The Pedro Albéniz Tradition

Piano Traditions Through Their Genealogy Trees

© 2021, by Daniel Pereira

Doctor of Musical Arts |


Albéniz, Isaac

Spanish (Camprodón, May 29, 1860 — Cambo-les-Bains, May 18, 1909)

Isaac Albéniz was a pianist and composer. He was a child prodigy and a great improviser. Albéniz grew up in Barcelona and started piano lessons with his sister Clementina. In order to contribute to support his family when his father lost his job, Albéniz frequently went on tour and was forced to interrupt his music studies. He studied at the Madrid, Leipzig and Brussels conservatories with Eduardo Compta, José Tragó, Antoine-François Marmontel, Franz Rummel and Louis Brassin. Albéniz lived for a time in London, where the wealthy banker Money-Coutts became his only patron. After some time in Paris, where he taught at the Schola Cantorum and became close friends with Dukas and Fauré, Albéniz returned to Spain. He composed numerous piano pieces including two piano concertos, Suite España, Cantos de España, Navarra, Azulejos and, his most famous composition, the Suite Iberia. Albéniz married his pupil Rosa Jordana in 1883. He suffered from Bright´s disease. The Fundación Isaac Albéniz, established in 1987, created the International Piano Competition of Santander in 1972.


Alfonso Hernán, Javier

Spanish (Madrid, February 2, 1904 — April 2, 1988)

Javier Alfonso was a pianist and composer. He was born into a musical family. He started studies in Medicine but abandoned the university in order to enroll at the Madrid Conservatory, where he studied with José Tragó. He pursued further studies in Paris with José Iturbi. Alfonso obtained the Premio Nacional de Piano in 1940 and received a scholarship from the March Foundation for writing La técnica del piano a través de todas las escuelas mundiales. In 1949, he was appointed auxiliar professor of piano at the Madrid Conservatory and, from 1951 onwards, full professor. Alfonso collaborated with Radio Nacional de España and, as a music critic, for the Arriba and ABC newspapers. He concertized extensively in Europe and performed in piano duo with his pupil María Teresa de los Ángeles Gutiérrez. Alfonso produced a number of piano pieces including Sonatas para clavecín and Fantasía cíclica en tres movimientos for two pianos and orchestra.   


Arriola, Pepito

Spanish (Betanzos, December 14, 1895 — Barcelona, October 24, 1954)

José Rodríguez Carballeira, known as Pepito Arriola, was a pianist, violinist and composer and a child prodigy. Queen María Cristina became his patron and sponsored Arriola´s studies. In 1902, Arriola and his mother moved to Germany, where he studied with Richard Strauss and appeared with the Berlin Philharmonic under Arthur Nikisch. Arriola concertized around the world, including the U.S. where he appeared at the Metropolitan and Carnegie Hall in New York, and an extensive tour in Cuba. His compositions include Impresiones argentinas, Homenaje a Manuel de Falla and Divertimento concertante for two pianos and string orchestra with flute.


Asenjo Barbieri, Francisco de Asís Esteban

Spanish (Madrid, August 3, 1823 — Madrid, February 17, 1894)

Francisco Asenjo Barbieri was a composer, musicologist, critic and conductor. He studied piano with Pedro Albéniz and composed numerous zarzuelas.


Badía, Conchita

Spanish (Barcelona, November 14, 1897 — Barcelona, May 2, 1975)

Conchita Badía was a Spanish soprano. She studied with Granados, Casals and de Falla. She performed her debut in Barcelona in 1913 with Granados at the piano and appeared several times in concert with Alfred Cortot. She taught voice at the Barcelona Conservatory and piano at the Granados Academy. Montserrat Caballé was among her students. Badía made a recording with Alicia de Larrocha.


Ballon, Ellen

Canadian (Montreal, October 6, 1898 — Montreal, December 21, 1969)

Ellen Ballon was a pianist born to Jewish-Lithuanian parents. She was a child prodigy. She studied with Clara Lichtenstein at the McGill Conservatorium. In 1906, she moved to New York, where she studied with Rafael Joseffy and Rubin Goldmark. She also studied with Josef Hofmann and Wilhelm Backhaus. In 1934, she settled in London. Her career came to a halt for two years after she broke an ankle getting out of a cab. Artur Rubinstein described her as “the greatest pianistic genius I have ever met”.


Bayona López de Ansó, Pilar

Spanish (Zaragoza, September 16, 1897 — Zaragoza, December 13, 1979)

Pilar Bayona was a pianist and teacher. She started playing the piano at the age of three and performed her first recital at five. She studied with José and Ángeles Sirvent. She played over 1,000 concerts, both for the public and for radio and TV. In the Spring 1936, while in Madrid, Bayona was part of the circle of Alfonso Buñuel, García Lorca, Pablo Neruda and Rodolfo Halffter. She taught at the Pablo Sarasate Conservatory in Pamplona and at the Zaragoza Conservatory. She premiered works by Turina, Guridi, Esplá and Ernesto Halffter, among many others. She died after a car run her over near her home.


