The Swiss pianist, Edwin Fischer, was a leading interpreter of J.S. Bach and Beethoven in the 1920s and 1930s. Born in Basel in 1886, he soon moved to Berlin, where he studied under Martin Krause. In 1931 he took over Artur Schnabel's piano class at the Berliner Hochschule für Musik and, in 1932, founded the Edwin Fischer Chamber Orchestra, which he liked to conduct from the keyboard and with which he made a number of gramophone recordings. With Georg Kulenkampff (later Wolfgang Schneiderhan) on violin and Enrico Mainardi on cello, Fischer established a successful piano trio. He returned to Switzerland in 1942 and settled in Hertenstein, near Weggis. Deteriorating health in the mid-1950s forced him to give up his concert activities. Instead, he spent more time offering masterclasses, including at the Konservatorium Dreilinden, where he assumed the post of course director (1943 to 1958) as part of the Internationale Musikfestwochen Luzern (now: Lucerne Festival). Fischer died in Zurich in 1960. (Mario Gerteis on Edwin Fischer on the 50th anniversary of his death.)
Edwin Fischer's estate, which includes his personal sheet music library, is kept in the Lucerne Central and University Library (ZHB). This sheet music, which was augmented by Fischer's masterclasses at Dreilinden, was given to the music library as a gift by the Edwin Fischer Foundation. The sheet music collection consists mainly of solo and chamber music scores for piano; some bear his signature as well as annotations, while others bear dedications to him.