A blue plaque for Hans Keller

A blue plaque for Hans Keller


norman lebrecht

December 04, 2019

The Hampstead house where musical iconoclast Hans Keller lived with his artist wife Milein Cosman has been commemorated by the Association of Jewish Refugees. Those who knew them will understand why.

Keller’s influence on English music was immense.

Report here.


  • Alexander Tarak says:

    I have attended one his lectures prior to a concert at the RFH, read one or two of his books, heard several of his talks on Radio Three and sat in on one of his “masterclasses” at the GSMD.
    Heard quite a few platitudes passing as pearls of wisdom.
    Never understood what the fuss was about.

  • Alexander Platt says:

    His work on Britten and Mahler and Schoenberg, with Donald Mitchell……the glory days indeed.

  • erich says:

    I will never forget his serious and very positive analysis of the Beatles Strawberry Fields, to which he accorded as much respect as to a Schubert Lied.

  • Tony Britten says:

    When, early this year, I asked the person responsible if there would be some sort of documentary about this extraordinary man and BBC icon, to commemorate his centenary, I was told: ‘We at the the BBC prefer to look forward than back’. Tells you everything you need to do about serious music on BBC television. I covered him in detail in my film about the Hitler emigres; ‘Through Lotte’s Lens’, but was unable to make a film for The Arts Channel specifically about him because of the prohibitive cost of the BBC archive material – material they were not going to use themselves because presumably Keller is now considered irrelevant. Its a funny old world.

  • Esther Cavett says:

    ==prohibitive cost of the BBC archive material

    They are sitting on a treasure trove

  • Stephen R Gould says:

    I remember hearing him on the radio saying, “I disagree with you for two reasons, one, because you are absolutely wrong, and two, because I am absolutely right”.

    • Paul Dawson says:

      How I wish I had known that comment at school. I was caned for every reason imaginable. I wouldn’t have minded being caned for saying that to the flagellophilic monk.

  • Paul Dawson says:

    My most salient memory was his interview with Pink Floyd. “Vy dos it haf to be so loud? I can’t stand it!”

  • Malcolm Kottler says:

    Some readers might be interested in this book by Alison Garnham:

    Hans Keller and Internment: The Development of an Emigre Musician.

    A more recent book by Alison Garnham and Susi Woodhouse is:

    Hans Keller 1919 – 1985: A musician in dialogue with his times

  • Tony Britten says:

    Both books well worth reading