Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Recollections of Hans Keller

9 March 2019

Hans Keller, drawing by Milein Cosman

Wigmore Hall, Marylebone, London

Recollections of Hans Keller


2019 sees the centenary of the birth of the remarkable musician, writer, broadcaster, critic, teacher, psychologist and football enthusiast Hans Keller, who was a central figure in British musical life from the 1940s to the 1980s.



11:00 am Who is Hans Keller? by Dr Alison Garnham & Panel Discussion

Hans Keller’s biographer Alison Garnham gives an introductory lecture, followed by a panel discussion chaired by Keller’s friend and long-term colleague Julian Hogg. Panel includes Jane Gillie, Christopher Hailey, Bayan Northcott and Hugh Wood.


2.30 pm Music workshop based on Hans Keller’s analysis of Mozart K421

In the late 1950s Hans Keller devised a wordless form of musical analysis to demonstrate the ‘unity of contrasting themes’ within a single work. He composed fifteen such ‘functional analyses’.

Using Keller’s detailed analysis of the piece, students from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama work with Levon Chilingirian and Keller’s literary executor Christopher Wintle on Mozart’s D minor quartet from the set dedicated to Haydn.


6:00 pm Film Screening: The Keller Instinct 

A rare screening of a documentary film first shown on Channel 4 in 1986 that offers a personal view of Hans Keller at the end of his life and includes commentary from many distinguished musicians, presented by the clarinettist Anton Weinberg, friend and pupil of Keller. The film has been specially re-mastered for the centenary, and Anton Weinberg will introduce this special screening.


7:30 pm Elias String Quartet

In 1945, a chance hearing of Britten’s new opera Peter Grimes set the young Hans Keller on a new path as a writer on music. One of his first articles was the controversial ‘Britten and Mozart’, outlining striking similarities in the two composers’ creative characters. In tonight’s concert, Britten’s second quartet, written shortly after the premiere of Grimes, is heard alongside Mozart’s quartet in D minor, K.421, Keller’s analysis of which features in today’s music workshop. After the interval, the Elias Quartet will play one of Beethoven’s last and most searching contributions to the medium, the quartet in B flat, Op.130, on which Keller wrote and lectured many times in his later years.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
String Quartet in D minor K421
Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)
String Quartet No. 2 in C Op. 36


Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
String Quartet in B flat Op. 130 with Grosse Fuge Op. 133

A work by a contemporary composer Keller consistently championed – Britten’s lucid Second Quartet of 1945 – is heard between the second of Mozart’s quartets dedicated to Haydn and one of Beethoven’s last and most searching contributions to the medium £18-£40


This event is part of a series celebrating Hans Keller’s centenary: see Hans Keller 100


Wigmore Hall
36 Wigmore Street
London, W1U 2BP United Kingdom
+ Google Map
020 7935 2141
View Venue Website