Piano Traditions Through Their Genealogy Trees

Hundreds of Piano Traditions - Thousands of pianists

This project is the result of a 15-year period of research that is still ongoing. It aims to give us a broad perspective of the history of the universal pianism and their interpreters and teachers, showing us thousands of piano connections throughout time. The project intends to include as many pianists and teachers as possible. For that purpose, we have created dozens of genealogies, representing both individual pianists, such as The Frédéric Chopin and The Heinrich Neuhaus traditions, and national or regional schools of playing, including The Russian and The English schools of piano playing.

This is a long-term project that will require time to publish in its entirety. Every month the International Piano Archives at Maryland (IPAM) will publish a number of piano traditions and will continue to do so on a monthly basis until we complete publishing all the traditions we created. Each tradition will consist of a genealogy tree and an accompanying article featuring short biographies of all the pianists represented in the corresponding tree.

The Louis Adam Tradition

Louis Adam, one of the first teachers to focus specifically on the piano at the Paris Conservatory, had a considerable influence on the formation of the French piano tradition. Among the many significant figures in this tradition is Frédéric Kalkbrenner, whose pianistic lineage extends to our day.

Louis Adam Tradition Genealogy Tree

Louis Adam Tradition Biographies

The Pedro Albéniz Tradition

Pedro Albéniz, who introduced aspects of the French piano school to Spain with his Método completo para piano and his pedagogy at the Madrid Conservatory, was a key figure in establishing the Spanish piano tradition through eminent pupils such as Pedro Tintorer, Manuel Mendizábal and Eduardo Compta.

Pedro Albeniz Tradition Genealogy Tree

Pedro Albéniz Tradition Biographies

The CPE Bach Tradition

C.P.E. Bach was one of the most important composers of the second half of the 18th century, particularly admired as a teacher and composer of keyboard works. A student of his father, Johann Sebastian Bach, his Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments was to turn into one of the most influential treatises, and the first one to refer specifically to the pianoforte as a separate and distinct instrument.

CPE Bach Genealogy Tree

CPE Bach Tradition Biographies

The Ludwig van Beethoven Tradition

Ludwig van Beethoven, who represents the inception of modern pianism, may be considered the starting point from which most pianists in history can trace their pianistic lineages. His student Carl Czerny taught some of the greatest pedagogues of the nineteenth century, including Franz Liszt, Theodor Leschetizky, Sigismond Thalberg, Theodor Kullak and Anton Door.

Ludwig van Beethoven Tradition Genealogy Tree

Ludwig van Beethoven Tradition Biographies

The Ludwig Berger Tradition

Greatly influenced by his teacher Muzio Clementi, Ludwig Berger had among his students Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn, and exerted an important influence on Russian pianism through Adolph von Henselt, who in turn taught Nikolay Zverev.

Ludwig Berger Genealogy Tree

Ludwig Berger Tradition Biographies

The Frédéric Chopin Tradition

The evolution of the piano technique and expression cannot be understood without Frédéric Chopin, one of the most innovative piano composers of all time. His  tradition reached throughout Europe and South America through three of his pupils, Karol Mikuli, Georges Mathias and Émile Descombes.

Frédéric Chopin Genealogy Tree

Frédéric Chopin Tradition Biographies

The Muzio Clementi Tradition

Often regarded as the father of the pianoforte, Muzio Clementi had a decisive influence on many European piano traditions of playing, particularly the Neapolitan school through Francesco Lanza, the Russian via John Field, and the French by way of Hélène de Montgeroult.

Muzio Clementi Genealogy Tree

Musio Clementi Tradition Biographies

The Carl Czerny Tradition

Carl Czerny had a prodigious influence on the history of pianism and represents the link between the nineteenth century pianism of Beethoven and the pianism of the early twentieth century by way of several of his illustrious pupils such as Franz Liszt, Theodor Leschetizky, Theodor Kullak, Sigismond Thalberg and Anton Door.

Carl Czerny Tradition Genealogy Tree

Carl Czerny Biographies

The John Field Tradition

The Irish pianist and composer John Field was a decisive figure in developing the Russian piano school of playing in the first half of the nineteenth century through his pupils Alexander Villoing, Alexander Dubuque and Anton Gerke, whose students were the Rubinstein brothers and Nikolay Zverev, pillars of  Russian pianism.

