The Karl-Heinrich Barth Tradition
Piano Traditions Through Their Genealogy Trees
© 2022, by Daniel Pereira
Doctor of Musical Arts | www.daniel-pereira.com
Barentzen, Aline von
French-American (Somerville, United States, July 17, 1897 — Paris, October 30, 1981)
Aline von Barentzen was a pianist. She was a precocious child and gave her first recital at the age of four, performed Beethoven´s First Piano Concerto at seven, and entered the Paris Conservatory at nine. She produced some records for Her Master´s Voice. Barentzen premiered Villa-Lobos´ Chôros no. 8, for two pianos, with Spanish pianist Tomás Terán under the composer´s baton in 1927.
German (Baltiysk, near Kaliningrad, July 12, 1847 — Berlin, December 23, 1922)
Karl-Heinrich Barth was a pianist and teacher. Heir of the Liszt tradition passed onto him through four of Liszt´s students, Barth was known for his wide repertory and for being a member of the prestigious Barth Trio. He taught at the Stern Conservatory and at the Hochshule für Müsik, both in Berlin.
[See the Karl-Heinrich Barth Tradition]
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]
Turkish (Ankara, November 12, 1941)
Idil Biret is a pianist. She studied piano with Alfred Cortot and Wilhelm Kempff and composition with Nadia Boulanger. At age 15, she graduated from the Paris Conservatory. In 1993, she became the first pianist ever to record the complete piano works of Chopin. Biret also recorded the complete piano compositions of Brahms and Rachmaninov and Liszt´s transcriptions of the Beethoven symphonies. Her repertoire is enormous and includes solo, concerto and chamber works. She premiered Jean Françaix´s Piano Sonata in 1960.
Russian (Kovalyovka, South Ukraine, April 19, 1863 — Moscow, January 21, 1931)
Felix Blumenfeld was a pianist, conductor, teacher and composer. Heinrich Neuhaus was his nephew. He was a piano student of Stein at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, where he taught since 1885. He also taught at the Moscow Conservatory from 1922 to 1931. Among his students were Horowitz, Grinberg and Barere. Blumenfeld was conductor of the Mariinsky Theatre where he premiered Rimsky-Korsakov´s Servilia and Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh, as well as Russia´s first performance of Tristan und Isolde. He also premiered numerous works for piano of such composers as Glazunov, Lyadov and Arensky. Among other pieces, Blumenfeld produced the 24 Preludes and a number of sets of variations.
[See the Felix Blumenfeld Tradition]
American (Brooklyn, New York, November 22, 1870 — New York, February 20, 1951)
Howard Brockway was a pianist, teacher and composer. He was a student of H.O.C. Kortheuer and Karl-Heinrich Barth. He held teaching positions at Peabody, Mannes College and the Institute of Musical Art (later absorbed by the Juilliard Musical Foundation). Brockway´s piano works include Two Preludes and folksongs arrangements.
Bülow, Hans Guido Freiherr von
German (Dresden, Germany, January 8, 1830 — Cairo, Egypt, February 12, 1894)
Hans von Bülow was a pianist, conductor, teacher and composer. He was one of the most important piano heirs of Liszt´s tradition. Bülow concertized in Europe and America achieving important feats as the premiere of Tchaikovsky´s First Piano Concerto in Boston in 1875, being the first pianist ever to perform the complete Beethoven sonatas in a single cycle or giving the first performance of Liszt´s Sonata in B minor. He was a superb pianist with an excellent memory and precision. He was also a professional conductor and gave the premieres of Tristan und Isolde and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. Bülow held the positions of Hofkapellmeister in Munich and in Hanover, Hofmusikdirektor in Meiningen and principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic from 1887 to 1892. He composed a number of piano pieces and made some piano transcriptions of orchestral works by Wagner, Glück and Weber. He was married to Liszt´s daughter Cosima until she left him for Richard Wagner.
