Caesar Hochstetter (also known by the pen name Caesar Ahrlsteller) was an organist and a composer, arranger and critic of music from a talented Jewish family. On February 13, 1888, Caesar married Blanche Marie Coppex (b October 8, 1864) who a short time later gave birth to their daughter, Blanche. Caesar (b February 19, 1888) lived and worked between Germany and Switzerland. He moved to Leipzig in 1889, was in Wiesbaden in 1901 and later (1907) returned to Zürich, Switzerland. He was last heard of in August 1928 when he left for Darmstadt. His marriage to Blanche ended in divorce after 10 years and in 1904 he married Emma Marie Ficinus (b May 11, 1881) in Zürich. Their daughter, Hella Leonora was born in Zürich on March 7, 1905. Their son, Fritz Caesar Werner (b May 15, 1907) died a few weeks after birth. Emma Ficinus left Zürich 1909 for Munich, they got divorces in 1910, and she got married again in 1911. In 1917 Hella Leonora stayed for an indefinite time with her father in Zürich. The latest known address of Caesar Hochstetter is Rieterstrasse 67 in Zürich. Afterwards he seems to have left Zürich. His name does appear neither in the address book nor in the resident's registration. Hochstetter’s date and place of death are unknown but he is thought to have disappeared during The Holocaust.
Caesar Hochstetter published his arrangement Album fuer einhändige Klavierspiel: 8 Stuecke von Bach, Chopin, Schumann, Reger und Zichy, for right or left hand (Breitkopf & Härtel, 1915). His known works also include Zwei Clavierstücke Op. 2 (R. Forberg, Leipzig), arrangements of J.S. Bach’s Sarabande und Bourrée for piano (A. Holzmann, Zürich) and 10 kleine Stücke Op. 24 (A. Holzmann, Zürich).
Caesar Hochstetter was a friend and admirer of the well known composer Max Reger In 1898 Hochstetter published an article entitled “Noch einmal Max Reger" in a music magazine (Die Redenden Künste 5 nr. 49, s. 943 f). Caesar recommends M. Reger as “a highly talented young composer" to the publishers. M. Reger then thanks Hochstetter with the dedications of his Aquarellen Op. 25 and Five pittoresque Pieces for 4-hand Piano, Op. 34 to him. Hochstetter published an article in Musikalisches Wochenblatt in Leipzig on January 24, 1901 giving a positive critique of a concert given in Budapest by Count Géza Zichy of Hungary who suffered a riding accident in his teens and lost his right arm. Determined to become a pianist, he studied under Franz Liszt and Robert Volkmann and in spite of his physical limitations enjoyed a successful career as a composer and pianist spanning some 40 years. Hochstetter also corresponded with Josef Rheinberger, a notable composer, organist and pianist from Vaduz, Lichtenstein who composed Piano studies for one hand and for two hands, Op.113.
Caesar was one of four members of the same Hochstetter family to lead distinguished careers in the fields of music and literature. His first cousin once removed (also a Hochstetter descendant) was Kurt Weill (b March 2, 1900 in Dessau; d April 3, 1950 in Haverstraw, New York), the famous music composer of The Threepenny Opera and Mack the Knife who married Lotte Lenya (b October 18, 1898 in Vienna; d November 27, 1981 in Haverstraw, New York), the famous Austrian singer. Caesar’s younger brother was Professor Gustav Hochstetter (b May 12, 1873 in Mannheim; d 1942 in Theresienstadt concentration camp), Professor of Literature at the University of Brussels, writer and poet and friend of Wilhelm Busch. Another first cousin once removed was the childhood prodigy pianist, Lisy Fischer (b August 22, 1900 in Zürich, Switzerland; d June 6, 1999 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England), whom Caesar was in regular contact with (she also lived in Switzerland) and whose career he followed and to whom he gave support and encouragement.