The Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach Tradition

Piano Traditions Through Their Genealogy Trees

© 2021, by Daniel Pereira

Doctor of Musical Arts |


Adam, Louis

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

Louis Adam was a pianist, teacher and composer. 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]


Bach, Johann Christian

German (Leipzig, September 5, 1735 — London, January 1, 1782)

Johann Christian Bach was an influential and prominent composer of the early Classical period, his music studies were overseen by his father Johann Sebastian Bach and by his half-brother Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. Johann Christian left behind the Protestant family tradition and took up residence in Milan, becoming second organist at the Milan Cathedral, likely adopting the Roman Catholic religion and receiving counterpoint lessons from Padre Martini in Bologna. Thereafter, he settled in London where he lived for 20 years and became a successful composer, teacher and performer. He gave music lessons to the Queen and her children. He also met and influenced Mozart, who greatly admired him, and played harpsichord duets together. J.C. Bach played a decisive role in the development of the piano in London. His Six Sonatas op. 5 (1766) were the first published in the city printing the title “for pianoforte or harpsichord”, and he probably offered the first solo piano concert in 1768. His association with Carl Friedrich Abel in the creation of the Bach-Abel concerts had a significant impact in establishing regular public concerts in London.


Bach, Johann Christoph Friedrich

German (Leipzig, June 21, 1732 — Bückeburg, January 26, 1795)

Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach was known as the “Bückeburg Bach”. He was the son of Johann Sebastian and Anna Magdalena. He composed many keyboard pieces, including works for piano, as well as sonatas, variations and four-hand compositions, whose purposes were didactic. He fell into a depression after the death of his half-brother Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, likely worsening a chest condition which ultimately led to his death.


Bach, Johann Elias

German (Schweinfurt, February 12, 1705 — Schweinfurt, November 30, 1755)

Johann Elias Bach was the son of Johann Valentin Bach. He studied Theology and lived in the household of Johann Sebastian Bach where, until 1742, he was the private secretary to the composer and tutor of the younger Bach children. J.S. Bach taught music to Johann Elias.


Bach, Johann Sebastian 

German (Eisenach, March 21, 1685 — Leipzig, July 28, 1750)

Johann Sebastian Bach was one of the greatest geniuses and most influential composers in history.  His impact has lasted into contemporary times. Bach lost both his parents at an early age and was taken care by his elder brother Johann Christoph, a student of Johann Pachelbel, who would give Johann Sebastian his first keyboard lessons. Although he did not compose any work specifically for the piano, Bach was involved in the development of pianos built by Gottfried Silbermann in the 1730s, and made suggestions in altering their mechanical structure, as well as playing a role in the promotion of their sales. There is an account of Bach improvising on a piano at the court of Frederick the Great in 1747. The Well-tempered clavier, the Inventions and Sinfonias, the Partitas and Suites, or the Goldberg Variations, are just a few of the keyboard masterpieces Bach left us, and they are played on the piano by students and professionals alike around the world.  


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]


Boëly, Alexandre Pierre François

French (Versailles, April 19, 1785 — Paris, December 27, 1858)

Alexandre Boëly was an underrated, but important composer in France at the time in which he lived. He entered the Paris Conservatory when he was 11, studying violin and the piano. In Paris, he had a select group of friends including pianists Marie Bigot, Frédéric Kalkbrenner, John Baptist Cramer and violinist Pierre Baillot. His oeuvre includes a considerable amount of piano works, which show the evolution of the piano as an instrument. He was also an accomplished organist and was one of the first to advocate the J.S. Bach´s works in France.


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]


Dussek, Jan Ladislav

Bohemian (Čáslav, Czech Republic, February 12, 1760 — Saint Germain-en-Laye or Paris, France, March 20, 1812)

Jan Ladislav Dussek distinguished himself as one of the early touring concert pianists. His musical compositions were exceptionally beloved in his lifetime and his works considerably influenced the development of the romantic piano style. According to Václav Jan Křtitel Tomášek, Dussek was the first pianist to play showing his profile to the audience. During the French Revolution he fled to England where he remained for 11 years, appearing in two concerts with Haydn. Dussek married Sophia Corri, a famous singer, pianist and harpist, and got involved in a music publishing company with his father-in-law (Corri, Dussek & Co.). Dussek persuaded Broadwood to extend the piano range from 5 to 6 octaves. Later, when the publishing firm was dissolved, Dussek fled to Hamburg and likely never saw his wife and daughter again. At the end of his life, he became obese, an alcoholic and died of gout.


Eugen, Carl, Duke of Württemberg

German (Stuttgart, February 11, 1728 —? Stuttgart, 1793)

Carl Eugen was educated in the court of Frederick the Great.  As a duke living in Stuttgart, he was an important patron of music and built one of the best orchestras of the time in Europe.


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. 


Grotthuss, Dietrich Ewald von

German (Mitau, current Jelgava, Lithuania, April 15, 1751 — current Gedučiai, Lithuania, September 29, 1786)

Dietrich Ewald von Grotthuss was a pianist and composer who descended from a noble family. He served briefly in the Prussian Army. His acquaintances included Johann Adam Hiller and Felix Weisser. Just a few of his works survived: a Fugue in e minor and a Sonata in d minor for clavichord.


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. 


Hiller, Johann Adam

German (Wendisch-Ossig, December 25, 1728 — Leipzig, June 16, 1804)

Johann Adam Hiller was a prominent figure in the Leipzig music scene, where he organized subscription concerts, founded a music school and directed the concerts for the Gewandhaus. He was known primarily as a composer and writer. His works are characterized by elements of the Empfindsamkeit style of the period. 


Homilius, Gottfried August

German (Rosenthal, Saxony, February 2, 1714 — Dresden, June 2, 1785)

Gottfried August Homilius was a noteworthy composer in late 18th century Germany, particularly within the Protestant Church. He received lessons in composition and organ from Johann Sebastian Bach, and also studied Law at the Leipzig University. He had an exceptional reputation as a teacher, kantor and organist who was known for his virtuosity and improvisational skills.


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.  


Kirnberger, Johann Philipp

German (Saalfeld, baptized on April 24, 1721 — Berlin, July 26 or 27, 1783)

Johann Philipp Kirnberger was known as a composer and theorist. He studied composition and performance with J.S. Bach in Leipzig. He later took up residence in Poland where he remained for 10 years working for members of the nobility. 


Kuhlau, Friedrich

German-Danish (Uelzen, near Hanover, September 11, 1786 — Copenhagen, March 12, 1832)

Friedrich Kuhlau was born in Germany but fled to Copenhagen while he was in his twenties, when Napoleon invaded Hamburg. His music had a far-reaching impact on the music of Denmark in the second half of the 19th century because it signified a bridge between the late Classical and early Romantic styles. He composed works for piano solo, piano duets, sonatas and sonatinas —still used today for didactic purposes— as well as two piano concertos. Kuhlau met Beethoven in Vienna. He unfortunately lost his right eye due to an accidental fall.


Ladurner, Ignace Antoine

French (Aldein, near Bolzano, August 1, 1766 — Villain, near Massy, March 4, 1839)

Ignace Antoine Ladurner was a composer and pianist of Austrian descent. He built a reputation in Paris as a teacher from the time he arrived in 1788, teaching at the Conservatoire from 1797 until 1802.  Several years before his death, he was immobilized by paralysis.  His son, Adolphe Ladurer, was a known painter.


Löhlein, Georg Simon

German (Neustadt an der Heide, near Coburg, baptized July 16, 1725 — Danzig, now Gdańsk, December 16, 1781)

Georg Simon Löhlein achieved his reputation by way of his theoretical works, in particular for the Clavier-Schule (published in 1795 and reissued a number of times for over a century).  This work reused elements of C.P.E.  Bach’s Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments and was rearranged according to different levels of difficulty. As a teenager, Löhlein enlisted in the Prussian army, where he was to serve for 16 years. 


Marpurg, Friedrich Wilhelm

German (Seehof, Brandenburg, November 21, 1718 — Berlin, May 22, 1795)

Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg was a friend of Voltaire and D´Alembert. He was primarily admired as a theorist, journalist and critic, although he also composed keyboard and vocal works. He wrote a noteworthy preface for a new edition of Bach´s The Art of the Fugue in 1752, after a petition of Bach´s heirs. His pedagogical treatises on keyboard performance and thoroughbass are noteworthy.


de Montgeroult, Hélène-Antoinette-Marie de Nervo

French (Lyons, March 2, 1764 — Florence, May 20, 1836)

Hélène de Montgeroult was appointed instructor of the premiere classe at the newly founded Paris Conservatory, in 1795. She composed three piano sonatas and later a Complete Course for the Teaching of the Piano in three volumes, admired by Marmontel. She died in Italy and is buried in Florence.


Neefe, Christian Gottlob

German (Chemnitz, February 5, 1748 — Dessau, January 26, 1798)

Christian Gottlob Neefe was largely known for instructing the young Beethoven in piano, organ, thoroughbass and composition, as well as introducing to him J.S. Bach´s Well-tempered clavier and C.P.E. Bach´s Geller-Lieder. He composed a handful of piano sonatas and other smaller works.


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]


Schwencke, Christian Friedrich Gottlieb

German (Wachenhausen, Harz, August 30, 1767 — Hamburg, October 27, 1822)

Christian Friedrich Gottlieb Schwencke was a pianist, composer and music editor, and became the successor of C.P.E. Bach as a Stadtkantor in Hamburg in 1788. He published one of the first editions of J.S. Bach´s Well-tempered clavier in Bonn (1801), in which he added an extra measure in the first prelude after bar 22. This innovation was to be kept in consequent editions, including the one by Czerny. His compositions include two piano concertos and three piano sonatas.


Schröter, Johann Samuel

German (?Guben, c. 1752 —  London, November  2, 1788)

Johann Samuel Schröter was the first composer, who according to historian Charles Burney, “brought to England the true art of treating” the piano.  His piano concertos opp. 3 and 5 are among the earliest written specifically for this instrument. Mozart wrote cadenzas for three of them. After Johann Christian Bach´s death, Schröter was appointed music master to the Queen Charlotte. He ran off to Scotland with one of his students. Subsequently, he worked for the Prince of Wales. Schröter died of lung disease. His widow Rebecca was a student of Haydn in London.


Witthauer, Johann Georg

German (Neustadt, near Coburg, August 21, 1751 — Lübeck, March 7, 1802)

Johann Georg Witthauer composed a handful of keyboard and vocal works that were popular at the time. In 1791, he edited and improved the fifth edition of Georg Simon Löhlein Clavier-Schule.


© 2021, by Daniel Pereira