Beethoven, Ludwig van

German (Bonn, baptized December 17, 1770 — Vienna, March 26, 1827)

Ludwig van Beethoven was a composer and pianist. He had Belgian ancestry and came from three generations of musicians who worked for the Electorate of Cologne. He was one of the most influential, admired and popular figures in music history. Beethoven was a great pianist and improviser and a visionary composer who transcended the limits of the piano, particularly after the illness, which isolated him —deafness— worsened. He described the state of his despairing soul in the famous Heiligenstadt Testament of 1802, addressed to his brothers Johann and Carl. Beethoven settled in Vienna in 1792, where he received lessons from Haydn and likely from Mozart and became a highly respected composer in the Austrian capital. Beethoven´s piano output is crowned by the 32 piano sonatas, the 5 piano concertos, and the Diabelli variations, all of which are masterpieces of the piano literature.

[See the Ludwig van Beethoven Tradition]


Calado, Mario

Spanish (Barcelona, October 23, 1862 — Barcelona, August 24, 1926)

Mario Calado was a pianist. He studied at the Liceo of Barcelona, Isabel II Conservatory and Paris Conservatoire. He concertized in Europe and America.


Chopin, Frédéric-François

Polish (Zelazowa Wola, March 1, 1810 — Paris, October 17, 1849)

Frédéric Chopin was a pianist and composer. His father was from Lorraine, France. He studied with Zywny, Elsner and with Wilhelm Würfel, an eminent pianist. However, in terms of piano training, Chopin was mainly self-taught. His earliest autograph is the Polonaise in A flat major, dated in 1821. On November 1, 1830, he departed for Vienna and would never return to his native Poland. After spending some time in Vienna, Munich and Stuttgart, he travelled to Paris. His Parisian debut took place in the Salle Pleyel on February 26, 1832. In the French capital, Chopin became a famous teacher, composer and pianist, although he did not frequently perform in public. He was in close terms with Hiller, Liszt, Berlioz, Delacroix and Franchomme. In 1838, Chopin and George Sand begun their love affair which was to last until 1847. Chopin spent periods of time in Majorca, Marseilles, Nohant, London and Scotland. His health had always been weak and, by October 1848 he weighed less than 45 kgs.

Chopin is among the greatest composers for the piano and wrote numerous pieces including études, mazurkas, nocturnes, waltzes, polonaises, sonatas, impromptus, ballades and two concertos, among other works for piano and orchestra.

[See the Frédéric Chopin Tradition]


Clementi, Muzio

Italo-English (Rome, January 23, 1752 — Evesham, Worcester, March 10, 1832)

Muzio Clementi was a pianist, composer, teacher and empresario. Popularly known as the “father of the pianoforte”, his influence on subsequent generations of pianists, piano composers, publishing and manufacturing firms is undisputed. Clementi counted among his students such distinguished pianists as Ludwig Berger, Carl Czerny, John Field and Frédéric Kalkbrenner. His pedagogical works Introduction to the Art of Playing the Pianoforte (1801) and Gradus ad Parnassum (1817, 1819, 1826) became of frequent use for pianists all over the world. In his teens, Clementi´s talent drew the attention of an Englishman named Peter Beckford, who in his own words “bought Clementi of his father for seven years”. Clementi spent all that time near Dorset, England, immersed in studying music and practicing the harpsichord. After this period, he moved to London where he became a celebrity as a composer, teacher, performer, manufacturer and publisher, and signed a contract with Beethoven to publish a few major works by the German composer. Clementi is buried at the cloisters of Westminster Abbey in London.

[See the Muzio Clementi Tradition]


Compta Torres, Eduardo

Spanish (Madrid, December 6, 1835 — Madrid, June 20, 1882)

Eduardo Compta was a pianist and teacher. He studied piano under Pedro Albéniz and Manuel Mendizábal. He pursued further studies in Paris with Marmontel and in Brussels with Dupont. Compta taught at the Madrid Conservatory and published the Método completo de piano in 1873.


Cortot, Alfred Denis

Swiss-French (Nyon, September 26, 1877 — Lausanne, June 15, 1962)

Alfred Cortot was a pianist, conductor and teacher. He studied with Chopin´s pupil Émile Decombes and with Louis Diémer. At the Paris Conservatoire, he won the premier prix in 1896. He conducted the Parisian premiere of Wagner´s Götterdämmerung in 1902 and the first French performances of Parsifal, in concert form, Beethoven´s Missa Solemnis and Brahms´s German Requiem. He formed a trio with Jacques Thibaud and Pablo Casals. Cortot made editions of the music of Chopin, Liszt and Schumann for Éditions Durand. Cortot taught at the Paris Conservatoire and founded the École Normale de Musique. In March 1925, Cortot made the world´s first commercial electrical recording of classical music for the Victor Talking Machine Company with Chopin´s Impromptus and Schubert´s Litanei. His first cousin was the composer Edgard Varése.

