The Ludwig Berger Tradition

Piano Traditions Through Their Genealogy Trees

© 2021, by Daniel Pereira

Doctor of Musical Arts |


Abos, Girolamo

Maltese (Valetta, November 16, 1715 — Naples, October 1760)

Of  French descent, he studied at the Conservatorio dei Poveri di Gesù in Naples under Greco, Durante and Ferrara. Subsequently, he taught there and at the San Onofrio Capuana Conservatory, and became secondo maestro at the Pietà dei Turchini Conservatory in 1754. He mainly composed operas buffas and serias.  


Barabini, Olga

Died in 1980

Olga Barabini was a pianist and a student of Claudio Arrau. She taught privately in New York City. Garrick Ohlsson was among her students.


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 and performed Beethoven´s First Piano Concerto at the age of seven. She entered the Paris Conservatory at nine. She produced some records for Her Master´s Voice. Von Barentzen premiered Villa-Lobos´ Chôros no. 8, for two pianos, with Spanish pianist Tomás Terán under the composer´s baton in 1927.


Beethoven, Ludwig van

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

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. He had Belgian ancestry and came from three generations of musicians who worked for the Electorate of Cologne. 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]


Berger, Ludwig

German (Berlin, April 18, 1777 — Berlin, February 16, 1839)

Ludwig Berger was a composer, pianist and teacher. He accompanied Muzio Clementi in his travels to Russia and remained in Saint Petersburg for eight years. In 1812, Berger fled to London and, three years after, he moved back to Berlin. In 1817, he suffered a nervous dysfunction in his arm and was forced to abandon the concert stage. He was a late representative of the Berlin Song School. Berger wrote a Piano Concerto, seven sonatas, etudes, variations and a number of pedagogical piano works. He directly influenced his pupil Mendelssohn´s Lieder ohne worte.  

[See the Ludwig Berger Tradition]


Bigot, Marie

Alsatian (Colmar, March 3, 1786 — Paris, September 16, 1820)

Marie Bigot was a pianist. When she was five, the family moved to Switzerland, where her mother firstly taught her the piano. In 1804, she married Paul Bigot, librarian to Count Razumovsky in Vienna. There, she met Haydn, Salieri and Beethoven. Among her pupils was Felix Mendelssohn. She published several piano compositions.


Bischoff, Hans

German (Berlin, February 17, 1852 — Niederschönenhausen, near Berlin, June 12, 1889)

Hans Bischoff was a pianist, teacher and editor. He studied piano with Theodor Kullak and Richard Wüerst in Berlin. He also studied philosophy and modern languages. He taught at the Neue Akademie der Tonkunst and at the Stern Conservatory. He published influential editions of the music of Handel, Mozart, Clementi, Weber, Schubert and Schumann, including the first variorum edition of Bach´s Well-tempered clavier.


Bronsart [née Starck], Ingeborg 

German (Saint Petersburg, August 12 or 24, 1840 — Munich, June 17, 1913)

Ingeborg Bronsart was a pianist and composer. Although she was born in Saint Petersburg, she was German of Swedish descent. She had a successful performing career until she married Hans Bronsart von Schellendorf in 1861 when, due to her husband´s duties as Intendant in Hanover and Weimar, she had to abandon the concert stage. From then onwards, she was entirely devoted to composition, especially songs and operas, which are influenced by Liszt and Wagner.  


Chasins, Abram

American (New York, August 17, 1903 — New York, June 21, 1987)

Abram Chasins was a pianist, composer, writer and broadcaster on music. He studied at such prestigious schools as Juilliard, Columbia University and Curtis, where he also taught from 1926 to 1935. After concertizing for two decades, he became director of WQXR. His work at this radio station helped him to win a Peabody Award. He also was musician-in-residence at the University of Southern California. Chasins composed over 100 piano pieces, including Three Chinese Pieces and the 24 Preludes. He published Speaking of Pianists, Van Cliburn and Leopold Stokowski biographies, and Music at the Crossroads, a criticism of American universities for underpreparing music students for the real world.


Cherkassky, Shura

Russian-American (Odessa, October 7, 1909 — London, December 27, 1995)

Shura Cherkassky was a pianist and a child prodigy. He moved to America in 1923 to study with Hofmann at the Curtis Institute. After World War II, he settled in London. Among his repertoire, there were less frequently performed composers such as Boulez, Stockhausen, Hindemith, Ives, Ligeti and Berg. He made his first recording in 1926.


Clementi, Muzio

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

Clementi was popularly known as the “father of pianoforte”, and his influence on subsequent generations of pianists, piano composers, publishing and manufacturing firms is undisputed. His students included 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), were frequently used by pianists all over the world. In his teens, Clementi´s talent drew the attention of Englishman Peter Beckford, who in his own words “bought Clementi of his father for seven years”. Clementi spent all that time near Dorset, in England, immersed in studying music and practicing the harpsichord. After this period, he moved to London where he became a celebrity as composer, teacher, performer, manufacturer and publisher, even signing a contract with Beethoven to publish a few major works. He is buried at the cloisters of Westminster Abbey in London. Many of his numerous piano sonatas have become very popular, especially as student pieces.

[See the Muzio Clementi Tradition]


Cleve, Halfdan

Norwegian (Kongsberg, October 5, 1879 — Oslo, April 6, 1951)

Halfdan Cleve was a pianist and composer. He received his first music lessons from his father, who was an organist. He later studied with Winter-Hjelm, with the Scharwenka brothers and with Oscar Raiff. He taught at the Oslo Conservatory. In 1939, the Norwegian government granted him a stipend for life. Cleve composed piano music including piano concerti, etudes and the Sonata op. 19.


Collard, Jean-Philippe

French (Mareuil-sur-Ay, January 27, 1948)

Jean-Philippe Collard won the premier prix at the Paris Conservatory, 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. Collard is also an active chamber musician, and collaborates frequently with violinist Augustin Dumay, cellist Frédéric Lodéon and pianist Michel Béroff.


Czerny, Carl

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

Active as 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, charging high fees and amassing 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]


Dayas, William Humphreys

American (New York, September 12, 1863 — Manchester, England, May 3, 1903)

William Humphrey Dayas was a pianist and composer. He favored teaching to concertizing and held positions at several conservatories in Europe. He was in close terms with Liszt and Busoni. Dayas composed some piano works and songs.  


Delaborde, Élie-Miriam 

French (Paris, February 8, 1839 — Paris, December 9, 1913)

Believed to be Charles Valentin Alkan´s illegitimate son, he was a skillful pedal piano player. He had many interests including fencing, athletics, parrots and painting, and was a friend of Édouard Manet, Georges Bizet and Pauline Viardot. Saint-Saëns dedicated his Piano Concerto no. 3 to him. Although his music output is substantial, the first acoustic recording of one of Delaborde´s pieces was made in 2014 by Vincenzo Maltempo as part of the Rarities of Piano Music.


Dorn, Heinrich Ludwig Egmont

German (Königsberg, now Kaliningrad, November 14, 1804 — Berlin, January 10, 1892)

Heinrich Dorn was a conductor, composer and journalist. He studied singing and composition. He also received piano lessons from Ludwig Berger. Dorn became a renowned opera conductor holding posts at Königsberg, Leipzig, Hamburg, Riga and Cologne. He gave counterpoint lessons to Schumann and was a friend of Liszt. Dorn composed some operas.


Eckert, Carl Anton Florian

German (Potsdam, December 7, 1820 — Berlin, October 14, 1879)

Carl Eckert was a pianist, composer and conductor. He was a child prodigy and composed an opera at the age of ten and an oratorio three years later. Among his teachers was Felix Mendelssohn. Eckert held posts at the Theatre des Italiens in Paris and at the Court Opera in Vienna, among others.


Ehrlich, Heinrich

Austrian (Vienna, October 5, 1822 — Berlin, December 30, 1899)

Heinrich Ehrlich was a pianist, teacher, writer and critic. He was of Hungarian descent. Ehrlich lived in Bucharest, Hanover, Wiesbaden, London and Frankfurt. He settled in Berlin 1862 where he taught at the Stern Conservatory. In 1885, Ehrlich was appointed professor of the Vienna Conservatory. Liszt extracted one of the themes of his Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2 from Ehrlich´s unpublished Konzertstück in ungarischen Weisen. He also edited Carl Tausig's Tägliche Studien.


Franck, Eduard

German (Breslau, October 5, 1817 — Berlin, December 1, 1893)

Eduard Franck was a pianist, composer and teacher. He studied with Mendelssohn in Düsseldorf and Leipzig. He taught in Cologne, Berne and at the Stern Conservatory and Emil Breslaur´s Conservatory in Berlin. His piano music was admired by Schumann. Eduard Franck married pianist Tony Thiedemann. Their son, Richard Franck, was also a pianist and composer.


Franck, Richard

German (Cologne, January 3, 1858 — Heidelberg, January 22, 1938)

Richard Franck was a pianist and composer. He studied with his father Eduard Franck in Berlin and with Reinecke, Wenzel, Jadassohn and Richter in Leipzig. He taught in Basle, Berlin and Magdeburg. He was known for his interpretations of Beethoven. He wrote a few piano compositions and an autobiography, published in 1928. His mother was the pianist Tony Thiedemann.


Gutiérrez, Horacio

Cuban-American (Havana, August 28, 1948)

Horacio Gutiérrez is a pianist. He was a child prodigy and performed his debut at the age of 11 with the Havana Symphony Orchestra. The family moved to the United States when he was 13 years old. He studied in Los Angeles with Sergei Tarnowsky and at the Juilliard School in New York with Adele Marcus. In 1970, he won the second prize at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. He teaches at Manhattan School of Music. He married pianist Patricia Asher. Gutiérrez suffers from bursitis.


Hauser, Richard

Austrian (Vienna, December 31 — Vienna, July 17, 1970)

Richard Hauser was a pianist and teacher. He studied in Vienna with Josef Hofmann, Norbert Kahrer and Paul Weingarten. He also received lessons from Emil von Sauer. He taught at the Vienna Conservatory.


Henselt, Adolf von

German (Schwabach, Bavaria, May 9, 1814 — Bad Warmbrunn, Silesia, now Cieplice Śląskie-Zdrój, Poland, October 10, 1889

Adolf von Henselt was a pianist, composer and teacher. He was the son of a cotton manufacturer who moved with his family to Munich in 1817. In the mid-1830s, Henselt went into isolation in order to develop his piano technique and, as a consequence, he overstrained his muscles. He met Chopin and was in close contact with Robert and Clara Schumann and with Liszt. In 1838, Henselt travelled to Saint Petersburg, where he taught at the Conservatory and became a celebrated teacher. He had an extraordinary hand span and was able to reach an 11th on the piano. Henselt composed a number of piano works such as the Variations de concert, Piano concerto op. 16, Chant tuprintemps, Donizetti variations op. 1, Nocturnes op. 6 and Ballade op. 31. Particularly noteworthy are his 24 études opp. 2 and 5. The opus numbers do not generally correspond to the chronological order of publication due to the fact that Henseltpublished his works with at least 30 publishing firms. Henselt edited the works of about 40 composers, frequently adding extra ornamentation.


Hofmann, Josef

Polish-American (Kraków, January 20, 1876 — Los Angeles, February 16, 1957)

Josef Hofmann was a pianist, composer and inventor. He was a child prodigy, not only in music but in history, mathematics, science and mechanics. He took a few lessons from Moritz Moszkowski and, subsequently, with Anton Rubinstein, who deeply influenced him. In 1926, he was appointed director of the Curtis Institute. He retired from the concert platform in New York in 1946. He was the dedicatee of Rachmaninov´s Third Piano Concerto, which he never played. Hofmann was the first professional musician ever to record. He made a few cylinders at Edison´s laboratory in New Jersey in 1887. As a composer, he wrote over 100 pieces, mostly under the pseudonym Michel Dvorsky. Hofmann also patented about 70 scientific and mechanical artifacts. He published Piano Playing and Piano Questions Answered. His father was the Polish pianist, conductor and teacher Kazimierz Hofmann. His mother was a singer of light operas.


Hood, Elene Francis

American (Chelsea, June 28, 1863 — Brookline, January 22, 1949)

Elene Francis Hood was a pianist, composer and teacher. After studies in Boston, she went to Berlin to become a pupil of Moritz Moszkowski and Scharwenka. She composed songs, chamber music and piano pieces since the 1930s.


Hummel, Johann Nepomuk

Austrian (Pressburg, now Bratislava, November 14, 1778 — Weimar, October 17, 1837)

Johann Nepomuk Hummel was a pianist and composer. He was one of the most famous pianists and composers of his time and was also active as a conductor and teacher. Hummel was the son of a string player and conductor. He was musically precocious since the age of three. A pupil of Mozart, Hummel lived in the composer´s household where he met da Ponte, Haydn and other personalities of Vienna. He also studied with Albrechtsberger and Salieri. In 1788, he went on an extended concert tour that took him all over Europe during the next five years. In 1804, he succeeded Haydn at Esterházy and conducted the premiere of Haydn´s The Creation at the palace in Eisenstadt. In 1818, he was appointed grand-ducal Kapellmeister at Weimar, a post he held until his death. He met and had a profound impact on Chopin, Liszt and Schubert, who had dedicated Hummel his last three piano sonatas until Diabelli posthumously changed the dedicatory to Schumann. Hummel was a prolific composer in virtually all genres of the time and wrote piano concertos, variations, sonatas, preludes, bagatelles, rondos and numerous other pieces, including successful piano arrangements of orchestral works. His Complete Theoretical and Practical Course of Instructions on the Art of Playing the PianoForte enjoyed a tremendous success and was published almost at the same time in Germany, England and France, and sold thousands of copies. Hummel maintained an unsettling but lasting friendship with Beethoven, was one of the pallbearers at his funeral and improvised at the Beethoven´s memorial concert upon the composer´s request. Hummel married the singer Elisabeth Röckel. One of their sons, Eduard, became a pianist. 

[See the Johann Nepomuk Hummel Tradition]

Janson, Selmar

German-American (Eastern Prussia, May 27, 1881 — November 19, 1960)

Member of the Brahms Piano Trio, Selmar Janson started to play the piano at the age of four and offered his first recital at eight in Berlin. He was once equaled to Paderewski and Hofmann as being one of the greatest pianists of his time. He offered American pianist Byron Janis a scholarship to study with him, but Janis rejected it in favor of studying with Adele Marcus in New York.


Katsaris, Cyprien

French (Marseilles, May 5, 1951)

Winner of the premier prix at the Paris Conservatory, Prix Albert Roussel and Cziffra Competition, Cyprien Katsaris 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.  


Kullak, Theodor

German (Krotoschin, now Krotoszyn, Poland, September 12, 1818 — Berlin, March 1, 1882)

One of the most eminent piano teachers in the 19th century, he 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]


Lachmund, Carl

American (Booneville, United States, March 27, 1853 — New York, February 20, 1928)

Carl Lachmund was a pianist and teacher. He was of German descent. Lachmund studied in Cologne, Berlin and Weimar. He compiled in several personal diaries a detailed account of Liszt´s masterclasses, comments and ideas about his fellow peers. These diaries were consolidated in Living with Liszt, a book published posthumously and edited by Alan Walker. He founded the Lachmund Piano Conservatory in New York and the Women´s String Orchestra, one of the first of its type. The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts holds Lachmund's extensive memorabilia and materials about Liszt.


Landowska, Wanda

Polish (Warsaw, July 5, 1879 — Lakeville, Connecticut, August 16, 1959)

Wanda Landowska was a keyboard player and composer. She specialized in the repertoire from the 17th and 18th centuries and was a crucial figure in the revival of the harpsichord. Her first public appearance on the harpsichord took place in 1903. She studied with two Chopin specialists: Jan Kleczyński and Aleksander Michalowski. Pleyel built a special two-manual harpsichord to her own specifications. She and her husband Henry Lew, a Hebrew folklore scholar, were detained in Berlin during the World War I. Landowska lectured at the Sorbonne and at the Ecole Normale in Paris. She founded the Ecole de Musique Ancienne in Saint-Leu-la-Fôret. Francis Poulenc dedicated to her his Concert champêtre. Landowska´s disciple Denise Restout edited Landowska on Music in 1965.


Loeschhorn, Carl Albert

German (Berlin, June 27, 1819 — Berlin, June 4, 1905)

Carl Loeschhorn was a pianist and composer. He studied with Ludwig Berger and at the Royal Institute for Church Music in Berlin, where he taught piano since 1851. Loeschhorn played in chamber music trio with the brothers Adolf and Julius Stahlknecht. He composed piano pieces including salon works, studies and sonatas.


López Mindreau, Ernesto

Peruvian (Chiclayo, 1892 — Lima, 1972)

Ernesto López Mindreau was a pianist and composer. He studied in Peru with Federico Gerdes and, subsequently, at the Paris Conservatoire, New York City, where he was a pupil of Rachmaninov and Stokowski, and in Berlin with Scharwenka. His piano compositions include the Fantasía for piano and orchestra, Preludio en estilo antiguo and Preludio Incaico.


Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Fanny

German (Hamburg, November 14, 1805 — Berlin, May 14, 1847)

Fanny Mendelssohn was a pianist, composer and conductor. She was the sister of Felix Mendelssohn, to whom she was particularly close. Fanny frequently advised his brother in musical matters regarding his compositions. On the other hand, until Felix Mendelsshon got married in 1837, he had a deep influence on Fanny´s activities as a composer, as she depended on his approval. Fanny studied with her mother, with Ludwig Berger and with Marie Bigot. She married the painter Wilhelm Hensel. Fanny Mendelsshon composed over 125 piano works including Pastorella, 4 Lieder op. 8, 6 Mélodies op. 5 and a Sonata. She died suddenly from a stroke.


Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix

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

One of the most astonishing and precocious prodigies in the history of music, he 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 also was 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. He concertized and travelled widely including England, Wales, Scotland, 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, he 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, his 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.


Moscheles, Ignaz

Bohemian (Prague, May 23, 1794 — Leipzig, March 10, 1870)

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. He 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. He translated and edited Schindler´s biography of Beethoven and published it as The Life of Beethoven. Moscheles established the “historical soirées” in London which championed early music played on the harpsichord. Moscheles 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]


Moszkowski, Moritz

German (Breslau, now Wrocław, August 23, 1854 — Paris, March 4, 1925)

Of Polish descent and born into a wealthy Jewish family, he was also an accomplished violinist. During the 1880s, his concert and touring activities declined and finally ended due to a nervous breakdown. The popularity of his piano music contributed to make him substantially wealthy. However, from 1910 his fortune and fame declined as did his health, concluding his final years in poverty. He performed his early Piano Concerto on two pianos with Liszt. As a composer, he was famous mainly for his piano music. Examples of his output are the Concert Studies op. 24, Caprice Espagnol op. 37, Tarantelle op. 27 no. 2, Serenate op. 15 no. 1, Piano Concerto op. 59 and the Spanish Dances opp, 12, 21 and 65 for piano duet. Moszkowski married the sister of Cécile Chaminade.


Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Austrian (Salzburg, January 27, 1756 — Vienna, December 5, 1791)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a composer, keyboard and violin player. He is regarded among the major exponents of the Viennese Classicism and one of the most astonishing music geniuses in history. He was baptized as Joannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus. He was the son of Leopold Mozart who took responsibility for the education of his son not only in music but in mathematics, reading, writing, literature, languages, dancing and moral and religious ideas. Wolfgang Amadeus composed his first works at the age of five. Mozart and his family travelled extensively all over Europe between 1762 and 1773. Subsequently, he lived in Salzburg and finally settled in Vienna. W.A. Mozart married Constanze Weber, a cousin of composer Carl Maria von Weber. Mozart excelled in all music genres. His piano output is large including 27 piano concertos for one, two and three pianos, 18 piano sonatas, fantasies, rondos, and variations such as Ah, vous dirai-je, Maman and other sets on themes by Fischer, Salieri, Grétry, Paisiello, Gluck and Sarti. He also produced a sonata for two pianos and works for piano duet. The first edition of the Köchel catalogue of Mozart´s works was completed in 1863 by Ludwig von Köchel.

[See the Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Tradition]


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.


Ohlsson, Garrick

American (White Plains, New York, April 3, 1948)

Garrick Ohlsson is a pianist. He studied at Westchester Conservatory and at the Juilliard School. Her teachers include Thomas Lishman, Sascha Gorodnitzki, Rosina Lhévine, Claudio Arrau and Olga Barabini. He won competitions in Bolzano, Montreal and, especially, the Warsaw International Chopin Competition in 1970, becoming the first American to win it. He has an extensive discography including the complete works of Brahms and Chopin. He world premiered Wuorinen´s Third Piano Concerto and his concerto repertoire includes over 80 works.


Pérez Sentenat, César

Cuban (Havana, November 18, 1896 — Havana, May 4, 1973)

César Pérez Sentenat was a pianist. In 1922, he was appointed professor at the Conservatorio Nacional in Havana and, in 1940, associate professor at the Sherwood Music School in Chicago. In 1931, he founded the Escuela Normal de Música with Amadeo Roldán. Sentenat also held positions as Provincial Music Inspector, General Inspector and Music Director for the National Music Council of Culture. He also taught at the Conservatorio Guillermo Tomás in Guanabacoa. Along Gonzalo Roig and Ernesto Lecuona, Sentenat founded the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional of Havana and, with Roldán, the Orquesta Filarmónica of Havana. His piano compositions include Suite cubana, Carnaval humorístico, Dos estampas españolas y Preludio en todos los tonos.  


Samaroff [née Hickenlooper], Olga 

American (San Antonio, United States, August 8, 1882 — New York, May 17, 1948)

Olga Samaroff was the first American woman to obtain a scholarship to study at the Paris Conservatory, and also studied in Berlin. She was an influential teacher with positions at the Philadelphia Conservatory and The Juilliard School, counting among her pupils numerous world-class pianists. Her successful career was interrupted due to an arm injury. She published The Layman´s Music Book. Olga Samaroff was married to Leopold Stokowski between 1911 and 1923. 

[See the Olga Samaroff Tradition]


Scharwenka, Franz Xaver

Polish-German (Samter, now Szamotuły, January 6, 1850 — Berlin, December 8, 1924)

A prominent figure in the European musical scene of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, he was basically self-taught until he entered Kullak´s Neue Akademie der Tonkunst in Berlin in 1865, where he also taught. He was forced to interrupt his career due to the military service and, subsequently, he concertized in Europe, USA and Canada, crossing the Atlantic over 26 times by 1914. He founded in Berlin the Scharwenka Conservatory, for a time merged with Klindworth´s school, and lived for a few years in New York where he also opened a branch of his conservatory. He contributed to the foundation of the Music Teachers´ Federation in 1900 and the Federation of German Performing Artists in 1912. His compositions include his popular Piano Concerto in B flat minor and the Polish dance op. 3 no. 1 as well as two sonatas and technical studies such as the Methodik des Klavierspiels, published in 1907 in Leipzig. He made a few acoustical recordings for Columbia and piano rolls.

[See the Xaver Scharwenka Tradition]


Somer, Hilda

Austrian-American (Vienna, February 11, 1930 — Freeport, Bahamas, December 24, 1979)

Born in Austria, her Jewish family fled to the United States in 1938. She devoted much of her time to new composers, and gave world premieres of concertos by Corigliano, Tauriello and Ginastera. She was also immersed in mysticism and in the music of Alexander Scriabin, whose music she performed in concerts with lighting effects attempting to recreate Scriabin´s vision. She died at 49 while vacationing in Bahamas. 


Stamaty, Camille

Greco-French (Rome, March 13 or 23, 1811 — Paris, April 19, 1870)

Camille Stamaty was a pianist, composer and teacher. He continued Kalkbrenner´s tradition of piano playing in France. While he was deciding between studying music or adventuring into business, he worked at the Prefecture of the Seine. He made his debut at the Salle Pleyel in Paris in 1835, performing Kalkbrenner´s Grand Duo in D op. 128 for two pianos, with the composer himself. In 1862, he received the Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur distinction. Stamaty composed several piano works including the Grande Sonate op. 20, and the Sicilienne dans le genre ancient. He also produced pedagogical works as the five-volume L´ecole du pianist classique et modern and the 25 études pour piano op. 11, used by the Paris Conservatory as part of its teaching methods.


Taubert, Wilhelm

German (Berlin, March 23, 1811 — Berlin, January 7, 1891)

Wilhelm Taubert was a pianist, conductor and composer. He held posts as assistant conductor and accompanist in Berlin and taught at the Royal Academy of the Arts from 1865. His piano compositions include the Grande Sonate op. 20, Sonatas op. 21, études, variations and character pieces.


Turina Pérez, Joaquín

Spanish (Seville, December 9, 1882 — Madrid, January 14, 1949)

Joaquín Turina was a composer. His father was a painter of Italian ancestry. He studied with Enrique Rodríguez, José Tragó and with Moritz Moszkowski in Paris. In the French city, he performed with the Parent Quartet. He was a friend of Manuel de Falla who influenced him musically. He taught composition at the Madrid Conservatory from 1930 and was choirmaster at the Teatro Real. In 1941, Turina was appointed Comisario General de la Música. His extensive piano output includes Sonata romántica, Rincones sevillanos, Mujeres españolas and Danzas fantásticas.


Uchida, Mitsuko

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.


Vianna da Motta, José

Portuguese (Santo Tomé, April 22, 1868 — Lisbon, June 1, 1948)

Regarded as the father of the piano in Portugal, he trained many generations of accomplished pianists. He went on extensive concert tours in Europe, United States and South America, sometimes performing four works with orchestra on the same program. His music editions include works of Bach and Liszt, in collaboration with Busoni, with whom he performed on two-piano recitals. His performance in 1927 of the complete Beethoven sonatas was a landmark in Portugal´s music history. Among his piano compositions are the Ballada op. 16, a piano concerto and a transcription for piano solo of Alkan´s Treize Prières for pedal piano. He also made a few recordings. He succeeded Bernhard Stavenhagen as professor at the Geneva Conservatory.

[See the Vianna da Motta Tradition]


Wild, Earl 

American (Pittsburgh, November 26, 1915 — Palm Springs, California, January 23, 2010)

Earl Wild was a pianist, composer and teacher. He is regarded as one of the last pianists from the Romantic tradition. Wild was endowed with extraordinary sigh-reading skills and technique, which helped him to obtain his first jobs as a pianist for the Pittsburgh Orchestra, under Klemperer, and for the NBC Orchestra, under Toscanini. Wild premiered piano concertos by Paul Creston and Marvin David Levy, and Martinu Cello Sonata no. 2. His vast discography comprises over 30 piano concertos and 600 piano works, including pieces by Herz, Medtner, Scharwenka, Paderewski, Moszkowski and D´Albert. As a composer, he wrote symphonic, choral and piano works including the Doo-Dah Variations for piano and orchestra, and also virtuoso transcriptions of works by Gershwin, Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky. 

[See the Earl Wild Tradition]


Zverev, Nikolai 

Russian (Volokolamsk, March 25, 1833 — Moscow, October 12, 1893)

Nikolai Zverev was one of the most influential teachers in pre-Soviet Russia. He came from an aristocratic family and studied mathematics and physics at the Moscow State University. After inheriting a large sum of money, he abandoned his studies and moved to Saint Petersburg to become a civil servant. Subsequently, he returned to Moscow to teach at the Conservatory upon Nikolay Rubinstein´s invitation. Zverev taught many illustrious pianists including Rachmaninov, Scriabin and Siloti. He never married. 

[See the Nikolai Zverev Tradition]


© 2021, by Daniel Pereira