Fischer, Edwin, eminent Swiss pianist, conductor, and pedagogue; b. Basel, Oct. 6, 1886; d. Zurich, Jan. 24, 1960. He was a pupil of Hans Huber at the Basel Cons. (1896–1904) before pursuing his studies with Martin Krause at the Stern Cons, in Berlin (1904–05), where he subsequently was a faculty member (1905–14). He was conductor of the Liibeck Musikverein (1926–28) and the Munich Bachverein (1928–32) before founding his own chamber orch. in Berlin, which he regularly conducted from the keyboard; he also taught at the Hochschule für Musik there (from 1931). In 1942 he returned to his homeland, where he played in a noted trio with Kulenkampff (later succeeded by Schneiderhan) and Mainardi. From 1945 to 1958 he gave master classes in Lucerne. Although his interpretations were securely rooted in the Romantic tradition, he eschewed the role of the virtuoso in order to probe the intellectual content of the score at hand. He ed. works by Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven, composers he championed. Among his books were J.S. Bach (Potsdam, 1945), Musikalische Betrachtungen (Wiesbaden, 1949; Eng. tr., 1951, as Reflections on Music), Ludwig van Beethovens Klaviersonaten (Wiesbaden, 1956; Eng. tr., 1959), and Von den Aufgaben des Musikers (Wiesbaden, 1960).
B. Gavoty and R. Hauert, E. F. (Geneva and Monaco, 1954); H. Haid, ed., Dank an E. F. (Wiesbaden, 1962).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire