Piano Traditions Through Their Genealogy Trees

Hundreds of Piano Traditions - Thousands of pianists

A Project by Daniel Pereira

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

    Picture of Louis Adam

    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.

    Adam Tradition Genealogy Tree

    Adam Tradition Biographies

  • The Pedro Albéniz Tradition

    Picture of Pedro Albeniz

    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.

    Albeniz Tradition Genealogy Tree

    Albéniz Tradition Biographies

  • The CPE Bach Tradition

    Painting of CPE Bach

    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 Karl Heinrich Barth Tradition

    Photograph of Karl Heinrich Barth

    Of an outstanding piano lineage through all his four teachers, Karl-Heinrich Barth epitomizes the best lisztian piano tradition which he passed on to some of the greatest pianists in history including Artur Rubinstein and Wilhelm Kempff and to such pedagogues as Alexandre Rey Colaço and Heinrich Neuhaus.

    Barth Genealogy Tree

    Barth Tradition Biographies

  • The Ludwig van Beethoven Tradition

    Painting of Ludwig van Beethoven

    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.

    Beethoven Tradition Genealogy Tree

    Beethoven Tradition Biographies

  • The Ludwig Berger Tradition

    Painting of Ludwig Berger

    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.

    Berger Tradition Genealogy Tree

    Berger Tradition Biographies

  • The Ferruccio Busoni Tradition

    Photograph of Ferruccio Busoni

    One of the greatest pianists and pedagogues of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Ferruccio Busoni was influenced by a Germanic culture and had numerous students who became world-famous musicians and teachers, including Guido Agosti, Egon Petri, Ignacy Friedman, Arnold Székely and Luís Costa. He passed on his pianistic and aesthetic views to many generations of performers all over the world who taught at such prestigious music schools as Curtis Institute, Juilliard School, Peabody Institute and Liszt Academy or at the Porto, Naples and Stern conservatories.

    Busoni Tradition Genealogy Tree

    Busoni Tradition Biographies

  • The Frédéric Chopin Tradition

    Photograph of Frederic Chopin

    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.

    Chopin Tradition Genealogy Tree

    Chopin Tradition Biographies

  • The Muzio Clementi Tradition

    Picture of Muzio Clementi

    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.

  • Clementi Tradition Genealogy Tree

    Clementi Tradition Biographies

  • The Carl Czerny Tradition

    Picture of Carl Czerny

    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.

    Czerny Tradition Genealogy Tree

    Czerny Tradition Biographies

  • The Louis Diémer Tradition

    Photograph of Louis Diemer

    One of the most important teachers at the Paris Conservatoire at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Louis Diémer counted illustrious pianists among his students including Alfred Cortot, Robert and Gaby Casadesus, Yves Nat, Marcel Ciampi and Robert Lortat, who were influenced by Diémer´s precision and purity of playing.

    Diémer Tradition Genealogy Tree

    Diémer Tradition Biographies

  • The John Field Tradition

    Picture of John Field

    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.

    Field Tradition Genealogy Tree

    Field Tradition Biographies

  • The Alexander Goldenweiser Tradition

    Photograph of Alexander Goldenweiser

    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.

    Goldenweiser Tradition Genealogy Tree

    Goldenweiser Tradition Biographies

  • The Johann Nepomuk Hummel Tradition

    Painting of Johann Nepomuk Hummel

    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.

    Hummel Tradition Genealogy Tree

    Hummel Tradition Biographies

  • The Konstantin Igumnov Tradition

    Photograph of Konstantin Igumnov

    One of the most distinguished and influential composers at the Moscow Conservatory for several decades, his pianistic ancestry was connected to the greatest pianists in history and funneled to him via Zverev, Siloti and Pabst. Two of his pupils, Lev Oborin and Yakov Flier, became famous teachers and pedagogues and would have a consequential impact on numerous pianists all over the world.

    Igumnov Tradition Genealogy Tree

    Igumnov Tradition Biographies

  • The Friedrich Kalkbrenner Tradition

    Picture of Friedrich Kalkbrenner

    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.

    Kalkbrenner Tradition Genealogy Tree

    Kalkbrenner Tradition Biographies

  • The Theodor Kullak Tradition

    Picture of Theodor Kullak

    Theodor Kullak was one of the most outstanding teachers of the 19th century and had a substantial impact on piano education through the foundation of the visionary Neue Akademie der Tonkunst in Berlin. Many of his pupils would become major pedagogues in Europe, Russia and America: Jacob James Kwast, Nikolai Rubinstein, Constantin Sternberg and Xaver Scharwenka.


    Kullak Tradition Genealogy Tree

    Kullak Tradition Biographies

  • The Francesco Lanza Tradition

    Picture of a student having a piano lesson

    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.  

    Lanza Tradition Genealogy Tree

    Lanza Tradition Biographies

  • The Theodor Leschetizky Tradition

    Photograph of Theodor Leschetizky

    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. 

    Leschetizky Tradition Genealogy Tree

    Leschetizky Tradition Biographies

  • The Franz Liszt Tradition

    Photograph of Franz Liszt

    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.

    Liszt Tradition Genealogy Tree

    Liszt Tradition Biographies

  • The Antoine-François Marmontel Tradition

    Picture of Antoine-Francois Marmontel

    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 Eduard Marxsen Tradition

    Picture of Eduard Marxsen

    An heir of the Hummel and Bocklet pianistic lineages, Marxsen holds a special place in music history as Brahms´s teacher, and also had among his pupils Ludwig Deppe, who would become a renowned pedagogue in his own right.

    Marxsen Tradition Genealogy Tree

    Marxsen Tradition Biographies

  • The Georges Mathias Tradition

    Photograph of Georges Mathias

    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.

    Mathias Tradition Genealogy Tree

    Mathias Tradition Biographies

  • The Tobias Matthay Tradition

    Photograph of Tobias Matthay

    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.

    Matthay Tradition Genealogy Tree

    Matthay Tradition Biographies

  • The Ignaz Moscheles Tradition

    Painting of Ignace Moscheles

    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.

    Moscheles Tradition Genealogy Tree

    Moscheles Tradition Biographies

  • The Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Tradition

    Painting of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    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 Egon Petri Tradition

    Photograph of Egon Petri

    A pupil of Teresa Carreño and Ferruccio Busoni, Egon Petri spread his pianistic legacy based on faithfulness to the text and correct style through his active teaching in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany, and his students included eminent pianists Earl Wild, John Ogdon and Paul Doguereau.

    Petri Tradition Genealogy Tree

    Petri Tradition Biographies

  • The Isidor Philipp Tradition

    Photograph of Isidor Philipp

    Isidor Philipp inherited Chopin´s piano tradition from Georges Mathias and conveyed it to several generations of pianists including Guiomar Novaes, Jeanne-Marie Darré, Nikita Magaloff, Paul Loyonnet and Ferdinand Motte-Lacroix. His preoccupation with tone, suppleness, relaxation, rhythmic exactitude and articulation were crucial to his piano philosophy.

    Philipp Tradition Genealogy Tree

    Philipp Tradition Biographies

  • The Louis Pradher Tradition

    Painting of Louis Pradher

    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.

    Pradher Tradition Genealogy Tree

  • Pradher Tradition Biographies

  • The Bernhard Stavenhagen Tradition

    Photograph of Bernhard Stavenhagen

    One of Franz Liszt´s favorite pupils, Bernhard Stavenhagen conveyed his teacher´s pianistic wisdom to such illustrious pianists as Edouard Risler, Karl Klindworth and Ernest Hutcheson, and took an active role in the modernization of the syllabus in music schools and conservatories in Berlin and Geneva.

    Stavenhagen Tradition Genealogy Tree

    Stavenhagen Tradition Biographies

  • The Sigismond Thalberg Tradition

    Photograph of Sigismond Thalberg

    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 Tradition Genealogy Tree

    Thalberg Tradition Biographies

  • The Alexander Villoing Tradition

    Picture of Alexander Villoing

    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 Beveridge Webster Tradition

    Photograph of Beveridge Webster

    With a phenomenal pianistic education received in Europe, Beveridge Webster was an outstanding teacher in the United States who greatly influenced several generations of pianists through his pedagogy at Juilliard and New England Conservatories and included such pianists as Paul Jacobs, Michel Block and Robert McDonald.

    Webster Tradition Genealogy Tree

    Webster Tradition Biographies

  • The Friedrich Wieck and Clara Schumann Tradition

    Painting of Clara Schumann

    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 Tradition Genealogy Tree

    Wieck and Schumann Tradition Biographies

  • The Pierre Zimmermann Tradition

    Painting of Pierre Zimmermann

    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