The Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Tradition
Piano Traditions Through Their Genealogy Trees
© 2021, by Daniel Pereira
Doctor of Musical Arts | www.daniel-pereira.com
Argentine-Swiss (Buenos Aires, June 5, 1941)
Martha Argerich is a pianist. Her paternal ancestors were Catalonian, and her maternal grandparents were Jewish who emigrated from the Russian Empire. Argerich made her début at the age of eight in Buenos Aires performing Mozart´s D minor Concerto KV 266, Beethoven´s First Piano Concerto and Bach´s French Suite no. 5. In 1957, at the age of 16, she won both the Busoni and Geneva competitions and, in 1965, she won first prize in the Chopin competition in Warsaw. When Argerich was 19, she made a recording for Deutsche Grammophone featuring Prokofiev´s Toccata and Liszt´s Sixth Hungarian Rhapsody. At the peak of her performing concert career, she played over 150 concerts a year. Gradually, she started avoiding solo piano recitals and began to appear more frequently in chamber music with Nelson Freire, Stephen Bishop-Kovacevich, Gidon Kremer, Mischa Maisky and others, as well as with orchestra. Argerich has supported young musicians over the years including Sergio Tiempo, Gabrielle Baldocci and Gabriela Montero. She is the president of the International Piano Academy Lake Como. She has made numerous recordings. Argerich married three times: to Chinese composer conductor Robert Chen, to Swiss conductor Charles Dutoit, and to pianist Stephen Kovacevich. One of her daughters, Stéphanie, made the film Bloody Daughter, a documentary on her mother. Martha Argerich is a cancer survivor.
Polish-Belgian (Lemberg, July 10, 1896 — Cologne, October 18, 1985)
Stefan Askenase was a pianist and teacher. During the World War II, he served in the Autro-Hungarian army. He concertized extensively over the course of six decades. Askenase taught at the Cairo Conservatory between 1922 and 1925. Subsequently, he returned to Europe and settled in Brussels, where he taught at the Royal Conservatory and became a Belgian citizen. Askenase also taught at the Rotterdam Conservatory. He recorded most of Chopin´s piano works for Deutsche Grammophon in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1965, Askenase founded The Arts and Music Society, whose main objective was to preserve the historical Rolandseck railway station upon the river Rhine. Upon its restoration, the station became an important concert venue.
English (London, baptized November 23, 1765 — London, March 24, 1838)
Thomas Attwood was a composer and organist. He benefited from royal patronage for most of his life. Attwood lived in Naples and in Vienna, where he studied composition with Mozart. He was one of the founding professors of the Royal Academy of Music in 1823. Attwood produced a few keyboard compositions including piano trios and marches, and two works intended for teaching: Easy Progressive Lessons for Young Beginners and A Short Introduction to the Pianoforte.
Austrian (Baptized in Vienna, September 25, 1758 — Vienna, January 30, 1820)
Josepha Auernhammer was a pianist and composer. She studied with Mozart and fell in love with him. They performed together the Sonata for two pianos K. 448 and the Double Concerto K. 365. Mozart dedicated a few sonatas for violin and piano to her. Auernhammer corrected the proofs of several Mozart´s sonatas. When Josepha´s father died, Mozart helped her to find new lodging quarters. She composed a number of piano works, especially sets of variations on themes by Paisiello, Viganò, Salieri, Cherubini and Mozart.
German-Swiss (Leipzig, March 26, 1884 — Villach, July 5, 1969)
Wilhelm Backhaus was a pianist. He was largely self-taught after the age of 15. Backhaus has become known for posterity for making the first recordings of a piano concerto (Grieg´s Concerto in a minor, in 1909) as well as the complete Chopin etudes. Backhaus was a pianist of a formidable technique even at an advanced age, demonstrated by the performance of Brahms´ Second Piano Concerto in London when he was in his 80s, with conductor Otto Klemperer. According to Backhaus, his technique was based on scales, arpeggios and Bach. His international career was launched after winning the Rubinstein Prize in Paris in 1905.