John Field Genealogy Tree

John Field Tradition Biographies

The Alexander Goldenweiser Tradition

A transcendent pedagogue in the development of a training system for musicians in the Soviet Union, Alexander Goldenweiser inherited Franz Liszt´s legacy through his teachers Pavel Pabst and Alexander Siloti, and also the nineteenth century Russian pianism of Zverev and Nikolay Rubinstein. Goldenweiser´s pianistic influence expanded well beyond the Soviet Union, and his pupils at the Moscow Conservatory became world class pianists and teachers. The illustrious list of his pupils includes Samuel Feinberg, Grigory Ginzburg, Tatiana Nikolayeva, Lazar Berman, Galina Eguiazarova and Dmitry Bashkirov.

Alexander Goldenweiser Genealogy Tree

Alexander Goldenweiser Tradition Biographies

The Johann Nepomuk Hummel Tradition

A protégé of Mozart and a friend of Beethoven, Hummel´s pianism had a diverse influence on several generations of piano traditions that reached from Europe to North America. Among the important pianists and pedagogues in this tradition are Franz Xaver Mozart, Max Eberwein, Adolph von Henselt, Sir Julius Benedict and Carl Maria von Bocklet.

Johann Nepomuk Tradition Genealogy Tree

Johann Nepomuk Tradition Biographies

The Friedrich Kalkbrenner Tradition

One of the first itinerant performers and renowned piano virtuosos in Europe, Frédéric Kalkbrenner attracted pupils from several countries and directly influenced the French school through Camille Stamaty, and the British by way of Arabella Goddard and George Osborne.

Friedrich Kalkbrenner Genealogy Tree

Friedrich Kalkbrenner Tradition Biographies

The Francesco Lanza Tradition

A pupil of Clementi, Francesco Lanza is regarded as the father of the Neapolitan school of piano, which encompassed many generations of Italian pianists. Among the important figures of this tradition are Michelangelo Ruso and Franceso Simonetti, whose students were Beniamino Cesi and Giovanni Maria Anfossi respectively, two of the main pillars of the Italian school.  

Francesco Lanza Tradition Genealogy Tree

Francesco Lanza Tradition Biographies

The Theodor Leschetizky Tradition

A pupil of Carl Czerny, Theodor Leschetizky taught over 1200 pianists whose successful careers spanned from the 1880s with Anna Essipova, to Mieczysław Horszowski´s last recital in 1991. His vast legacy as a pedagogue spawned numerous eminent pianists of the twentieth century, including Paderewski, Schnabel, Friedman, Hambourg, Gabrilowitsch, Moiseiwitsch and Brailowsky. Many of his disciples also became illustrious pedagogues, such as Vasily Safonov, Isabelle Vengerova and Katherine Goodson, who in turn conveyed Leschetizky´s pianistic and musical philosophy to countless generations of pianists around the world. 

Theodor LeschetizkyTradition Genealogy Tree

Theodor Leschetizky Tradition Biographies

The Franz Liszt Tradition

Pioneer of the piano recital, the masterclass and the modern piano technique, Franz Liszt inherited Beethoven´s pianistic influence through Czerny, and taught hundreds of pianists from many countries. He had a direct impact on the greatest historical piano traditions through István Thomán and Árpád Szendy in Hungary, Alexander Siloti in Russia, Hans von Bülow, Emil von Sauer and Martin Krause in Germany, Rafael Joseffy and Carl Lachmund in the United States, Walter Bache in England or Pedro Tintorer in Spain.

Franz Liszt Genealogy Tree

Franz Liszt Tradition Biographies

The Antoine-François Marmontel Tradition

The Marmontel Tradition links two illustrious generations of French pianists and teachers from Pierre Zimmermann to Louis Diémer, and its influence encompasses France, in addition to other countries and continents including Haiti, Cuba and the United States. The transcendental Marguerite Long tradition will derive from Marmontel´s genealogy.

Marmontel Tradition Genealogy Tree

Marmontel Tradition Biographies

The Georges Mathias Tradition

Georges Mathias was one of the most crucial figures in transmitting Chopin´s pianism to the next generations. The impact of his teaching was felt in countries such as Portugal through Alexandre Rey Colaço, in the United States through James Huneker and Ernest Schelling, in Spain through José Tragó, in Argentina through Alberto Williams and in France through Isidor Philipp. The far reaching effects of this tradition have come down to our present day through Maurizio Pollini and Maria-João Pires.

Georges Mathias Tradition Genealogy Tree

Georges Mathias Tradition Biographies

The Tobias Matthay Tradition

One of the greatest and most innovative piano pedagogues of all time, Tobias Matthay introduced revolutionary ideas on piano technique through his groundbreaking insights regarding physiology and touch in all its diversities. His many world class pupils included Dame Myra Hess, Dame Moura Lympany, Clifford Curzon, Eileen Joyce, Harold Craxton, and Irene Scharrer. Many of his followers taught in music schools in England, Australia, South Africa, Canada and the United States.

Tobias Matthay Genealogy Tree

Tobias Matthay Tradition Biographies

The Ignaz Moscheles Tradition

Ignaz Moscheles was one of the most famous pianists and teachers of his time. Through his many pupils his pianistic influence reached across Germany, England, Poland, North America, Russia, Austria, Belgium, France and his native Bohemia. Among the long list of his eminent pupils are Felix Mendelssohn, Louis Brassin, Oscar Beringer, Alexander Michalowsky, Ernst Rudorff, Edvard Grieg, William Mason and Constantin Sternberg.

Ignaz Moscheles Tradition Genealogy Tree

Ignaz Moscheles Tradition Biographies

The Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Tradition

One of the earliest precursors of modern piano playing, Mozart developed a pianistic style which was foundational to several traditions. Of particular note among these traditions was that of his protégé Johann Nepomuk Hummel, and also the tradition of Joseph Wölfl, teacher of eminent English pedagogue Cipriani Potter.

Mozart Tradition Genealogy Tree

Mozart Tradition Biographies

The Louis Pradher Tradition

Louis Pradher, a professor at the Paris and Toulouse conservatories, embodied foundational principles of French pianism, which he conveyed to his pupils Henri Herz, teacher of Marie Jaëll, and Félix Le Couppey. The latter had far ranging influence through the Paris Conservatory and Sophie Chéné.

Louis Pradher Genealogy Tree

Louis Pradher Biographies

The Sigismond Thalberg Tradition

Sigismond Thalberg, a preeminent nineteenth century virtuoso and innovator pianistic effects, was a contemporary of Liszt's and his only legitimate rival. His travels around the world took him to Europe, Brazil, Cuba and the United States, thus influencing numerous pianists and pedagogues such as Beniamino Cesi in Italy, José Miró in Spain, Heinrich Ehrlich in Germany and Charles-Wilfrid de Bériot in France.

Thalberg Genealogy Tree

Thalberg Tradition Biographies

The Alexander Villoing Tradition

The Alexander Villoing tradition had a far-reaching effect on the Russian schools through his pupils Anton and Nikolay Rubinstein, who founded the St. Petersburg and Moscow conservatories, and through Annette Essipova, who taught significant pedagogues such as Sergei Tarnowsky and Isabelle Vengerova.

Villoing Tradition Genealogy Tree

Villoing Tradition Biographies

The Friedrich Wieck and Clara Schumann Tradition

A pupil Johann Peter Milchmeyer, author of one the first methods intended specifically for the piano, Friedrich Wieck was a renowned pedagogue who focused on elementary piano instruction and whose celebrated students included the young Robert Schumann, Hans von Bülow, Constantin Sternberg, Ernst Wenzel, Isidor Seiss. His daughter Clara was one of the great pianists of her time and influenced many pianists in Europe and England such as Mathilde Verne and Carl Friedberg.

Wieck and Schumann Genealogy Tree

Wieck and Schumann Tradition Biographies

The Pierre Zimmermann Tradition

A teacher at the Paris Conservatory, Zimmermann was one of the founders of the French pianism and exerted a profound influence on future generations of pianists, especially by way of Antoine-François Marmontel. He also influenced the Spanish piano tradition through Pedro Tintorer.

Zimmermann Tradition Genealogy Tree

Zimmermann Tradition Biographies