[See the Hans von Bülow Tradition]
Capllonch i Rotger, Miquel
Spanish (Pollensa, Mallorca, January 14, 1861 — Palma de Mallorca, December 21, 1935)
Miquel Capllonch was a pianist and composer. He studied in Mallorca with Guillem Massot i Beltran and in Madrid with Ruperto Chapí, Tebaldo Power, Rafael Hernando and José Tragó. After obtaining a scholarship, he studied in Berlin with Karl-Heinrich Barth and Ernst Rudorff. He met Anton Rubinstein and Clara Schumann. In Berlin, he taught the young Artur Rubinstein. In 1912, Capllonch moved back to Spain and lived in Madrid, Barcelona and Mallorca. He composed 12 piano pieces including the Klavierstücke op. 17 and Thema und variationen op. 8.
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]
French (Mareuil-sur-Ay, January 27, 1948)
Jean-Philippe Collard is a pianist. Premier Prix at the Paris Conservatory and winner of the Guilde Française des Artistes Solistes and the Georges Cziffra Competition, his discography includes the complete works of Ravel, the major works of Fauré and the complete concertos of Rachmaninov, Saint-Saëns and Ravel. He is also an active chamber musician, collaborating frequently with violinist Augustin Dumay, cellist Frédéric Lodéon and pianist Michel Béroff.
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]
Irish (Dublin, ?July 26, 1782, bap. 5 September — Moscow, January 23, 1837)
John Field was a pianist and composer. His pianism had a tremendous influence on many pianists, and particularly had an impact on the development of the Russian school of piano playing. He was the son of a professional violinist and received his first music lessons from his grandfather, also named John Field, who was a professional organist. In 1793, his family moved to London where Field became Clementi´s student. Subsequently, Field also collaborated with the Italian composer by performing on Clementi´s manufactured pianos and showcasing the qualities of the instruments. Furthermore, in 1802 Field accompanied Clementi to Russia, where he was to remain for most of his life. He met Hummel and performed the duet Sonata op. 92 with him. His lifestyle of alcohol consumption and smoking likely deteriorated his health. He contracted rectal cancer. His piano compositions exerted an important influence on the Romantic piano style. Field´s piano output is extensive and includes 7 piano concertos, 16 nocturnes, 4 fantasies, rondos, romances, Variations fa lal la and Chanson russe varié. In 1961, Cecil Hopkinson [H] introduced a catalogue of the works of John Field.
[See the John Field Tradition]
Polish-American (Soshly, near Vilnius, February 13, 1870 — New York, November 21, 1938)
Leopold Godowsky was a pianist, teacher and composer. He studied briefly with Ernst Rudorff in Berlin and was a protégé of Saint-Saëns in Paris. He taught at the New York College of Music, Chicago Conservatory and Gilbert Raynolds Conservatory in Philadelphia. From 1909 to 1914, he succeeded Emil von Sauer and Ferruccio Busoni as director of the piano school of the Akademie der Tonkunst in Vienna. Godowsky concertized extensively in Europe, Asia and America. His compositions for piano include the Java Suite, Moto perpetuo, Sonata in e minor, numerous Bach and Schubert transcriptions, and the 53 Studies on the études of Chopin. In 1930, Godowsky suffered a stroke while recording which partially paralyzed him. Heinrich Neuhaus was one of his most famous students.
French (Reims, August 21, 1936)
Éric Heidsieck was a pianist. He won the Premier Prix in 1954 at the Paris Conservatory and. enjoyed a successful career performing with major orchestras an appearing at the most important concert halls all over the world. His rendering of Beethoven´s 32 sonatas is one of his most noteworthy recordings. He also made recordings of the Mozart concertos, for which he also published cadenzas, and most of the piano works of Fauré. Heidsieck frequently appeared in concert with Paul Tortelier.
Heyman, Katherine Ruth
American (Sacramento, California, 1877 — Sharon, Connecticut, September 28, 1944)
Katherine Ruth Heyman was a pianist. She was an early champion of Scriabin´s piano works and founded a society in Paris in 1928 to promote modern music. Heyman concertized as a solo performer and in duo with singers Marcella Sembrich and Ernestine Schumann-Heink.
French (Marseilles, May 5, 1951)
Winner of the Premier Prix at the Paris Conservatory, Prix Albert Roussel and Cziffra Competition, he received his first musical instruction in Cameroon. He was the first pianist who recorded the complete Liszt transcriptions of the Beethoven symphonies as well as Mahler´s Das Lied von der Erde in its original piano and voice version. He also recorded a substantial number of Chopin´s works.
German (Jüterbog, November 25, 1895 — Positano, Italy, May 23, 1991)
Wilhelm Kempff was a pianist who came from a lineage of eminent Lutheran church musicians. He studied with Ida Schmidt-Schlesicke and with Heinrich Barth at the Berlin Hohschule für Musik. He also pursued studies in philosophy and music history at the Berlin University. From 1924 to 1929, he directed the Stuttgart Musikhochschule and, from 1931 to 1941, he taught summer classes in the Marmorpalais in Potsdam, along with Edwin Fischer and Walter Gieseking. Since 1957, he directed the Beethoven courses at Positano. Kempff´s recordings include the complete Beethoven and Schubert sonatas and Beethoven´s concertos, piano trios and violin sonatas. His own compositions feature a piano concerto. He edited the piano works of Schumann.
German (Krotoschin, now Krotoszyn, Poland, September 12, 1818 — Berlin, March 1, 1882)
Theodor Kullak was a pianist, composer and teacher. He was one of the most eminent piano teachers in the 19th century. Kullak was pianist to the Prussian court and teacher of the royalty and aristocracy in Berlin. In that city, he co-founded and directed the Stern Conservatory, succeeded by Bülow, and later the Neue Akademie der Tonkunst, focused on piano teaching, which became the largest private school in Germany counting over 100 teachers and 1100 students. Kullak composed a substantial amount of piano works such as the Symphonie de piano op. 27, Ballade op. 54, Scherzo op. 125 and, particularly influential, the School of Octaves studies.
[See the Theodor Kullak Tradition]
Polish (Łańcut, Galicia, June 22, 1830 — Dresden, November 14, 1915)
Theodor Leschetizky was a pianist, teacher and composer. His father gave him his first music lessons. His debut, performing a Czerny concertino, was conducted by W.A. Mozart´s son, Franz Xaver. In Vienna, Leschetizky studied with Carl Czerny. In 1852, he moved to Saint Petersburg, where he taught and headed the piano department at the Conservatory from 1862 and stayed in the city for the next 26 years. His second wife was his student Anna Essipova, whom he divorced in 1892. Subsequently, he married two other students consecutively. Another student of his, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, contributed to expanding Leschetizky´s fame as a teacher, particularly in the United States. An estimate of 1,200 pianists studied with him, exerting a deep influence on pianism around the world, with students who were still performing as late as 1991. He was a crucial figure in the revival of Schubert´s piano sonatas, especially through his student Arthur Schnabel. Leschetizky composed a one-movement Piano Concerto and virtuoso piano music.
[See the Theodor Leschetizky Tradition]
Hungarian (Raiding, [in Hungarian: Doborján], October 22, 1811 — Bayreuth, July 31, 1886)
Franz Liszt was a pianist, conductor, teacher and composer. He is indisputably one of the greatest piano virtuosi of all time and a pioneer in different areas: 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]
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]
Polish (Kamieniec, May 5, 1851 — Warsaw, October 17, 1938)
Aleksander Michalowski was a pianist, composer and teacher. He was a pupil of Carl Reinecke and Ignaz Moscheles at the Leipzig Conservatory and of Carl Tausig in Berlin. Among his students was Wanda Landowska. He composed a few piano miniatures and edited a number of Chopin´s works for Gebethner & Wolff including études, waltzes, ballades and impromptus.
Milchmeyer, Johann Peter
German (1750 — 1813)
Johann Peter Milchmeyer was a pedagogue and a keyboard and harp player. He published The True Art of Plying the Pianoforte in 1797, which was probably the first pedagogical method specifically written for the piano and became widely popular at the time. Milchmeyer served as court musician in Dresden. Among his students was Friedrich Wieck.
Bohemian (Prague, May 23, 1794 — Leipzig, March 10, 1870)
Ignaz Moscheles was a pianist, composer, conductor and teacher of Jewish descent. Besides the piano, he studied counterpoint with Albrechtsberger and composition with Salieri in Vienna, where he met Beethoven. The publisher Artaria commissioned him to write a piano reduction of Beethoven´s opera Fidelio. Clementi and Cramer regarded him as an equal and friend, as well as Mendelssohn, whom he taught piano. Moscheles also met Chopin and played with him his Grande sonata op. 47. He taught at the Royal Academy of Music and was conductor of the Philharmonic Society, conducting the first performance of Beethoven´s Missa Solemnis in London in 1832. He also taught at the Leipzig Conservatory. Moscheles translated and edited Schindler´s biography of Beethoven and published it as The Life of Beethoven. He established the “historical soirées” in London which championed early music played on the harpsichord. He commissioned Chopin´s Trois nouvelles études for his piano method. He composed numerous piano works including the Sonate mélancolique op. 49, La marche d´Alexandre op. 32, Präeludien op. 73, sonatas, fantasias, rondos, variations, etudes opp. 70 and 95, piano concertos, and the Hommage á Händel op. 92 for two pianos.
[See the Ignaz Moscheles Tradition]
Neuhaus, Heinrich Felix Gustavovich
Russian (Elisavetgrad, Imperial Russia [later Kirovograd, Ukraine], April 12, 1888 — Moscow, October 10, 1964)
Heinrich Neuhaus was a pianist and pedagogue. His uncle was Felix Blumenfeld and his cousin Karol Szymanowski. He studied with Aleksander Michalowski in Warsaw, with Leopold Godowsky in Berlin and with Karl Heinrich Barth. At the outset of World War I, Neuhaus returned to Russia and would never leave again the future Soviet territories. From 1916 to 1918, he taught at the Specialist Music School (later renamed Tbilisi Conservatory) in Tbilisi, and from 1919 he was a professor at the Kiev Conservatory. He was transferred to the Moscow Conservatory in 1922, where he was one of the professors involved in establishing the Central Music School. In November 1941, Neuhaus was arrested and sent into exile to Sverdlovsk, where he taught at the Ural Conservatory between 1942 and 1944. He contracted polio in 1933. He published About the Art of Piano Playing in 1958. Among his pupils were Lev Naumov, Sviatoslav Richter, Emil Gilels, Yakov Zak, Alexei Lubimov and Vladimir Krainev.
[See the Heinrich Neuhaus Tradition]
Spanish (Córdoba, January 24, 1946 — Roma, April 24, 1996)
Rafael Orozco was a pianist. He studied at the Córdoba Conservatory with his father and aunt, at the Madrid Conservatory with José Cubiles, and with Alexis Weissenberg at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena. Orozco was also greatly influenced by Maria Curcio. In 1966, he was awarded first prize at the Leeds Competition. His recordings include the Suite Iberia and the Rachmaninov concertos. Orozco died of an AIDS-related illness at the age of 50. The Córdoba Conservatory bears his name.
Paderewski, Ignacy Jan
Polish (Kursk, Podolia, November 18, 1860 — New York, June 29, 1941)
Ignacy Jan Paderewski was a pianist, composer and statesman. He was mainly self-taught during his early years and became an extraordinary improviser. Subsequently, he entered the Warsaw Conservatory and graduated in 1878. After a few years striving to make a living, he begun lessons with Leschetizky and shortly after was appointed professor at the Strasbourg Conservatory. Gradually, Paderewski´s pianistic and musical personality became well-known all over Europe and America. By the 1890s, his wealth had increased considerably. Due to his extravagant lifestyle and the numerous concerts, his health rapidly declined, and Paderewski commenced to take an active interest in politics, what resulted in his brief appointment as Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. He resumed his performing activities in 1922. Paderewski composed a number of piano pieces including Chants du voyager op. 8, Piano concerto op. 17 and Variations and Fugue op. 23.
Paik, Kun Woo
South Korean (Seoul, May 10, 1946)
Kun Woo Paik is a pianist. He studied at the High School of Performing Arts in New York and with Rosina Lhévinne at the Juilliard School. Subsequently, he became a pupil of Ilona Kabos in London and of Wilhelm Kempff and Guido Agosti in Italy. In 1971, Paik won the Walter Naumberg Competition in New York. His recordings include Beethoven´s 32 sonatas, the complete piano works of Ravel and Rachmaninov and Prokofiev concerti.
Argentinian (Buenos Aires, 1939)
Carmen Piazzini is a pianist. Her grandfather was the pianist Edmundo Piazzini, founder of the Thibaud-Piazzini Conservatory in Buenos Aires. Her father was the national chess champion Luis Roberto Piazzini. She studied with Vincenzo Scaramuzza, Rafael González and Wilhelm Kempff. Piazzini taught at the Musikhochschule in Karlsruhe and in Salzburg. Her records include the Haydn sonatas, Beethoven´s concerti, Mozart´s sonatas and concerti and works by Brahms and Piazzolla.
German (Altona, June 23, 1824 — Leipzig, March 10, 1910)
Carl Reinecke was a pianist, composer, conductor, teacher, administrator, painter and poet. He received a complete music instruction from his father J.P. Rudolf Reinecke. He was appointed court pianist in Copenhagen in 1846 and taught counterpoint and piano at Hiller´s conservatory in Cologne and at the Leipzig Conservatory, which he also directed and transformed into a famous school in Europe. In Leipzig, Reinecke also conducted the Gewandhaus Orchestra. As a composer, he wrote a substantial amount of works including piano sonatinas, exercises and four piano concertos. He was remarkably noted in the “Hausmusik” style. Reinecke also wrote books and essays on music subjects.
[See the Carl Reinecke Tradition]
Rey Colaço, Alexandre
Portuguese (Tangier, Morocco, April 30, 1854 — Lisbon, September 1, 1928)
Professor of princes D. Luís Filipe de Bragança and D. Manuel de Bragança, the last king of Portugal, his father was a French citizen born in Cyprus and his mother was half Spanish. He taught at the Hochshule für Musik in Berlin and at the Lisbon Conservatory, and remained committed and active in the cultural life of his country. As a composer, he was a pioneer in introducing Portuguese popular melodies into his music, for example in the collection of Fados, Bailarico, Jota and Malagueña. Educo Records released a recording of a selection of his piano output in 1985 featuring pianist Michael Habermann. He also published a collection of thoughts and reflections on music titled De Música. His daughter Amélia Rey Colaço became one of Portugal´s leading actresses.
French (April 5, 1840 — April 6, 1886)
Son of composer Eugène Prévost, his real name was Toussaint Prévost and initiated his career as baritone under the name of Félix. He toured in Canada and in the United States. He married singer Alice Desgranges and his niece Gabrielle Ritter-Ciampi also became a famous singer. As composer, he wrote numerous piano pieces and transcriptions such as Berlioz´s L´enfance du Christ and Roméo et Juliette.
Russian (Vikhvatintsï, Ukraine, November 16 or 28, 1829 — Peterhof, now Petrodvoret, November 8 or 20, 1894)
Anton Rubinstein was a pianist, conductor, composer and teacher. He was a colossus of the piano and regarded an equal to Liszt. He had a tremendous impact on Russian´s musical life and education that lasts until today, establishing the pedagogical and interpretative principles of what came to be known as the Russian School of pianism. His early piano instruction came from his mother and, subsequently, Alexander Villoing taught the child prodigy and took him on an extended concert tour all over Europe, meeting Chopin, Liszt, Mendelssohn and Meyerbeer. In 1848, the Gran Duchess Yelena Pavlina took interest in the young pianist, offering him lodging quarters in one of her palaces, having him perform for the tsar´s family and, years after, envisioning and planning together a revolution in the musical education in Russia. As a result, they founded the Russian Musical Society in 1859 and the Saint Petersburg Conservatory in 1862. He embarked on several extended concert tours including one in the USA with Wieniawski in which they played over 215 recitals in a period of about 8 months. His repertoire was humongous, as the seven historical recitals he gave in Europe and Russia between 1885 and 1886, encompassing all the history of the piano literature. His piano output is extensive, including five piano concertos, four piano sonatas, Tarantella, Six Preludes, Suite and the famous Melody in F op. 3 no. 1.
[See the Anton Rubinstein Tradition]
Polish-American (Łódź, January 28, 1887 — Geneva, December 20, 1982)
Artur Rubinstein was a pianist. He showed an extraordinary talent since an early age and was endowed with a phenomenal capacity for sight-reading. His early music instruction was undertaken by Joseph Joachim. At the age of 13, Rubinstein made his debut in Berlin playing a Mozart concerto, Saint-Saëns Second Concerto and some other solo pieces. He loved Spain and the Spanish music, spending long periods in Málaga and performing the music of Granados, Albéniz and Falla. After he married ballerina Aniela Mlynarski in 1932, he secluded himself in order to practice piano seriously. He was famous for his extrovert character and his energy and was able to perform two or three piano concertos in one evening, well into his 70s and 80s. He played an enormous repertoire and produced over 200 recordings, with his interpretations of Chopin at the heart of his fame. The Artur Rubinstein International Competition was founded in Israel in 1974 and he contributed to the improvement and development of music education there. He abandoned the concert stage in 1976 and published his autobiography in two volumes, My Young Years and My Many Years. At the age of 90, Rubinstein left his wife for concert manager Annabelle Whitestone, who was 33 years old at the time. One of his sons was actor John Rubinstein, father of the also actor Michael Weston. In 1969, the documentary film Artur Rubinstein: The Love of Life, won an Oscar.
[See the Artur Rubinstein Tradition]
German (Berlin, January 18, 1840 — Berlin, December 31, 1916)
Ernst Rudorff was a pianist, conductor, composer and teacher born into a cultural and intellectual family. His mother was a friend of Mendelssohn and his father a law professor. Besides music, he studied Theology and History. He taught at the Cologne Conservatory and at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik and succeeded Bruch as conductor of the Stern Choral Society. Rudorff was a close friend of Clara Schumann, who also taught him for a short period. He produced a number of piano compositions including the Fantasie op. 14, Romanzen op. 48 and the Impromptu op. 51. He was a member of the editorial committee of Denkmäler Deutscher Tonkunst.
Bronsart von Schellendorf, Hans
German (Berlin, February 11, 1830 — Munich, November 3, 1913)
Hans Bronsart von Schellendorf was a pianist and composer. Liszt admired him and dedicated to him his Second Piano Concerto, which Bronsart premiered. He was in close terms with the New German School and co-founded the Neue-Weimar-Verein in 1854. Among other works, he composed a Piano Concerto and many piano pieces. He married pianist and composer Ingeborg Starck.
American (Belvidere, July 26, 1876 — New York, December 8, 1939)
Ernest Schelling was a pianist, conductor and composer. He studied with Mathias at the Paris Conservatoire and later with Moritz Moszkowski, Dionys Pruckner, Theodor Leschetizky, Hans Huber, Karl-Heinrich Barth and Paderewski. Schelling concertized widely in Europe and South America. In 1919, he was involved in a car accident in which he injured his hands. He frequently conducted the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Young People´s Concerts in New York. He composed Theme and variations and Six compositions among other pieces.
Schumann [née Wieck], Clara
German (Leipzig, September 13, 1819 — Frankfurt, May 20, 1896)
Clara Schumann was a pianist and composer. She was one of the greatest and most influential concert pianists of all time and was admired by Chopin, Liszt and Paganini. She was Robert Schumann´s wife and contributed to promote her husband´s music by performing and editing it. Her father and teacher was Friedrich Wieck, who not only taught her the piano but supervised her career and general education until her late teens. Her mother Marianne came from a family of musicians and was an accomplished singer and pianist. Clara concertized all over Europe, travelling to the British Isles over 19 times, not only performing but acting as her own manager. She was regarded as a piano equal to Liszt, Thalberg and Anton Rubinstein and was known in Europe as the “Queen of the Piano”, with a career that lasted for about 60 years. She was one of the pioneers in performing from memory, without assisting artists, a with a detailed attention to the music text, designing shorter concert programs in order to keep the audience´s attention. Her compositions include the Piano Concerto in F, Variations on a Theme by Robert Schumann, Impromptus, Trois Romances and Souvenir de Vienne. She edited the works of Robert Schumann and arranged works of Brahms and Sterndale Bennett for piano. Composer and conductor Woldemar Bargiel was Clara´s half-brother.
[See the Schumann/Wieck Tradition]
Sousa Pedroso, Elisa de
Portuguese (Vila Real, July 10, 1881 — Lisbon, April 18, 1958)
Elisa de Sousa Pedroso was a pianist. She studied with Alexandre Rey Colaço, Vianna da Motta, Pedro Blanch, Ignaz Friedmann, Edouard Risler, Conrado del Campo and Pau Casals. In 1934, she founded the Círculo de Cultura Musical. She published Musica Espanhola Contemporânea among other articles and books.
Bulgarian (Varna, June 6, 1964)
Vesselin Stanev is a pianist. He studied at the Varna School of Music, National Academy of Music of Sofia and, at the Moscow Conservatory, with Dmitry Bashkirov. Subsequently, he was a student of Alexis Weissenberg in Paris and took classes at the Paris Conservatoire. Stanev recorded for RCA, Sony Classical and Gega New.
1830 — 1913
No information found.
Polish (Warsaw, November 4, 1841 — Leipzig, July 17, 1871)
Carl Tausig was a pianist. He was one of Liszt´s favorite pupils, who described him as having an “infallible” technique and possessing “fingers of steel”. Tausig also studied counterpoint, composition and instrumentation with the Hungarian master, and accompanied him while touring. His public debut was at a concert conducted by Hans von Bülow in Berlin in 1858. He had a vast repertoire which he could play from memory. Tausig composed a number of piano pieces including Tarantelle and Etudes de concert, and also transcribed, arranged and edited a handful of other works. His Tägliche studien are of great value. He married pianist Seraphine von Vrabely. Tausig died of typhoid before he turned 30 years of age.
Japanese (Atami, near Tokyo, December 20, 1948)
Mitsuko Uchida is a pianist. She moved to Vienna at the age of 12. She studied with Richard Hauser, Wilhelm Kempff and Stefan Askenase. She was awarded at the Leeds International Piano Competition, Beethoven Competition and Chopin Competition. She is a major performer of the Classical composers and has offered complete cycles of the Mozart sonatas and concerti. In 2009, she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. She records exclusively for Decca.
Russian (Saint Petersburg, March 12, 1808 — Saint Petersburg, September 2, 1878)
Alexander Villoing was the son of a French émigré. He became a professor at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. His most famous student was Anton Rubinstein, with whom he toured throughout Europe. In 1863, he published the Klavierschule, a method used at the Conservatory and translated into German and French. His only published work is the Piano Concerto in C major.
[See the Alexander Villoing Tradition]
Bulgarian (Zürich, Switzerland, March 13, 1899 — Sofia, September 8, 1978)
Pancho Vladiguerov was a pianist, composer and pedagogue. Her mother was a relative of Boris Pasternak. In Berlin, he studied with Karl-Heinrich Barth and Leonid Kreutzer. He directed the Deutsches Theater in the German city and, in 1932, he returned to Sofia to teach at the State Academy of Music, which nowadays bears his name. Vladiguerov was a founding member of the Bulgarian Contemporary Music Society. Alexis Weissenberg was one of his most notable students.
Bulgarian-French (Sofia, July 26, 1929 — Lugano, January 8, 2012)
Alexis Weissenberg was a pianist. He studied with Pancho Vladiguerov. In 1945, he fled to Israel as a refugee and studied with Leo Kestenberg. A year later, he moved to the US to take lessons with Olga Samaroff at Juilliard. He also studied with Schnabel and Landowska. In 1947, he won the Leventritt Competition after which he launched his international career. Between 1956 and 1966, Weissenberg put aside his concert career in order to teach and study. Subsequently, he resumed his performances and recordings, which include the complete Beethoven concertos with Karajan, the Goldberg Variations and Liszt´s B minor sonata.
German (Pretzsch, near Torgau, August 18, 1785 — Loschwitz, near Dresden, October 6, 1873)
Friedrich Wieck was a teacher and education specialist. His daughter was the famous pianist Clara Wieck, whom he trained and who married Robert Schumann. He pursued theological studies, but his interest in education and music became more profound after his collaboration with piano teacher Adolph Bargiel. He was mainly focused on elementary piano instruction, based on playing without notation during the first steps of the learning process. He also taught Italian vocal technique and was involved in instrument sales and a music lending library business. His pedagogical work Klavier und Gesang summarizes his teaching principles.
[See the Schuman/Wieck Tradition]
© 2022, by Daniel Pereira