The Louis Adam Tradition

Piano Traditions Through Their Genealogy Trees

© 2021, by Daniel Pereira

Doctor of Musical Arts |


Adam, Adolphe

French (Paris, July 24, 1803 — Paris, May 3, 1856)

Adolphe Adam was a composer. He was the son of pianist, composer and teacher at the Paris Conservatory, Louis Adam. Adolphe was particularly known for his operas, ballets and music for the vaudeville and theatre. For a time, he was completely ruined and was forced to work as a journalist to make a living. He also taught composition at the Paris Conservatory. Besides the stage works, Adam produced numerous piano arrangements, transcriptions and potpourris of opera arias.


Adam, Louis

French (Muttersholtz, Bas-Rhin, December 3, 1758 — Paris, April 8, 1848)

Louis Adam was a pianist, composer and teacher. He taught at the Paris Conservatory from 1797 to 1842. Among his pupils were Frédéric Kalkbrenner and Ferdinand Hérold. He devised two educational methods for the piano: the Principe général du doigté pour le forté-piano and a Méthode du piano du Conservatoire. Adam composed several piano sonatas and other smaller works.

[See the Louis Adam Tradition]


Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel

German (Weimar, March 8, 1714 — Hamburg, December 14, 1788)

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was a composer and keyboard player. He was one of the most important composers of the second half of the 18th century and was particularly admired for his keyboard works. He also studied Law. C.P.E. Bach´s teacher was his father, Johann Sebastian Bach. His Essay on the True Art of Playing the Keyboard Instruments, published in two parts in 1753 and 1762, respectively, was to become one of the most influential treatises for many years and the first one to refer specifically to the pianoforte as a separate and distinct instrument. Both Haydn and Beethoven knew it and used it in their teaching. C.P.E. Bach also composed chamber, orchestral and vocal music.

[See the Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach Tradition]


Chaulieu, Charles

French (Paris, June 21, 1788 — London, April 19, 1849)

Charles Chaulieu was a pianist, composer and teacher. He won the premier prix in piano at the Paris Conservatory in 1806. His musical career shifted its attention to composing and teaching after he left the Conservatory. He settled in London in 1843. Chaulieu composed six piano sonatas, fantasies, variations, nocturnes, études and a set of preludes. He also produced pedagogical works for the piano such as the L´Indispensable, Six premier mois du piano and Études spéciales et préparatoires. His works were published in Paris, London, Leipzig, Milan and New York. Chaulieu was a contributor to the music journal Le Pianiste. His son Charles Chaulieu fils published some works for the piano.


Daussoigne-Méhul, Joseph

French (Givet, Ardennes, June 10, 1790 — Liège, March 10, 1875)

Joseph Daussoigne-Méhul was a composer, teacher and writer. He was the nephew and student of the renowned composer Étienne Méhul. Daussoigne taught at the Paris Conservatory and was director of the Royal Conservatory of Liège in Belgium. César Franck was among his pupils. Daussoigne´s younger son, Alexandre Gustave, was a professional and notable pianist and organist.


Edelmann, Jean-Frédéric

Alsatian (Strasbourg, May 5, 1749 — Paris, July 17, 1794)

Jean-Frédéric Edelmann was a composer, teacher and harpsichord player. He studied Law at Strasbourg University. In 1774, Edelmann moved to Paris where he became a renowned musician. He and his brother were guillotined in 1794 due to accusations as traitors. Edelmann´s entire compositional output was written for harpsichord with string accompaniment ad libitum and include the sonatas Les adieux d´E and La capricieuse and a number of concertos.


Fétis, François-Joseph

Belgian (Mons, Belgium, March 25, 1784 — Brussels, March 26, 1871)

François-Joseph Fétis was a multifaceted and highly influential figure in 19th Europe, particularly in the fields of musicology, history, harmony and criticism. Teacher of counterpoint and fugue at the Paris Conservatory, director of the Brussels Conservatory, and maître de chapelle to Léopold I, Fétis composed two piano concertos, Fantaisie chromatique and Préludes progressifs, among other works. His Biographie universelle des musiciens (1835-44) and the Traité de l´harmonie (1844) are historically significant. He collaborated with Ignaz Moscheles in writing the Méthode des méthodes de piano in 1840. His large instrument collection is preserved at the Museum of the Brussels Conservatory. 


Gounod, Charles

French (Paris, June 17, 1818 — Saint-Cloud, October 18, 1893)

Charles Gounod was a composer. He was among the most influential composers during the second half of the 19th century in France. Gounod´s mother, Victoire Lemachois, was a piano student of Louis Adam. Gounod showed an early gift for music and drawing. He married Pierre Zimmermann´s daughter, Anna. Although Gounod became famous for his operas and sacred works, he also composed pieces for the piano such as Valse, Deux romances sans paroles, La veneziana and Prélude as well as the Fantaisie sur l´hymne national russe for the pedal piano with orchestra.


Haydn, Franz Joseph

Austrian (Rohrau, Lower Austria, March 31, 1732 — Vienna, May 31, 1809)

Franz Joseph Haydn was a composer. He is regarded as the father of the symphony and of the string quartet. Haydn was a friend and mentor of Mozart and a tutor of Beethoven. His younger brother was the composer Michael Haydn. From 1761 to 1790, Haydn worked solely for the Prince of Esterházy at the prince´s palace in what is nowadays Hungarian territory. Haydn´s duties included not only composing, playing chamber music and conducting the orchestras but being responsible for paying the musicians, acquiring and maintaining the collection of instruments and for opera productions. Haydn travelled to London on two occasions between 1791 and 1795. Subsequently, he settled in Vienna for the rest of his life. At his funeral service, Mozart´s Requiem was performed. Haydn´s keyboard oeuvre includes concertos, numerous sonatas, variations, Fantasy in C major and Capriccio in G major. The most extensive catalogue of Haydn´s works was compiled by Anthony von Hoboken and was completed in 1978. The keyboard works appear under the Hob. XVI, XVII, XVIIa and XVIII entries. Another in-depth study was conducted by H.C. Robbins Landon.  


