Berlin Music Academy
During the early 1920s Leo Kestenberg, from 1918 Music Advisor in the Prussian Ministry of Culture, took on the task of reforming musical life in Berlin - until then rather provincial and conservative in its orientation. Within just a few years, he succeeded in establishing Berlin's reputation as a music metropolis.
Acknowledged artists came to the city on his initiative; Erich Kleiber, Bruno Walter, Wilhelm Furtwängler and Otto Klemperer worked as conductors in Berlin's opera houses and orchestras. Ferruccio Busoni had a composition class at the Prussian Academy of the Arts starting in 1920; after his death in 1924, Arnold Schönberg succeeded him. Franz Schreker was the Director of the Berlin Music Academy beginning in 1920.
With Paul Hindemith, who accepted a professorship in composition at this institution on 1 May 1927, Kestenberg was able to win over yet another important representative of contemporary music for Berlin.
Important musicians, including the cellist Emanuel Feuermann, violinists Georg Kulenkampff, Carl Flesch and Gustav Havemann and pianists Artur Schnabel, Leonid Kreutzer and Egon Petri taught at the Academy, guaranteeing an extraordinarily high standard in the training of instrumentalists.
It is above all thanks to Georg Schünemann that new, formerly unknown areas were opened up in the educational programme at the Berlin Music Academy. He demanded an artistic confrontation with the new media of film and radio. Experiments with electrical musical instruments were offered in instrumental instruction, as was the performance of Early Music on original instruments from the instrument collection of Curt Sachs.