Kästner, Alfred, Austrian harpist, composer, and teacher; b. Vienna, March 10, 1870; d. Los Angeles, May 24, 1948. He studied harp with Antonio Zamara at the Vienna Cons. (1882–88), then was 1st harp in the orchs. of the Warsaw Opera (1890) and the Budapest Opera (from 1893); was also active as a teacher. He was 1st harp in the Philadelphia Orch. (1901-02; 1903-04), and also toured Europe as a soloist. After playing in the Queen’s Hall Orch. (1904–14) and teaching at the Royal Academy of Music (1909–13) in London, he joined the N.Y. Phil.; then was 1st harp in the Los Angeles Phil. (1919–36). He wrote several works for harp and made various arrangements.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire