12th edition 1990/91, International Who's Who in Music 1991.
  • Kehler, George. The Piano in Concert, Scarecrow Press, 1982.
  • Wilson, Lyle G. A dictionary of pianists, Robert Hale, 1985.


  • The Schubert Institute [1]
  • The Independent [2]


  • 'Serialism Reconsidered', The Score, No.22, February 1958
  • Letter to the Editor, Tempo, New Ser., No. 88 (Spring, 1969), p. 57
  • 'Schindler's Beethoven Forgeries', The Musical Times, Vol. 118, No. 1613. (July 1977), pp. 549–552.