Bernhard Stavenhagen was born in Greiz (Reuss), Germany, November 24, 1862.
He was a pupil of Kiel at the Meisterschule, and of Rudorff at the Hochschule, Berlin, where he won the Mendelssohn prize for pianoforte playing in 1880.
He remained in Berlin for five years, but eventually went to Weimar, where he became a favorite pupil of Franz Liszt. He remained with Liszt, accompanying him on all his tours, until Liszt died in Weimar.
In 1890, Stavenhagen became Court pianost to the Grand Duke at Weimar, and in 1895 he became capellmeister.
Stevenhagen left Weimar in 1898 to go to Munich, as capellmeister, and was eventually elected director of the Royal Academy (1901) in that city.
In 1904, however, he retired and returned to Weimar, where lived as a teacher, pianist, and conductor.
He made several brilliantly successful piano tours through Germany, Austria, Hungary, France, Holland, England and the United States (1894-95).
Stavenhagen has composed a few piano pieces, of which the best known are the Caprice and the Menuetto Scherzando.
He was an intellectual pianist of a very high order, and is undoubtedly one of the most brilliant of the Liszt pupils.
Bernhard Stavenhagen died December 25, 1914, in Geneva, Switzerland.