Hans Huber – Piano Quintets no. 1, op. 111 and no. 2, op. 125 Hans Huber wrote his two piano quintets in a span of around 15 years; the G minor Quintet, op. 111 in 1893, followed by the G major Quintet, op. 125 in 1907. In this period Huber established his influential career in the musical life of Basel. The busy pianist, composer, music teacher and organizer
took over the management of the Basel Music Academy, which he expanded in 1905 into a conservatory. Huber had lived in this culturally open and thriving city since 1877. Here he found all the opportunities
to develop his artistry. As a composer, Huber became suddenly famous in 1892 with a patriotic festival composition for the
Kleinbasler commemoration ceremony. But from out of his very own interest as a virtuoso pianist he already wrote chamber-music pieces, whose piano part he usually took over himself. These works were
also ideally suitable for the salon concerts in the houses of the numerous culturally educated and open minded Basler citizens and it is to be assumed that both piano quintets had been developed for such a framework. The dedication of the first piano quintet op. 111 to Lily Speiser-Sarasin, Hans Huber’s student and the wife of lawyer Paul Speiser, one of Huber’s closest friends and sponsors offers a hint in this direction. Besides, it took a relatively long time, until the quintet, published in 1896, was performed publicly. Only in November 1901 did it appear on a concert program, performed by Hans Huber’s colleagues from the Basler Music Academy. It is difficult to believe that the quintet had not been performed until then, given the popularity of his compositions at that time.