[See the Alfred Cortot Tradition]


Czerny, Carl

Austrian (Vienna, February 21, 1791 — Vienna, July 15, 1857)

Carl Czerny was a teacher, composer, pianist, theorist and historian. He is a fundamental figure in the history of the piano. His most famous students were Franz Liszt, Theodor Leschetizky and Theodor Kullak. His early musical instruction was supervised by his father Wenzel Czerny, who was a pianist, organist, oboist and singer. At the age of ten, he began studies with Beethoven whose lessons, several times a week, employed C.P.E. Bach´s Essay. Czerny proofread many of Beethoven´s works and was admired for the interpretations of the master´s works, all of which he apparently could play from memory. He was not interested in becoming a touring virtuoso and focused on teaching and composing instead. He taught 12 hours a day, charged high fees and amassed a fortune by the end of his life. His numerous compositions include studies, exercises, sonatas, sonatinas and even a Concerto for four hands. Of a great influence are his technical studies such as the opp. 200, 300, 400, 500, 600 and The Art of Finger Dexterity op. 740. Czerny was in close terms with Chopin and with his pupil Liszt, who invited him to collaborate in his Hexaméron variations. He published an autobiography in 1842 titled Erinnerungen aus meinem Leben.

[See the Carl Czerny Tradition]


de Bériot, Charles-Wilfrid

French (Paris, February 12, 1833 — Sceaux-en-Gatinais, October 22, 1914)

Charles-Wilfrid de Bériot was a pianist and composer. His mother was singer Maria Malibran and his father the Belgian violinist and composer Charles-Auguste de Bériot.  In 1887, he was appointed professor of piano at the Paris Conservatoire. Among other works, he composed four piano concertos and chamber music. He published L´art de l´accompagnement appliqué au piano.

[See the Charles-Wilfrid de Bériot Tradition]


Greef, Arthur de

Belgian (Leuven, October 10, 1862 — Brussels, August 29, 1940)

Arthur de Greef was a pianist and composer. Elected member of the Belgian Royal Academy in 1925, he toured extensively in Europe and mastered a vast repertory. In 1892 he offered a series of recitals in Paris representing the history of piano music. He was a champion of Grieg´s Piano Concerto and was regarded its best interpreter by the composer. He wrote two piano concertos and a handful of small piano pieces.


de Larrocha y de la Calle, Alicia

Spanish (Barcelona, May 23, 1923 — Barcelona, September 25, 2009)

Alicia de Larrocha was a pianist. She played her first concert at the age of four. She studied with Frank Marshall in Barcelona. In 1959, she became director of the Academia Marshall. Montsalvatge dedicated to her his Concierto breve, which de Larrocha premiered. She was the only Spanish pianist included in the Phillips collection of 74 great pianists of the twentieth century. De Larrocha made over 70 recordings for Decca, EMI, RCA, CBS, Sony and Philips, among others. She recorded Albéniz´s Iberia on four occasions. De Larrocha married pianist Juan Torra in 1950.


de los Ángeles Gutiérrez, María Teresa


María Teresa de los Ángeles Gutiérrez was a pianist and teacher. She studied with Javier Alfonso, with whom she formed a duo in 1964.


Díaz Yanes, Julia

Spanish (Madrid, 1955 — 2012)

Julia Díaz Yanes was a pianist and teacher. She studied at the Madrid Conservatory with Javier Alfonso, Manuel Carra and Almudena Cano. She pursued further studies in Warsaw, where she obtained her doctoral degree. She taught at the Madrid Conservatory.


Dupont, Auguste

Belgian (February 9, 1827 — December 17, 1890)

Auguste Dupont was a pianist and composer. He studied in Liège under Jules Jalheau. Since 1850, he taught at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. He edited the series École de piano du Conservatoire de Bruxelles. Among other works, he wrote Pluie de mai, Tocatelle and Valse expressive. His brother was the violinist Joseph Dupont.


Espinosa Lorenzo, Pedro                                                                                                  

Spanish (Gáldar, Gran Canaria, 1934 — Las Palmas, September 10, 2007)

Pedro Espinosa was a pianist and teacher. In 1950, he entered the Madrid Conservatory. He taught at the Guadalajara Conservatory between 1986 and 1998 and also was a professor at the Madrid and Pamplona conservatories. In 2006, he suffered a health problem which forced him to abandon the concert platform.


Fuleihan, Anis

Cypriot-American (Kyrenia, Cyprus, April 2, 1900 — Stanford, October 11, 1970)

Anis Fuleihan was a pianist, conductor and composer. In 1915, he moved to the U.S. where he was a student of Alberto Jonás. Subsequently, Fuleihan spent two years in Cairo. He taught piano and composition at Indiana University, and was director of the Beirut Conservatory and of the Beirut Orchestra. His piano compositions include piano concertos, 14 sonatas and Five Tributes.


