Edwin Fischer, born in Basel, Switzerland on October 6, 1886, was one of the leading interpreters of the standard Austro-German repertoire (Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms). After early studies at the Basel Conservatory, he worked extensively with Martin Krause (a Liszt pupil) in Berlin. During the early 20th century, Fischer began appearing with the major European orchestras and conductors. He himself took up conducting and later formed his own chamber orchestra. One of his specialties was leading the ensemble from the piano in the Mozart concertos, a rare practice at the time. Beginning in 1930, Fischer taught at the Berlin Hochschule and embarked on his extensive series of recordings; he was the first to record the 48 Preludes and Fugues of Bach. Fischer returned to Switzerland in 1942 and continued to teach and perform, strongly influencing many younger pianists such as Alfred Brendel, Daniel Barenboim and Paul Badura-Skoda. He died in Zurich on January 24, 1960.