The Ignaz Moscheles Tradition


Piano Traditions Through Their Genealogy Trees

© 2021, by Daniel Pereira

Doctor of Musical Arts |


Albéniz, Isaac

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

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


Alkan [Morhange], Charles-Valentin

French (Paris, November 30, 1813 — Paris, March 29, 1888)

One of the most fascinating piano virtuosos and also a neglected composer, he was born into a Jewish family and all his siblings became musicians using the name Alkan, rather than their proper surname Morhange, including Napoléon Alkan who taught solfège at the Paris Conservatory. There, Charles-Valentin obtained the Premier Prix of solfège at the age of seven and, subsequently, also for piano, harmony and organ. His op. 1 was published when he was only 14. He was a close friend and admirer of Chopin and George Sand, although he became known for his misanthropy and introversion. He usually performed the works of other composers rather than his own compositions. For several times, he withdrew from public performance and, as a result, his biography contains periods of obscurity. Among is extensive piano output we find the Symphonie op. 39, Grande sonata op. 33, the variations Le festin d´Esope, 25 Préludes op. 31, Grande sonate: Les quatre âges op. 33, and the 12 études op. 35 and op. 39, as well as two chamber piano concertos. He also published transcriptions of Bach, Handel and Marcello and some fascinating works for the pédalier, or the pedal piano. It is generally accepted that his illegitimate son was the pianist Elie-Miriam Delaborde.


Bach Mills, Sebastian

English (Cirencester, England, March 13, 1839 — Wiesbaden, Germany, December 21, 1898)

Bach Mills was a virtuoso pianist who achieved recognition in the United States as an exponent of Liszt´s tradition. He gave the American premieres of such piano concertos as those of Schumann, Chopin´s Second, Liszt´s First and Hiller, and appeared at the Philharmonic Society concerts for 18 consecutive seasons. He also was of paramount importance in the promotion and fame of the new Steinway pianos. His piano compositions were popular for a time.


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)

A precocious child, she gave he 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. She premiered Villa-Lobos´ Chôros no. 8, for two pianos, with Spanish pianist Tomás Terán under the composer´s baton in 1927.


Beach, Amy Marcy

American (Henniker, September 5, 1867 — New York, December 27, 1944)

Amy Beach was a pianist and composer. She demonstrated phenomenal music skills since an early age. She firstly studied piano with her mother and later with Ernst Perabo and Carl Baermann. In 1885, she married Dr. Henry Beach, a Harvard University professor of anatomy. Upon her husband´s suggestion, she focused on composition and curtailed her piano recital appearances. In terms of compositional knowledge, she was mainly self-taught. Beach had a great success both as a pianist and composer. She co-founded the Society of American Women Composers in 1925. Her piano output includes the Piano concerto op. 45, Variations on Balkan Themes op. 60, Three piano pieces op. 128 and Out of the depths op. 130.


Berger, Ludwig

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

Composer, pianist and teacher, he accompanied Muzio Clementi in his travels to Russia, and remained in Saint Petersburg for 8 years. In 1812, he 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. He wrote a Piano Concerto, 7 sonatas, etudes, variations and a number of pedagogic piano works. He directly influenced his pupil Mendelssohn´s Lieder ohne worte

[See the Ludwig Berger Tradition]


Berger, Wilhelm

German (Boston, August 9, 1861 — Jena, January 15, 1911)

Wilhelm Berger was a pianist, conductor and composer. He was born in America, but his family moved to Germany when he was a year old. He studied in Bremen with Wilhelm Kallmeyer and in Berlin with Ernst Rudorff. In 1888, he was appointed professor at the Klindworth-Scharwenka Conservatory. Berger composed Variationen op. 61, for two pianos, Sonata op. 76, and collections of Klavierstücke, intermezzos, caprices and études.


Beringer, Oscar

English (Furtwangen, Baden, July 14, 1844 — London, February 21, 1922)

Born in Germany, his family fled to London in 1849, where he found in 1873 the Academy for the Higher Development of Pianoforte Playing, which enjoyed a remarkable success until it closed its doors in 1897. Beringer premiered in England Brahms´s Second Piano Concerto and was appointed professor at the Royal Academy of Music in 1885. He published pedagogical works such as Daily Technical Exercises and Pianoforte Tutor, as well as editions of piano classics.

[See the Oscar Beringer Tradition]


de Bériot, Charles-Wilfrid

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

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


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.


Bloch, Joseph

American (Indianapolis, November 6, 1917 — Larchmond, March 4, 2009)

Joseph Bloch was a pianist. He studied with Bomar Cramera, then with Rudolph Ganz at the Chicago Musical College and, privately, with Olga Samaroff in New York. He earned a master in musicology from Harvard University. From 1941 to 1946, he was captain in the Army Air Forces. In 1946, Bloch was appointed head of the piano department at the University of Denver and, in 1948, he started teaching piano literature courses at Juilliard School, where his students included Garrick Ohlsson, Van Cliburn, Misha Dichter and John Browning.


Blye, Birdice

American (Iowa, 1871— Chicago, June 23, 1935)

With a formidable music pedigree, she studied with such prominent pianists as Joseffy, Bülow and Anton Rubinstein. She concertized in Europe and in the United States and appeared twice at the White House. She published her recollections of Anton Rubinstein on articles for the Musical Courier and also on the Rosary Magazine. 


Brassin, Louis

Belgian (Aix-la-Chapelle, June 24, 1840 — Saint Petersburg, May 17, 1884)

Louis Brassin was a pianist and composer. He was a musically precocious child and performed concerts since very young. He studied at the Leipzig Conservatory with Ignaz Moscheles. In 1866, he started teaching at the Stern Conservatory in Berlin and, from 1869 and 1878, he taught at the Brussels Conservatory. In 1878, he moved to Saint Petersburg where he succeeded Theodor Leschetizky at the Conservatory. Among his students were Safonov, Sapellnikov and Rummel. Brassin composed two piano concertos, Polonaise op. 18, Au clair de la lune and piano transcriptions, including Magic Fire Music from Wagner´s Die Walküre. He published the École modern du piano.


Bülow, Hans Guido Freiherr von

German (Dresden, Germany, January 8, 1830 — Cairo, Egypt, February 12, 1894)

One of the most important piano heirs of Liszt´s tradition, he 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. He 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.


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.


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]


Dannreuther, Edward

English (Strasbourg, November 4, 1844 — London, February 12, 1905)

Edward Dannreuther was a pianist, writer and teacher. In 1846, his family moved to the United States where his father founded a piano factory. He studied with Frederick Ritter and at the Leipzig Conservatory, where he was under the tutelage of Ignaz Moscheles in piano. He met Grieg, Walter Bache, Ernst Rudorff and became a close friend of Wagner. Dannreuther co-founded the Working Men´s Society with Klindworth, Hartvigson, Bache and Hipkins and was president of the London Wagner Society from 1895 until his death. From the same year, he taught at the Royal College of Music. He gave the first English hearings of concertos by Grieg, Liszt´s Second, Scharwenka and Tchaikovsky. Dannreuther published Musical ornamentation, a relevant book on the subject.


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 to him his Piano Concerto no. 3. Although his music output is substantial, the first-ever acoustic recording of one of Delaborde´s pieces was made in 2014 by Vincenzo Maltempo as part of the Rarities of Piano Music.


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.


Fibich, Zdenek

Czech (Všeborice, Bohemia, December 21, 1850 — Prague, October 15, 1900)

Zdenek Fibich was a composer of Austrian descent on his mother side. He received his first piano lessons from his mother and sister. He studied with Ignaz Moscheles at the Leipzig Conservatory. Subsequently, he lived in Paris and Manheim before returning to his homeland. His piano output includes Le printemps op. 1, Variations in B flat and Two rondinos.


Franck, Eduard

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

Pianist, composer and teacher, his mainly instrumental compositions were well received by Schumann. He married pianist Tony Thiedemann. Their son Richard Franck, also a pianist, studied with Carl Reinecke in Leipzig. Franck published his autobiography in 1928.


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.


Freund, Etelka

Hungarian (1879 — May 2, 1977)

Sister of pianist Robert Freund, she was a close friend of Béla Bartók, whose music she promoted, and of Brahms, with whom she spent many hours. Brahms also intervened to help her become a member of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna and coached her for over a year. She toured and concertized until she got married and had to raise two sons. Years after, she returned to the concert stage in top pianistic shape.


Freund, Robert

Hungarian (Budapest, April 1, 1852 — Budapest, April 8, 1936)

His sister was the pianist Etelka Freund. He was one of the first professors of the Zurich Conservatory, and counted among his circle of friends such personalities as Brahms, Nietzsche and Richard Strauss. He composed some works including songs and piano pieces and published a book of memoires with recollections of his encounters with Liszt, Brahms and others. 


Godowsky, Leopold

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.


Ganz, Rudolf

Swiss (Zürich, February 24, 1877 — Chicago, August 2, 1972)

He studied the cello and took composition lessons with Charles Blanchet and Heinrich Urban. He conducted the premiere of his First Symphony with the Berlin Philharmonic and directed a number of Young People´s Concerts with the New York Philharmonic and the San Francisco Symphony. He was music director of the Saint Louis Symphony. He favored modern music and introduced works of Bartók, Korngold, Loeffler and many others to American audiences, and was an advocate of the works of Macdowell. He was the dedicatee of Busoni´s First Sonatina and Ravel´s Scarbo. As a composer, he wrote a Konzertstück and a Piano Concerto, among other works.


Greef, Arthur de

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

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


Grieg, Edvard Hagerup

Norwegian (Bergen, June 15, 1843 — Bergen, September 4, 1907)

Edvard Grieg was a composer and pianist. He received his first piano lessons from his mother. He studied at the Leipzig Conservatory with Ignaz Moscheles and Carl Reinecke. Grieg met Liszt and Tchaikovsky. In the Spring of 1903, he made nine 78-rpm gramophone recordings of a few piano pieces of his own in Paris. His piano compositions include the Piano concerto in A minor, a collection of Lyric pieces and Sonata op. 7. During his life, he suffered from poor health especially due to his lungs and heart. Glenn Gould was a distant cousin of Edvard Grieg.


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, 1909 — Vienna, July 17, 1970)

Richard Hauser was a pianist and teacher. He studied with Josef Hofmann, Norbert Kahrer, Paul Weingarten and Emil von Sauer. He also studied with theory and composition with Arnold Schönberg and Anton Webern. Hauser taught at the Vienna Conservatory. Among his students were Mitsuko Uchida and Heinz Medjimorec.


Hertz, Michal

Polish (Warsaw, September 28, 1844 – Warsaw, January 8, 1918)

Michal Hertz was a pianist, composer, conductor and teacher. He studied in Warsaw with Ferdynand Dulcken, in Breslau with Mächtig and in Leipzig with Moscheles, Reinecke, Wenzel and Plaidy. He also studied composition with Hans von Bülow and Hans Richter. Hertz taught at the Stern Conservatory in Berlin and in Warsaw, where he had a profound impact on the musical life of the city. He composed Fairy tale about a wolf for piano and orchestra and a number of other piano pieces.


Herz, Jacques-Simon

German-French (Frankfort-on-the-Main, December 31, 1794 — Nice, January 27, 1880)

Jacques Herz was a pianist. He studied at the Paris Conservatoire with Louis Pradher. He taught in England and, later, was appointed professor at the Conservatoire. His brother was pianist and composer Henri Herz.


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.


Hutcheson, Ernest

American (Melbourne, July 20, 1871 — New York, February 9, 1951)

Ernest Hutcheson was a pianist of Australian birth. He studied with Max Vogrich in Australia, with Carl Reinecke at the Leipzig Conservatory, and with Bernhard Stavenhagen. In 1900, he was appointed head of the piano department of the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. In 1912, he became part of the faculty at the Juilliard School. Hutcheson published The Elements of Piano Technique and The Literature of the Piano.


Jadassohn, Salomon

German (Breslau, now Wroclaw, August 13, 1831 — Leipzig, February 1, 1902)

Salomon Jadassohn was a composer, theorist, teacher and conductor. He studied with Liszt in Weimar and taught the piano, harmony, counterpoint and composition at the Leipzig Conservatory. His students included Busoni, Delius and Grieg.


Jaëll, Alfred

Austrian (Trieste, March 5, 1832 — Paris, February 27, 1882)

Alfred Jaëll was firstly taught the violin and piano by his father Eduard Jaëll. He was a piano virtuoso and a friend of Franz Liszt. Jaëll was court pianist at Hanover and was a pianist admired by his interpretations of Chopin. He composed a handful of virtuoso works and paraphrases. He married the pianist Marie Trautmann in 1866.


Kalkbrenner, Frédéric

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

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

[See the Frédéric Kalkbrenner Tradition]


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]


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.


Lang, Benjamin Johnson

American (Salem, United States, December 28, 1837 — Boston, April 4, 1909)

A multifaceted musician, he was recognized as a chamber music performer and accompanist as well as a marvelous improviser on the organ. He appeared frequently with the Mendelssohn Quintette Club, and conducted the premiere of Tchaikovsky´s First Piano Concerto with the Boston Symphony in 1875, with Hans von Bülow at the piano. He was a pioneer with the edition and printing of program notes, including the type of paper used and the text layout in order to avoid unnecessary page turning in quiet places of the music. 


Lenz, Wilhelm von

Russian (Riga, May 20 or June 1, 1809 — Saint Petersburg, January 7 or 19, 1883)

Appointed Imperial Russian Councilor of State in Saint Petersburg, he made the acquaintance of Chopin and Berlioz in Paris. He was an enthusiastic writer of music, and especially valuable is his book Beethoven et ses trois styles, in which he divided Beethoven´s style in three periods: early, middle and late. However, it was Fétis who firstly proposed this division.


Liszt, Franz

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

Pianist, conductor, teacher and composer, he is indisputably one of the greatest piano virtuosi of all time and a pioneer in different areas: he is the father of modern piano technique, inventor of the piano recital, the masterclass and of novel concepts in orchestral conducting. He performed complete concerts by memory, performed works from the entire history of the keyboard literature and always opened the lid of the piano towards the audience. His compositions envisioned new harmonic paths which greatly influenced Debussy, Ravel or Scriabin. Born in the Burgenland, a region which nowadays belongs to Austria, located at about 100 kms from Vienna, Liszt´s native tongue was German and he never became fluent or comfortable in Hungarian. His father, Adam, an amateur musician who worked for a long time at the Esterházy estates and met Joseph Haydn, gave him his first music lessons. During his travels, Liszt met Beethoven, Brahms, Anton Rubinstein, Chopin, Schumann, Berlioz, Alkan, Hiller, Grieg and many other contemporary figures. A student of Czerny, Salieri, Reicha and Ferdinando Paer, he went on extended concert tours in Europe, England, Scotland, Russia, Turkey, Spain and Portugal, playing numerous and populated recitals such as the one offered at La Scala in Milan for 3000 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, the 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 numerous sets of pieces including the Années de Pèlerinage, Harmonies Poétiques et Religieuses, as well as the Ballades and the Mephisto Waltzes. Liszt also made numerous 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 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]


Litolff, Henry

French (London, August 7, 1818 — Bois-Colombes, August 5, 1891)

Henry Litolff was a composer and pianist. He studied with his father and with Ignaz Moscheles. He probably studied with Pierre Zimmermann in Paris. Hans von Bülow was among his students. He promoted the cultural life while in Brunswick and attracted such figures as Berlioz, Liszt and Anton Rubinstein. He composed four piano concertos symphoniques, Les octaves op. 106 and numerous characteristic pieces. He was likely the first composer to introduce the triangle and the piccolo in a keyboard concerto.


Martini, Padre Giovanni Battista

Italian (Bologna, April 24, 1706 — Bologna, August 3, 1784)

Padre Martini was one of the most influential and renowned musicians of the 18th century. Ordained a priest in 1729, he taught counterpoint to numerous pupils who became famous composers, including J.C. Bach, Mozart, Grétry and Jommelli. According to historian Charles Burney, Martini gathered a colossal library of approximately 17,000 volumes. He maintained correspondence with such prominent figures as Agricola, Locatelli, Marpurg, Metastasio, Quantz and Rameau. Martini composed a number of sonatas and concertos for the keyboard, among other works.


Mason, William

American (Boston, January 24, 1829 — New York, July 14, 1908)

Born into a family of composers, music publishers and instrument builders, he was the son of composer Lowell Mason and a protégé of Liszt. His recollections of Liszt´s Weimar life were published in 1901 as Memories of a Musical Life. With Theodore Thomas, he established the Mason and Thomas Chamber Music Soirées, which contributed to present Romantic works to the American public. Mason was likely one of the first pianists to perform without accompanying musicians, although he abandoned the stage to devote his life to teaching in New York. His pedagogical publications include A Method for the Piano-Forte, A System for Beginners, A System of Technical Exercises for the Piano-Forte and Touch and Technique, his most widely known work and which spread his famous “Mason touch”. He also composed over 50 virtuoso piano pieces.  


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.


Michalowski, Aleksander

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.


Mikowsky, Solomon

Cuban-American (Havana, March 10, 1936)

Solomon Mikowsky is a pianist and teacher. His father was Belorussian, and his mother was Polish. He studied with César Pérez Sentenat in Cuba and with Sasha Gorodnitzki at the Juilliard School in New York. He also received a doctoral degree from Columbia University. He taught at the Manhattan School of Music and was a member of the Artist Faculty at the Chicago College of Performing Arts.


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.


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.


Perabo, Ernst

German-American (Wiesbaden, November 14, 1845 — Boston, October 29, 1920)

Ernst Perabo was a pianist, teacher and composer. He received his first piano lessons from his father. At the age of 12, he was capable to perform the complete Bach´s Well tempered clavier from memory. He studied in Germany with Johann Andersen and then with Moscheles and Reinecke at the Leipzig Conservatory. Amy Beach was one of his students. Perabo composed Moment musical op. 1, Scherzo op. 2, Circumstance and Pensées op. 11 and a number of transcriptions of works by Sullivan, Beethoven or Schubert.


Perkins, Walton

American (Rome, New York, November 16, 1847 — Chicago, February 8, 1929)

Walton Perkins was a pianist and educator. He studied with S.B. Mills, Alfred H. Pease, Theodor Kullak and Anton Rubinstein. In Chicago, he helped William Sherwood in the foundation of the Sherwood School of Music in 1897. From 1907, he was the president of the Chicago Conservatory of Music. He composed a number of piano works.


Plaidy, Louis

German (Hubertusburg, Saxony, November 28, 1810 — Grimma, Saxony, March 3, 1874)

He was a famous pedagogue and, after Mendelssohn´s invitation, he became a teacher at the Leipzig Conservatory. Although he initially toured as a concert violinist, he gradually became interested in piano and his technical aspects. He published numerous books of technical studies such as Technische Studien: für das Pianofortespiel.

[See the Louis Plaidy Tradition]


Pleyel, Marie Denise Moke

French (Paris, September 4, 1811 — St Josse-ten-Noode, near Brussels, March 30, 1875)

Mariel Pleyel was a pianist, teacher and composer. When she was 19 years old, she taught at a school in Paris where Ferdinand Hiller and Hector Berlioz also were among the faculty. She got engaged to Berlioz, but a few months after she married composer and pianist Camille Pleyel, whom she ended up divorcing in 1835. She was the dedicatee of Chopin´s Nocturnes op. 9, Kalkbrenner´s Fantaisie et variations sur une mazourka de Chopin op. 120 and Liszt´s Réminiscences de Norma. Marie Pleyel as admired by Mendelssohn and Liszt, with whom she performed four-hand duets. She concertized in Bonn, Leipzig, Vienna, Saint Petersburg, Paris and London. She taught at the Brussels Conservatory between 1848 and 1872 and, according to Fétis, she laid the foundation of the Belgian school of piano playing. Pleyel wrote some piano works including the Rondo parisien pour piano op. 1 and the Fantasia on motifs from Weber´s Preciosa.


Potter, Cipriani

English (London, October 3, 1792 — London, September 26, 1871)

Cipriani Potter was a pianist, composer, conductor and teacher. The name Cipriani was taken from his godmother who claimed to be a sister of the painter Giovanni Baptista Cipriani, who belonged to the inner circle of J.C. Bach and C.F. Abel. Potter was a cultivated person, spoke four languages and was a mathematician. In Vienna, he met Beethoven, who advised Potter on his scores. Potter offered the first British performances of a number of Mozart concertos. He was an accomplished conductor, always appearing standing and without a baton. In 1822, Potter was appointed the first piano teacher at the Royal Academy of Music. His piano output includes 3 piano concertos, Sonata op. 3, Sonata op. 4, Enigma Variations op. 5, Three Toccatas op. 9, Studies in All the Major and Minor Keys op. 19 and a handful of other compositions. Potter produced score editions of various composers including the complete piano music of Mozart.

[See the Cipriani Potter Tradition]


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.


Reinecke, Carl

German (Altona, June 23, 1824 — Leipzig, March 10, 1910)

Active as pianist, composer, conductor, teacher, administrator and even as a 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 top and famous school in Europe. In Leipzig, he also conducted the Gewandhaus Orchestra. As a composer, he wrote a substantial amount of works including piano sonatinas, exercises and four piano concertos and was remarkably noted in the “Hausmusik” style. He also wrote books and essays on music subjects. 

[See the Carl Reinecke Tradition]


Rendano, Alfonso

Italian (Carolei, April 5, 1853 — Rome, September 10, 1931)

Alfonso Rendano was a pianist and composer. He studied with Sigismond Thalberg in Naples and with Georges Mathias in Paris. He also studied at the Leipzig Conservatory with Reinecke and Richter. Rendano concertized in several cities in Europe. He met Liszt and Bülow. The pedale Rendano or pedale indipendente was introduced by Rendano in order to extend certain chord vibrations. He taught in Naples and Rome. As a composer, he wrote the Piano concerto, Alla gavotta, Rondoletto and Montanaro Calabro.


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. 


Rivé-King [née Rivé], Julie

American (Cincinnati, October 31, 1854 — Indianapolis, July 24, 1937)

Married to her manager Frank H. King, she concertized in the United States and Canada performing a vast repertory including over 300 works by 75 composers. Piano firms such as Steinway, Chickering, Decker Brothers and Weber sponsored many of her concert tours. She taught at the Bush Conservatory in Chicago. Her husband published many of his compositions under her name.


Rubinstein, Artur

Polish-American (Łódź, January 28, 1887 — Geneva, December 20, 1982)

An extraordinary talent since an early age and endowed with a phenomenal capacity for sight-reading, his early music instruction was undertaken by Joseph Joachim. At the age of 13, he 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]


Rudorff, Ernst

German (Berlin, January 18, 1840 — Berlin, December 31, 1916)

Pianist, conductor, composer and teacher, he was 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. He 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.


Safonov, Vasily Ilyich

Russian (Cossack settlement, near Itsyursk, Caucasus, February 6, 1852 — Kislovodsk, Caucasus, February 27, 1918)

Vasily Safonov was a pianist, teacher, conductor and composer. His father was a Cossack general. In 1862, the family moved to Saint Petersburg, where Safonov studied the piano with Theodore Leschetizky and Louis Brassin. He graduated from the Saint Petersburg Conservatory with gold medal and taught there until 1885, when he was appointed professor at the Moscow Conservatory and, later, its director in 1889. Safonov spent some time in United States, where he conducted orchestras such as the LSO and New York Philharmonic and was appointed director of the National Conservatory in New York. Scriabin, Medtner and the Lhévinnes were among his pupils. Safonov wrote a pedagogical book, New Formula for the Piano Teacher and the Piano Student.


Samaroff [née Hickenlooper], Olga

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

She 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 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 and was married to Leopold Stokowski between 1911 and 1923.

[See the Olga Samaroff Tradition]


Samuel, Harold

English (London, May 23, 1879 — London, January 15, 1937)

Harold Samuel was a pianist. He studied at the Royal College of Music with Dannreuther. He became an expert in performing Bach on the piano and memorized all his keyboard works. He taught at the RCM.


Schumann [née Wieck], Clara

German (Leipzig, September 13, 1819 — Frankfurt, May 20, 1896)

One of the greatest and most influential concert pianists of all time and admired by Paganini, Chopin and Liszt, 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 herself. 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 lasting 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 a 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]


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. 


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.


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 Pre3fecture 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.


Sterndale Bennett, Sir William

English (Sheffield, April 13, 1816 — London, February 1, 1875)

William Sterndale Bennett was a composer. He entered the Royal Academy of Music at the age of ten and studied piano with Cipriani Potter as well as the violin and composition. He taught music at Cambridge University. His piano output includes piano concertos and a number of pieces.


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. 


Stavenhagen, Bernhard

German (Greiz, November 24, 1862 — Geneva, December 25, 1914)

Pianist, conductor and composer and one of Liszt´s favorite pupils at the end of his life. Stavenhagen performed Liszt´s First Piano Concerto at his debut concert in London, with Liszt in the audience. He concertized in Europe, Russia and North America with great acclaim. He held positions for the Grand Duke of Weimar, for the Hofoper and as Kapellmeister at the court in Munich. He produced a few piano roll recordings and composed piano works including the Concerto in B minor op. 4.

[See the Bernhard Stavenhagen Tradition]


Sternberg, Constantin

Russian (St. Petersburg, July 9, 1852 — Philadelphia, March 31, 1924)

Court pianist in Mecklenburg, he concertized in Europe, Russia, Egypt, Asia Minor and in the United States. He was director of the College of Music at the Atlanta Female Academy and organized a Wagner Festival in Atlanta in 1888. He edited music for Schirmer and published articles on Musical Quarterly. He premiered Xaver Scharwenka´s Second Piano Concerto in the USA.


Sullivan, Sir Arthur

English (Lambeth, London, May 13, 1842 — London, November 22, 1900)

Sir Arthur Sullivan was a composer and conductor of Irish ancestry. He became famous for his operettas written in conjunction with W.S. Gilbert. Sullivan studied the piano with Sterndale Bennett at the Royal Academy of Music and with Ignaz Moscheles and Louis Plaidy at the Leipzig Conservatory.


Tausig, Aloys

Polish (Prague, 1820 — Warsaw, March 14, 1885)

A competent professional pianist and student of Sigismond Thalberg, he was the father of Carl Tausig and his first piano teacher.


Tausig, Carl

Polish (Warsaw, November 4, 1841 — Leipzig, July 17, 1871)

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. He 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. 


Taylor, Franklin

English (Birmingham, February 5, 1843 — London, March 19, 1919)

Franklin Taylor was a pianist, organist and teacher. He studied piano with Charles Flavell and then at the Leipzig Conservatory with Louis Plaidy and Ignaz Moscheles. He also worked in Paris with Clara Schumann. In 1876, he was appointed professor at the National Training School of Music, later merged into the Royal College of Music. Taylor was president of Beringer´s Academy for the Higher Development of Pianoforte Playing and was director of the Philharmonic Society. He published a number of articles in the Grove´s Dictionary and published books on piano including Technique and Expression in Pianoforte Playing and Primer of Pianoforte Playing as well as a series of Progressive Studies for the Pianoforte.


Thalberg, Sigismond

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

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

[See the Sigismond Thalberg Tradition]


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.


Vogler, Abbé Georg Joseph

German (Würzburg, June 15, 1749 — Darmstadt, May 6, 1814)

Abbé Vogler was a keyboard player, theorist, teacher, organ designer and composer. He precluded Romanticism in music through his chromatic harmony and colorful orchestration, with the use of folk materials. He studied music with Padre Martini in Bologna, theology and also law in Würzburg and Bamberg. Pope Pius VI named him Knight of the Golden Spur. Upon his return to Mannheim, Vogler published several pedagogical treatises and opened a music school. He travelled extensively and lived in Paris, London, Munich, Stockholm, Gibraltar, Tangiers, Copenhagen, Berlin, Prague and Vienna, where he met Haydn. Vogler composed ka number of keyboard works including concertos and Variations on Air de Marlborough.


Vogrich, Max Wilhelm Carl

Austrian (Hermannstadt, Transylvania, now Romania, January 24, 1852 — New York, June 10, 1916)

Max Vogrich was a pianist and composer and a child prodigy. He studied in Leipzig with Carl Reinecke and Ignaz Moscheles. He concertized in Europe, South America, Australia and the United States. His works include piano concertos, Passpied, Staccato caprice and Valse brillante.


Weber, Bedrich Diviš

Bohemian (Velichov, October 9, 1766 — Prague, December 25, 1842)

Bedrich Weber was a composer, pianist and teacher. Besides music, he studied theology, philosophy and law. He contributed to the foundation of an institution which led to the establishment of the Prague Conservatory and was an influential figure in raising the musical standards in his native land. His piano works include rondos, variations, marches and minuets.


Wenzel, Ernst Ferdinand

German (Eibau, January 25, 1808 — Bad Kösen, August 16, 1880)

Ernst Wenzel was a pianist and teacher. He studied with Friedrich Wieck and taught at the Leipzig Conservatory. Among his students were Leoš Janáček and Edvard Grieg.


Wieck, Friedrich

German (Pretzsch, near Torgau, August 18, 1785 — Loschwitz, near Dresden, October 6, 1873)

An important 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]


Zimmermann, Pierre-Joseph-Guillaume

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

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

[See the Pierre Zimmermann Tradition]


© 2021, by Daniel Pereira