Granados y Campiña, Enrique

Spanish (Lérida, July 27, 1867 — English Channel, at sea, March 24, 1916)

Enrique Granados was a pianist, composer and a great improviser. His family moved to Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands in 1870 and returned to Barcelona in 1874. His main teacher was Juan Bautista Pujol. He also attended the Paris Conservatory as an auditeur for two years at the class of Charles-Wilfrid de Bériot. He founded the Granados Academy in 1901. Granados published a few pedagogical works including one for the pedals. He frequently performed with Thibaud, Saint-Saëns and Casals. He made numerous recordings for the Welte-Migon company at the beginning of the twentieth century. When he was sailing back from the United States, where he premiered the opera Goyescas and played at the White House, his boat was torpedoed in the English Channel and died trying to save his wife from drowning. Granados produced many piano works including the piano version of Goyescas, Danzas españolas, Escenas románticas and Valses poéticos.


Herz, Henri

Austrian (Vienna, January 6, 1803 — Paris, January 5, 1888)

Henri Herz was a pianist and composer. A child prodigy, he began to perform and compose at the age of eight. He co-founded the École Spéciale de Piano in Paris with his brother Jacques Simon Herz. He was a famous virtuoso and composer during the 1830s and 40s, concertizing extensively in Europe, Russia, South America and in the United States. He wrote the recollections of his travels in a memoir. A prolific piano composer, he wrote 8 piano concertos, exercises, dances and salon pieces. Examples of his output are the Trois nocturnes caractéristiques and the Variations on a theme of Rossini´s La Cenerentola. Liszt asked Herz to compose the variation number 4 for the Hexaméron project on a theme of Bellini´s I puritani. Herz founded a piano manufacturing company in 1851 and one of his pianos was awarded the first prize at the Paris Exhibition of 1855.


Inzenga Castellanos, José

Spanish (Madrid, June 3, 1828 — Madrid, June 29, 1891)

José Inzenga was a pianist and composer. He studied at the Madrid Conservatory and, simultaneously, Latin, French, Italian and Philosophy. Subsequently, he pursued further studies at the Paris Conservatory. He taught at the Escuela Nacional de Música in Madrid. Inzenga composed mainly zarzuelas and theatre works.


Iturbi Bagüena, José

Spanish (Valencia, November 28, 1895 — Hollywood, June 29, 1980)

José Iturbi was a pianist, conductor and composer. He studied at the Valencia Conservatory, then with Malats in Barcelona and with Victor Staub and Wanda Landowska in Paris, where he received the Premier Prix in 1913. During World War I, he performed in Swiss cafés. Subsequently, he taught at the Geneva Conservatory. He moved to the U.S. in 1928 and appeared in seven Hollywood movies such as A song to remember and A day in New York. He toured extensively and performed an estimate of 8,000 concerts. In 1950, Iturbi became the first classical musician selling more than a million copies of a single record. He composed a few works including Pequeña danza española and Fantasia for piano orchestra. His sister Amparo Iturbi was also a pianist.


Jonás, Alberto

Spanish (Madrid, June 8, 1868 — Philadelphia, November 10, 1943)

Alberto Jonás was a pianist, composer and pedagogue of German descent. He performed for king Alfonso XII of Spain as a child. During the 1920s and 30s, he became a famous and reputed teacher. After graduating from the Madrid Conservatory at the age of 12, he travelled for a few years and lived in Belgium, England, Germany and France, and became a polyglot. In Brussels, he studied with Arthur de Greef, a pupil of Liszt. He also studied with Anton Rubinstein in Saint Petersburg for three years. While in Russia, he took a few lessons from Paderewski. He performed his debut concert in Germany with the Berlin Philharmonic and Hans von Bülow. He taught at the University of Michigan in the U.S., at the Klindworth-Scharwenka Conservatory in Berlin and at Combs College in Philadelphia. He married German pianist Elsa von Grave and later American pianist Henrietta Gremmel. After exchanging a large amount of correspondence with many great pianists of his time, Jonás compiled and published the vast Master School of Modern Piano Playing and Virtuosity, published between 1922 and 1929 in seven volumes. Collaborators included Friedheim, Friedman, Safonov, Busoni, Godowsky, Corto, Ganz, Backhaus, Lhévinne, Philipp and Sauer.


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]


Kufferath, Hubert-Ferdinand

German (Mülheim, June 10, 1818 — Saint Josse-ten-Noode, June 23, 1896)

Hubert-Ferdinand Kufferath was a pianist, violinist, conductor, teacher and composer. Kufferath´s talents were praised by Mendelssohn. He gathered at his house such celebrated musicians as Wieniawski, Bériot and Clara Schumann.


Liszt, Franz

Hungarian (Raiding, (in Hungarian: Doborján), October 22, 1811 — Bayreuth, July 31, 1886)

Pianist, conductor, teacher and composer, he is indisputably one of the greatest piano virtuosi of all time and a pioneer in different areas: he is the father of modern piano technique, inventor of the piano recital, the masterclass and of novel concepts in orchestral conducting. He performed complete concerts by memory, performed works from the entire history of the keyboard literature and always opened the lid of the piano towards the audience. His compositions envisioned new harmonic paths which greatly influenced Debussy, Ravel or Scriabin. Born in the Burgenland, a region which nowadays belongs to Austria, located at about 100 kms. from Vienna, Liszt´s native tongue was German, and he never became fluent or comfortable in Hungarian. His father, Adam, an amateur musician who worked for a long time at the Esterházy estates and met Joseph Haydn, gave him his first music lessons. During his travels, Liszt met Beethoven, Brahms, Anton Rubinstein, Chopin, Schumann, Berlioz, Alkan, Hiller, Grieg and many other contemporary figures. A student of Czerny, Salieri, Reicha and Ferdinando Paër, he went on extended concert tours in Europe, England, Scotland, Russia, Turkey, Spain and Portugal, playing numerous and populated recitals such as the one he offered at La Scala in Milan for 3,000 people. At the age of 35, he decided to abandon the stage and devote his time to mostly compose, teach and doing a great deal of travelling, especially to Weimar, Rome and Budapest. Always interested in the live of the saints, religion and spiritual life, he received the four minor Catholic orders in July 1865. He lived at the Vatican for a time and became friends with Pope Pius IX. His compositional output for piano is enormous. His large-scale works include the Sonata in B minor, Dante Sonata and the piano concertos. He went beyond the Romantic concept of the étude with the 12 Transcendental Études, 6 Paganini Études or the several Études de Concert, and wrote numerous Hungarian Rhapsodies. He produced many sets of pieces including the Années de Pèlerinage, Harmonies Poétiques et Religieuses, as well as the Ballades and the Mephisto Waltzes. Liszt also made a number of transcriptions of Bach´s works, Schubert lieder and Beethoven symphonies, and paraphrases on operatic themes such as Rigoletto, Don Juan and Norma. In the late pieces, he explored new harmonic devices, the exploitation of the limits of tonality and atmospheric effects in Nuages Gris, La Lugubre Gondola, Unstern! and Bagatelle sans tonalité. He produced editions of the Beethoven complete sonatas, Field´s nocturnes, Chopin´s complete works, and of pieces by Schubert and Weber. The most authoritative catalogue of Liszt´s works was compiled by British composer Humphrey Searle, hence the use of the letter “S” following the titles of Liszt´s works. Liszt had three children, two of them died during his lifetime, and his daughter Cosima was married to Hans von Bülow before she left him for Richard Wagner. By the end of his life, Liszt suffered from dropsy, fevers and cataracts. He likely died of heart infraction at the age of 74.

[See the Franz Liszt Tradition]


Lliurat y Carreras, Frederic

Spanish (Barcelona, March 21, 1876 — Barcelona, 1956)

Frederic Lliurat was a pianist, theorist, composer and music critic. He studied with Juan Bautista Pujol, Enrique Granados, Charles de Bériot and Arthur de Greef.


Malats, Joaquín

Spanish (Barcelona, March 4, 1872 — Barcelona, 1912?)

Joaquín Malats was a pianist. In Paris in 1903, he won the Prix Diémer. He concertized in Europe and throughout the American continent. He performed in two-piano recitals with Granados and Albéniz, who became one of his closest friends. Malats gave the Spanish premieres of the four books of Albéniz´s Iberia. His Serenata became a famous piece during his time. He made a few cylinder recordings including such pieces as Liszt´s Thirteenth Hungarian Rhapsody and Wagner´s Liebestod. He died from tuberculosis shortly after premiering Iberia´s book IV.


Marmontel, Antoine-François

French (Clermont-Ferrand, July 16, 1816 — Paris, January 16, 1898)

Antoine-François Marmontel was a pianist and teacher. Winner of the Premier Prix in 1832 at the Paris Conservatory, he taught there solfège first and then piano, succeeding his former teacher Pierre Zimmermann. His son Antonin-Emile-Louis Corbaz was also a pianist and became professor at the Conservatory. Marmontel published a number of books on music including Les pianistes célèbres, Histoire du piano et de ses origins and Virtuoses contemporains, and composed piano studies, sonatas and other piano works. He edited a large number of compositions for the École classique du piano.

[See the Antoine-François Marmontel Tradition]


Marshall, Frank

Spanish (Mataró, November 28, 1883 — Barcelona, May 29, 1959)

Frank Marshall was a pianist and teacher of English descent. He performed Noches en los jardines de España under Falla´s baton and made a few recordings with Conchita Supervía. Marshall succeeded Enrique Granados as director of the Granados Academy and was a crucial figure in establishing the Catalonian´s piano tradition. He published Estudio práctico sobre los pedales del piano in 1919 and La sonoridad del piano.  

[See the Frank Marshall Tradition]


Martínez Imbert, Claudio

Spanish (Barcelona, 1845 — 1919)

Claudio Martínez Imbert was a pianist and teacher. His Trio for violin, piano and cello was awarded in 1869 by the Sociedad Económica de Amigos del País. He performed with such figures as Monasterio, Sarasate o Planté. He composed numerous piano works including Danza campestre, Capricho español, La muñeca danzante and Melodía. His piano output was recorded by Ana Benavides for Bassus Ediciones in the collection Piano inédito español del siglo XIX and the scores edited for Piles in a volume of the same name.


Mathias, Georges Amédée Saint-Clair

French (Paris, October 14, 1826 — Paris, October 14, 1910)

Georges Mathias was a pianist, teacher and composer. At the Paris Conservatory, he studied with François Bazin, Auguste Barbereau, Augustin Savard and Fromental Halévy. He studied composition with Kalkbrenner and perfected his pianism with Frédéric Chopin. Along with Karol Mikuli, Mathias was one of the most important figures in perpetuating Chopin´s style into the next generation. He taught at the Paris Conservatory from 1862 to 1893 and had numerous illustrious pupils including Teresa Carreño, Isidor Philipp and Alberto Williams. He composed two piano concertos, chamber music and some opera transcriptions.

[See the Georges Mathias Tradition]


Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix

German (Hamburg, February 3, 1809 — Leipzig, November 4, 1847)

Felix Mendelssohn was a composer. He was one of the most astonishing and precocious prodigies in the history of music, and equally excelled as a pianist, organist, conductor and composer. His grandfather was the renowned philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, and his father owned a bank in Berlin. Both Mendelssohn and his sister Fanny showed an early and extraordinary talent for music, initially studying with Marie Bigot, a pianist admired by both Haydn and Beethoven. Mendelssohn enjoyed a cultural and educated upbringing, reading Caesar and Ovid, studying History, Geography, Arithmetic and French by the age of 12. He was also interested in the violin and painting. At the Sunday family “musicales” he performed, recited poems and theatre plays, presented his early compositions and met important Berlin personalities. His acquaintances and friends included Heine, Hegel, von Humboldt, Chopin, Kalkbrenner, Schumann and Wieck. He studied at the University of Berlin subjects such as Legal History and Aesthetics. Mendelssohn concertized and travelled widely including England, Wales, Scotland and the Hebrides Isles in the North, and Rome, Milan and the Isle of Capri in the South. He was Düsseldorf´s music director, and in Leipzig, he was the Gewandhaus Orchestra conductor and music director for 12 years, over which period he was involved in the city´s cultural life. He contributed to the foundation of the Leipzig Conservatory, which opened in 1843. In October 1847, Mendelssohn suffered a series of strokes and died shortly after. The pallbearers at his funeral included Schumann, Gade and Moscheles. He is buried in Berlin next to the grave of his sister Fanny, who had died only a few months before. A prolific composer in most genres, Mendelssohn´s piano output includes the 48 Lieder ohne Worte, Rondo capriccioso op. 14, Fantasia op. 28, Six Preludes and Fugues op. 35, Variations sérieuses op. 54, études, sonatas and piano concertos.


Mendizábal de Sagastume, Manuel

Spanish (Tolosa, September 9, 1817 — Madrid, August 29, 1896)

Manuel Mendizábal was a pianist, composer and teacher. He studied with Pedro Albéniz at the Madrid Conservatory, where he also taught from 1854. He had a decisive influence in the design of the new curriculum of studies at the conservatory. He composed numerous piano pieces including the Zortzicos and Nocturno. Spanish pianist Ana Benavides recorded Mendizábal´s piano works for Piano inédito español del siglo XIX.


Meyer, Marcelle

French (Lille, May 22, 1897 — Paris, November 18, 1958)

Marcelle Meyer was a pianist. She studied with Marguerite Long and Alfred Cortot at the Paris Conservatoire, where she received the Premier Prix in 1913. She also studied with Ricard Viñes. Meyer premiered Milhaud´s Scaramouche and Poulenc´s first two Novelettes.


Nat, Yves

French (Béziers, December 29, 1890 — Paris, August 31, 1956)

Yves Nat was a pianist and composer. He studied with Louis Diémer at the Paris Conservatoire, where he received the Premier Prix in 1907. He often performed with Ysaye, Thibaud and Enescu. From 1934, he taught at the Paris Conservatoire. Nat composed a piano concerto, songs and a symphonic poem, among other works. He recorded the complete sonatas of Beethoven.


Nin y Castellanos, Joaquín

Cuban (Havana, September 29, 1879 — Havana, October 24, 1949)

Joaquín Nin y Castellanos was a pianist and composer. He studied with Moritz Moszkowski. He was the father of composer Joaquín Nin-Culmell and writer Anaïs Nin. In 1880, the family moved to Barcelona. He championed works by Chambonnières, Couperin and Rameau, being among the first pianists to perform this repertoire. He taught at the New University of Brussels, Schola Cantorum in Paris and at the Conservatorio Nacional of Havana. He lived for a time in Berlin, where he established a close relationship with Teresa Carreño. His piano works include Danza ibérica, 1830 variations y Canto de cuna para los huérfanos de España. As a researcher, Nin y Castellanos studied the Spanish folklore, continuing the work of Felipe Pedrell, and had a keen interest in harpsichord pieces of French, Italian and German composers. He edited works by Soler, Freixanet and Mateo Albéniz and published several books including Pro Arte and Ideas y comentarios. He married Singer Rosa Culmell Vaurigard in 1902.


