Robert Kahn. Late chamber music

The digital collection shows a selection of the unpublished works by composer Robert Kahn (1865-1951) passed down solely in the form of manuscripts, including the Piano Quintet in D major from 1926, the Variationen über ein altes Lied for violin and piano, also from 1926, the Serenade for string trio (1933), and the two songs Ihr (lyrics: Irma Schneider-Franken, 1917) and Sehnsucht (lyrics: Ricarda Huch, 1920), which were originally intended to be published as part of a song cycle under Opus no. 72. The works mentioned above all fall within the composer’s later creative period when he was at the height of his fame. He was appointed an ordinary member of the Royal Academy of Arts in Berlin in 1916, then elected senator in 1917. The Serenade, on the other hand, Kahn’s last chamber music composition, marks the beginning of his “inner emigration”, before he had to leave Germany in 1939 having been stripped of all offices and honours.


1916 member, 1917 senator of the Royal Academy of Arts, 1934 expelled.
1882-1885 studied at the Royal University of Music in Berlin and 1885-1886 in Munich, 1886 pivotal encounter with Johannes Brahms, whom he followed to Vienna in 1887; 1890-1893 répétiteur at the Leipzig Opera and director of a women’s choir; teacher from 1893 onwards and 1904-1930 Professor of Composition at the University of Music in Berlin; 1938 emigration to England; composition teacher of Wilhelm Kempff, Ferdinand Leitner, Günter Raphael, Nikos Skalkottas, Karl Klingler and Arthur Rubinstein among others; song accompanist and chamber music partner for Amalie Joachim, Johannes Messchaert, Joseph Joachim, Joseph Szigeti and Adolf Busch among others.

Archive and collection

The approximately 1.7 running metres of archive and collection holdings contain handwritten and printed music scores, including the Tagebuch in Tönen, as well as photographs and some biographical documents.

History of the holdings

The holdings were donated to the Archives of the Akademie der Künste in 2010.