Kurt von Fischer

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Kurt von Fischer (born April 25, 1913 in Bern ; † November 27, 2003 there ) was a Swiss musicologist and pianist .


Kurt von Fischer was born on April 25, 1913 as the son of the mycologist Eduard Fischer in Bern. Fischer took piano studies at the Bern Conservatory , which he completed in 1935 with a diploma under Franz Josef Hirt . He later trained with Czesław Marek . He also studied musicology at the University of Bern and received his doctorate in 1938. From 1939 to 1957 he worked as a teacher at the Bern Conservatory. In the years 1948 to 1957 he was appointed as a private lecturer at the University of Bern. From 1957 to 1979 he taught as full professor of musicology at the University of Zurich , from 1974 to 1976 as dean . He also held visiting professorships in Europe, the USA and Australia. In addition, he was an honorary member of numerous scientific societies and President of the International Society for Music Studies from 1967 to 1972. In 1974 he received the music prize of the Canton of Bern. In 1980 he was awarded the Hans Georg Nägeli Medal by the City of Zurich. He was in correspondence with many well-known personalities of the 20th century, including Inge Borkh , Alfred Cortot , György Ligeti , Arvo Pärt , Sándor Veress , Wladimir Vogel and Jean Ziegler .

Kurt von Fischer, who married the pianist Esther Aerni in 1940, died on November 27, 2003 at the age of 90 in Bern.

Fischer's main research areas were the ars nova of the 14th century, the history of the composition of the Passion as well as variation and the work of Ludwig van Beethoven . The internationally recognized teacher and researcher Fischer was made an honorary citizen of Certaldo for his services to Trecento research.


  • Polyphonic music of the fourteenth century . Monaco 1974–1991.
  • Complete works, Paul Hindemith. Mainz 1975.
  • Musicology Archives . Co-editor Stuttgart 1952.
  • Grieg's harmony and northern folklore. Bern 1938.
  • The relationship between form and motif in Beethoven's instrumental works. Strasbourg 1948.
  • Studies in Italian music of the Trecento and early Quattroctento. Bern 1956.
  • The variation. Cologne 1956.
  • Manuscripts with polyphonic music from the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. International repertoire des sources musicales. B. 4, 3-4. Munich 1972.
  • Essays in Musicology. New York 1989.
  • Paths to Bach. Annual gift in 1991 from the International Bach Society Schaffhausen. Wiesbaden 1992.
  • The passion: music between art and church. Kassel 1997.


  • Music in the past and present 6 , 2001, 1262–1265.
  • Albrecht Riethmüller : Obituary for Kurt von Fischer. In: Academy of Sciences and Literature, Mainz, yearbook 2003/2004 (54th and 55th year), pp. 149–151.

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