Nin-Culmell, Joaquín

American (Berlin, September 5, 1908 — Berkeley, January 14, 2004)

Joaquín Nin-Culmell was a pianist and composer of Cuban origin. He studied in Barcelona with Conchita Badía and, subsequently, at the Shola Cantorum and Paris Conservatoire with Cortot and Viñes. In 1939, he moved to the United States where he premiered Spanish compositions. He taught at Williams College and at the University of California in Berkeley. His piano compositions include Impressions, Sonata breve and 12 Cuban dances.


Pérez de Albéniz, Mateo Antonio

Spanish (Logroño, September 21, 1765 — San Sebastián, June 20, 1831)

Mateo Albéniz was a composer, theorist and keyboard player. He was maestro de capilla in San Sebastián and Logroño. He composed a number of keyboard pieces.

In 1802, Albéniz wrote Instrucción metódica, especulativa y práctica para enseñar a cantar y tañer la música moderna y antigua. He was the father of Pedro Albéniz.


Pérez de Albéniz y Basanta, Pedro

Spanish (Logroño, April 14, 1795 — Madrid, April 12, 1855)

Pedro Albéniz was a pianist, organist, composer and teacher. His father was the composer and keyboardist Mateo Pérez de Albéniz, who gave him the first music instruction. In Paris, he studied piano with Henri Herz and composition with Frédéric Kalkbrenner. Albéniz was a friend of Rossini and Fétis. After he returned to Spain, he was appointed organist at Saint Mary´s church in San Sebastián and, subsequently, in a church in his native Logroño. In June 1830, he became the first professor at the newly established Conservatory of Madrid and also organist at the Royal Chapel. He introduced in Spain the French piano school and was a crucial figure in establishing the Spanish tradition. He also taught privately Queen Isabel II and her sister María Luis Fernanda. Many of Albéniz´s works were dedicated and premiered by them. He published the Método completo para piano in 1840, which was part of the official curriculum of the conservatory.

[See the Pedro Albéniz Tradition]


Persichetti, Vincent

American (Philadelphia, June 6, 1915 — Philadelphia, August 14, 1987)

Vincent Persichetti was a pianist, composer and educator. He studied the piano organ, double bass, theory and composition. He was appointed chairman of the composition department at the Juilliard School in 1963. He was granted on three occasions the Guggenheim Fellowship and received two grants from the National Foundation of the Arts and Humanities. Persichetti´s large piano oeuvre includes sonatas, sonatinas, collections of Poems, Little Pianoforte Book, Concerto for four hands and Mirror Etudes.


Poulenc, Francis Jean Marcel

French (Paris, January 7, 1899 — Paris, January 30, 1963)

Francis Poulenc was a composer and pianist. He lost both his parents between the ages of 16 and 18. He studied with Ricard Viñes. He was a member of the group Les Six, formed in 1920. Poulenc performed with baritone Pierre Bernac and soprano Denise Duval. He made numerous recordings, particularly for EMI France. Poulenc died of a heart attack.


Pujol, Juan Bautista

Spanish (Barcelona, March 22, 1835 — Barcelona, December 28, 1898)

Juan Pujol was a pianist, teacher and composer. He was one of the leading pianists and teachers in establishing the Catalonian piano tradition and was of paramount importance in introducing new music to Barcelona audiences. He founded his private piano studio in Barcelona, the Academia Pujol, and in 1888 opened a publishing company, which printed works of Albéniz, Granados, de la Cinna and Pedrell. He also composed a number of salon pieces including his famous fantasia-mazurka Rosas y Perlas, fantasias on opera tunes of Meyerbeer´s L´Africaine and Gounod´s Faust, and a Piano Concerto. He published a piano method titled Mecanismo del Piano around 1880.

[See the Juan Bautista Pujol Tradition]


Ruiz-Pipó, Antonio

Spanish (Granada, April 7, 1934 — Paris, October 24, 1997)

Antonio Ruiz-Pipó was a pianist, composer and musicologist. He studied with Alicia de Larrocha at the Granados Academy in Barcelona and with Alfred Cortot and Yves Nat in Paris. As a musicologist, Ruiz-Pipó recovered numerous works for the harpsichord from the 17th and 18th centuries and collaborated with the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. He taught at the École Normale de Musique and at the Paris Conservatoire. Among his compositions are the Suite grotesca, Tres danzas del sur and Variations on a Galician theme.