Hérold, Ferdinand

French (Paris, January 28, 1791 — Paris, January 19, 1833)

Ferdinand Hérold was a pianist and composer of Alsatian descent. His father was François-Joseph Hérold. Ferdinand Hérold became a famous composer for his opéras comiques. He composed his first piano piece at the age of six, and at 15, he entered the Paris Conservatory, where he studied both the violin and the piano. He won the premier prix in piano performing his own Piano sonata op. 1. He died at 42 from tuberculosis, an illness he endured most of his life. His opera Le pré aux clercs received about 1500 performances in Paris by 1900. He wrote four piano concertos, ten sonatas and fantasies on operatic themes, among other works. His Grandes variations au clair de la lune, for orchestra and piano, were very popular during his lifetime.


Hérold, François-Joseph

French (Seltz, Bas-Rhin, March 10 or 18, 1755 — Paris, September 1, 1802)

François-Joseph Hérold was a composer and pianist. He studied with C. P. E. Bach in Hamburg. In 1781, he moved to Paris where he became a highly solicited piano teacher. He composed piano works, chamber music and also produced some arrangements. His son was Ferdinand Hérold.  


Hüllmandel, Nicolas-Joseph

Alsatian (Strasbourg, May 23, 1756 — London, December 19, 1823)

Nicolas-Joseph Hüllmandel was a harpsichord player and composer. He conceived his entire output for either the harpsichord or the piano, occasionally being accompanied by the violin. He wrote an article entitled Clavecin for the Encyclopédie méthodique of Diderot and D´Alambert. Hüllmandel was among the first composers to favor the piano as his works show. Although François-Joseph Fétis recounted that Hüllmandel studied with C.P.E. Bach, there is no evidence to support this theory.  


Kalkbrenner, Christian

German (Hannoversch Münden, September 22, 1755 — Paris, August 10, 1806)

Christian Kalkbrenner was a violinist, organist, keyboard player and composer. He was the father and first teacher of piano virtuoso Frédéric Kalkbrenner. In the late 1770s, he was appointed kapellmeister to the Queen of Prussia. After living for a few years in Italy, Christian Kalkbrenner returned to Paris and became maître des Chœurs et des Écoles at the Paris Opera. He composed a piano concerto and piano sonatas.


Kalkbrenner, Frédéric

French (Early November 1785 — Enghien-les-Bains, June 10, 1849)

Frédéric Kalkbrenner was a pianist, teacher and composer. He was born en route from Kassel to Berlin. His father, Christian Kalkbrenner, gave him his first music lessons. Subsequently, Kalkbrenner studied at the Paris Conservatory and obtained the premier prix in piano and harmony. Between 1803 and 1804, Kalkbrenner travelled to Vienna where he met Haydn, who offered him guidance, and also made the acquaintance of Clementi. In 1814, Kalkbrenner settled in England, where he achieved fame as a pianist, teacher and composer. Ten years after, he returned to Paris and found his place among the most prominent virtuosos of his day, not only in France but all over Europe, attaining an international career without precedent. Kalkbrenner invited Chopin to study with him, but the Polish composer declined the offer. However, the two remained in good terms and Chopin dedicated his Concerto in E minor op. 11 to Kalkbrenner. As a composer, Kalkbrenner focused mostly on the piano. He produced piano concertos, 13 sonatas, Élégie harmonique op. 36, Caprice op. 104, and a number of other pieces such as airs variés, romances, rondeaux and waltzes. Ha also wrote pedagogical pieces including the 24 études dans tous les tons opp. 20 and 88, 12 études préparatoires, 25 grandes études de style et de perfectionnement, and the influential Méthode pour apprendre le piano-forte à l´aide du guide-mains. He invented the hand-guide mechanism with the aim of helping the pianist avoid any arm movement and, as a consequence, develop the maximum finger independence possible.

[See the Frédéric Kalkbrenner Tradition]


Lemachoise, Victoire

Victoire Lemachoise was the mother of Charles Gounod and a student of Nicolas-Joseph Hüllmandel. When her husband passed away, she established a piano teaching studio.


Lemoine, Henry

French (Paris, 21 October 1786 — Paris, 18 May 1854)

Henry Lemoine was a piano teacher. He was born into a family of music publishers. His father, Antoine-Marcel Lemoine, established a publishing firm in Paris in 1796, which Henry inherited in 1816. Lemoine published most of Chopin´s compositions and Berlioz´s Treatise of orchestration, as well as his own pedagogical methods for piano, harmony and solfège including the Méthode et des études de piano.


Nikodim, František

Bohemian (Vilémov, August 1, 1764 — Paris, August 13, 1829)

Nikodim was a pianist and composer. He performed in Vienna and Paris, where he became professor at the Conservatory.


Pradher, Louis

French (Paris, December 16, 1782 — Gray, October 19, 1843)

Louis Pradher was a pianist, composer and teacher. He taught at the Paris Conservatory and was the director of the Toulouse Conservatoire from 1840 to 1841. Pradher composed some operas and piano music, including a concerto, sonatas and works for two pianos. He was a famed teacher and insisted on the independence of the fingers as a fundamental aspect of piano technique. Pradher was the piano teacher of the princesses at the court of Louis XVIII and Charles X.

[See the Louis Pradher Tradition]


© 2021, by Daniel Pereira