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 brother 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]
Benedict, Sir Julius
British (Stuttgart, November 27, 1804 — London, June 5, 1885)
Sir Julius Benedict was a British composer, conductor and pianist. He was of German Jewish descent. At the age of 15, he was sent to Weimar to study with Hummel, who introduced him to Beethoven. Benedict also studied with Weber, with whom he had a close relationship materialized in a biography of the German composer published in 1881. He lived in Naples for nine years and became a respected musician in Italy. In 1835, Benedict settled in London. In 1850, he toured with Jenny Lind in the United States, conducting many of her concerts. Benedict was a talented pianist and dedicated much of his time to this instrument. He composed three piano concertos, many fantasies on opera themes by Balfe, Bellini, Donizetti, Gounod and Verdi, and on Irish, Scottish and Welsh melodies. He also wrote a number of variations, dances and marches. Benedict published an edition of piano works by Beethoven, Dussek, Mendelssohn and Weber, as well as pedagogical pieces. Benedict died suddenly from heart failure.
Bocklet, Carl Maria von
(Prague, November 30, 1801 — Vienna, July 15, 1881)
Carl Maria von Bocklet was a pianist and violinist. He caused great sensation in Vienna improvising his own free fantasias on the piano. Beethoven wrote recommendation letters for him. Bocklet was in close terms with Franz Schubert and premiered his piano trios. He contributed with one variation to part II of Diabelli´s Vaterländischer Künstlerverein.
Bortkiewicz, Sergei Eduardovich
Russian-Austrian (Kharkiv, February 28, 1877 — Vienna, October 25, 1952)
Sergei Eduardovich Bortkiewicz was a pianist and composer. Although he was an accomplished pianist, he became recognized as a composer and performer of his own works, including the Piano Concerto no. 1 and the Piano Concerto no. 2 for the left hand alone, written and dedicated to Paul Wittgenstein. His compositional style was rooted in the post-Romantic Russian tradition, with influences from Liszt, Chopin and Tchaikovsky. He lived in Russia, Constantinople and Vienna, and became an Austrian citizen in 1926.
German (Hamburg, May 7, 1833 — Vienna, April 3, 1897)
Johannes Brahms was one of the greatest composers of all time. His father made a living by playing in dance halls and taverns. Although Brahms´ upbringing was within a modest family, he was a keen reader of many subjects and amassed a substantial personal library of over 800 volumes, now conserved at the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna. He was fond of folklore and contributed to support his family and himself by playing at the Schänken, in theatres and probably at sailor´s bars. He was in close terms with Joseph Joachim and Clara Schumann, with whom he was likely enamored. In the 1850s, Brahms signed a manifesto against the Music of the Future, particularly that of Liszt. His piano compositions are among the finest in the history of the piano repertoire. He wrote two colossal piano concertos, several sets of variations, three sonatas, ballades, waltzes and the last sets of shorter pieces such as the opp. 116, 117, 118 and 119. He also produced many chamber music works that became part of the standard repertoire. He was diagnosed with liver cancer and died at the age of 63. He is buried in Vienna close to the remains of Beethoven and Schubert.
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.
Austrian (Prossnitz, now Prostějov, November 7, 1846 — Vienna, September 17, 1907)
A friend and member of Johannes Brahms´s inner circle in Vienna, for whom he regularly played, Brüll travelled as concert pianist, including a visit to London in 1878. He taught at the Horák Piano School in Vienna. As composer, he wrote two piano concertos, a sonata and four suites for piano, among other works.
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.
d´Albert, Eugène Francis Charles
German (Glasgow, April 10, 1864 — Riga, March 3, 1932)
d´Albert was a composer, pianist, teacher and editor. Domenico Alberti was one of his ancestors, and his grandfather worked as Napoleon´s assistant. Admired by Anton Rubinstein and Clara Schumann, Liszt considered him among his best students. D´Albert was in close terms with Brahms, whose piano concertos he played under the composer´s baton. Although he mastered a vast repertoire, he particularly excelled in performing the German composers. He was the dedicatee of Strauss´s Burleske. D´Albert wrote piano concertos, a suite and some other pieces, and a good number of operas. His Bach transcriptions and editions were highly praised and equaled to those of Busoni. Teresa Carreño was one of D´Albert´s six wives.
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.
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.
Austrian (Naples, April 20, 1814 — Florence, February 21, 1856)
Theodor Döhler was a pianist and composer. He was a child prodigy and was sent to Vienna around 1829 to study with Czerny. From 1836 to 1846, Döhler toured internationally as a piano virtuoso. After he married the Russian Princess Chermetev, he abandoned the concert stage and settled in Florence in 1848. Döhler composed a Piano Concerto op. 7, Nocturne op. 24, Tarantella op. 39 and Romance sans paroles, among other works.