Sabater i Parera, Rosa

Spanish (Barcelona, August 29, 1929 — Madrid, November 27, 1983)

Rosa Sabater was a pianist and teacher born into a family of musicians. Her father was the director of the Orquesta Sinfónica del Gran Teatro del Liceo and her mother was a voice teacher. Sabater studied with her father and with Frank Marshall. She specialized in the Spanish repertoire of Albéniz, Granados, Falla, Montsalvatge and Mompou, as well as the Impressionist composers. She appeared on stage with such artists as Conchita Badía, Montserrat Caballé and Alicia de Larrocha. Sabater taught at the Friburg of Brisgovia Conservatory in Germany. She died in a plane crash shortly after taking off from the Madrid Airport.


Sirvent, Ángeles


Ángeles Sirvent was a student of Joaquín Malats and teacher of Pilar Bayona. Her brother was José Sirvent.


Sirvent, José


José Sirvent was a student of Joaquín Malats and teacher of Pilar Bayona. His sister was Ángeles Sirvent.


Thalberg, Sigismond

German or Austrian (Pâquis, near Geneva, January 8, 1812 — Posillipo, near Naples, April 27, 1871)

Sigismond Thalberg was a pianist and composer. He was, next to Franz Liszt, the greatest virtuoso of the mid-nineteenth century in Europe. He played almost exclusively his own compositions, which were mainly fantasias based on opera themes by Rossini, Meyerbeer, Donizetti and Verdi. Although he initially went to Vienna to study for diplomatic service, he became a touring and successful pianist, travelling all over Europe, Brazil, Havana and the United States, where he lived and taught for a few years. His “three-hand effect” technique became very popular. His didactic work L´art du chant appliqué au piano reveals Thalberg´s ability to combine the brilliance of the execution with his preoccupation with imbuing the bel canto into his playing. He married the daughter of Luigi Lablache, an opera singer. He spent the last few years of his life in a villa in Italy as a viticulturist. 

[See the Sigismond Thalberg Tradition]


Tintorer y Segarra, Pedro 

Spanish (Palma de Mallorca, February 12, 1814 — Barcelona, March 11, 1891)

Pedro Tintorer was a pianist, composer and teacher. He wrote salon piano pieces such as Suspiros de un trovador and Flor de España, and pedagogical works including Douze grandes études de mécanisme et de style, Curso completo de piano and Gimnasia diaria del pianista, in which he recommended the use of the “hand guide” of Frédéric Kalkbrenner. He was a key figure in establishing the Catalonian piano tradition through his students Claudio Martínez Imbert and Juan Bautista Pujol. 

[see the Pedro Tintorer Tradition]


Tragó y Arana, José

Spanish (Madrid, September 25, 1857 — Madrid, January 3, 1934)

José Tragó was a pianist, composer and teacher. Heir of Chopin´s tradition through Georges Mathias, Tragó played his debut concert in Paris at the Salle Pleyel in 1880. He frequently appeared with such musicians as Sarasate and Fernández Arbós. Since 1886, Tragó taught at the Madrid Conservatory. He composed a number of piano pieces including Tarantela y Zortzico. Spanish pianist Ana Benavides recorded his piano oeuvre in Piano inédito español del siglo XIX.  

[See the José Tragó Tradition]


Vidiella y Esteba, Carles Gumersind

Spanish (Arenys de Mar, 1856 — Barcelona, October 4, 1915)

Carles Vidiella was a pianist and composer. He was a pupil of Juan Bautista Pujol in Barcelona and of Antoine François Marmontel in Paris. At age 22, he performed at the Paris Universal Exhibition. He was a renowned pedagogue.


Viñes, Ricard

Spanish (Lérida, February 5, 1875 — Barcelona, April 29, 1943)

Ricard Viñes was a pianist. After studies in Barcelona, he moved to the Paris Conservatoire, where he received the Premier Prix in 1894. He concertized in Europe and South America and, between 1930 and 1936, he lived in Argentina. He was part of the inner circle of Ravel, Debussy, Satie, Séverac, de Falla and Granados, and premiered many of their works including Ravel´s Jeu d´eax, Miroirs and Gaspard de la nuit or Debussy´s Pour le piano. He gave the French premiere of Pictures at an exhibition and Islamey. Viñes also composed a few piano pieces, wrote articles on music and made some recordings. Marcelle Meyer and Francis Poulenc were among his students.


Zimmermann, Pierre-Joseph-Guillaume

French (Paris, March 19?, 1785 — Paris, October 29, 1853)

Pierre Zimmermann was a pianist, teacher and composer. His father was a Parisian piano maker. Zimmermann entered the Paris Conservatoire in 1798, where he became a student of Boieldieu and won the Premier Prix in 1800, surpassing Frédéric Kalkbrenner. He started teaching at the Conservatoire in 1811. Charles Gounod was his son-in-law. He published the Encyclopédie du pianist in 1840.

[See the Pierre Zimmermann Tradition]



© 2021, by Daniel Pereira