Dušek, František Xaver
Czech (Chotěborky, near Jaroměř, Bohemia, baptized December 8, 1731 — Prague, February 12, 1799)
František Xaver Dušek was a pianist, composer and teacher. He was a musician of significant influence in Bohemia during the second half of the 18th century. Dušek settled in Prague around 1770, where he became a renowned teacher and pianist. Mozart completed his opera Don Giovanni, and likely La clemenza di Tito, at Dušek´s summer estate near Prague. Among other works, Dušek composed keyboard sonatas, sonatinas and variations.
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.
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.
German (Stuttgart, November 23, 1887 — Tübingen, February 23, 1967)
Walter Georgii was a pianist and teacher. He earned a doctorate in musicology in 1914 writing a dissertation on Carl Maria von Weber. Georgii taught in Cologne and Munich. He published numerous books on piano music including The music for piano for two and four hands from the beginning until today and Forty years of European music for piano.
German (Kornelimünster, January 13, 1898 – Leonberg, February 11, 1980)
Hubert Giesen was a pianist and teacher. He achieved reputation as an accompanist and appeared in concert with such renowned violinists as Adolf Busch, Yehudi Menuhin and Fritz Kreisler. Giesen also performed frequently with tenor Fritz Wunderlich, whom he also mentored. Giesen married opera singer Ellinor Junker in 1943. He taught at the State University of Music and Performing Arts of Stuttgart from 1943 to 1969.
German (Königsberg, now Kaliningrad, December 7, 1840 — Hottingen, near Zürich, December 3, 1876)
Hermann Goetz was a composer. He studied music at the Stern Conservatory in Berlin and mathematics and Hebrew at Königsberg University. He met Brahms in 1865. Goetz suffered from tuberculosis since he was young, and this caused him periods of severe depression. Goetz produced some piano works including the Piano Concerto op. 18, Fantasie, Scherzo and two sonatinas.
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 tu printemps, 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 Henselt published his works with at least 30 publishing firms. Henselt edited the works of about 40 composers, frequently adding extra ornamentation.
German (Filehne, 1853 or 1854 — Bingen, 1922)
Carl Heymann was a pianist, composer and teacher. After his debut, he was described by the critics as “the new Liszt” or “the second Rubinstein”. Heymann suffered from psychological episodes which dwindled his pianistic abilities. He taught at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt am Main from 1879 to 1880 and was succeeded by the young Edward MacDowell. Heymann spent the last years of his life in a mental institution.
German (Frankfurt, October 24, 1811 — Cologne, May 11, 1885)
Ferdinand Hiller was a composer, conductor, pianist and teacher. He became close friends with Berlioz, Chopin, Liszt, Schumann, Wagner and Mendelssohn, who Hiller succeeded as conductor of the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig. Hiller composed the Piano Concerto op. 69, Konzertstück op. 113, Sonata op. 47, and Ghazèles, among other works.
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 Piano Forte 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]
Hymen Cowen, Sir Frederic
English (Kingston, Jamaica, January 29, 1852 — London, October 6, 1935)
Sir Frederic Hymen Cowen was a pianist, conductor and composer. Born in Jamaica, he was brought to England in 1856. At the age of six, he published a waltz and, two years after, an operetta. Hymen Cowen performed with such prominent figures as Joachim, Pezze and with the singer Trebelli. He met Liszt, Brahms, Hanslick and Hans Richter. Although Hymen Cowen concertized for a time as a piano virtuoso, he was most successful as an orchestra conductor, leading such as orchestras as the Hallé Orchestra, Liverpool Philharmonic and Scottish Orchestra. Hymen Cowen published monograph books on Haydn, Mendelssohn, Mozart and Rossini as well as his autobiography My Art and My Friends. His piano oeuvre includes a piano concerto and a Concertstück for piano and orchestra, Minna-Waltz, three Valses caprices, Rondo a la Turque, Fantasy on The Magic Flute and La coquette.
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.
German (Königsberg, now Kaliningrad, January 12, 1837 — Baden-Baden, January 23, 1879)
Adolf Jensen was a composer, conductor and pianist. He was born into a musical family. Jensen was Kapellmeister at theatres in Posen, Bromberg and Copenhagen, where he became close to Niels Gade. He toured with cellist Christian Kellermann. In 1863, Jensen married Friederike Bornträger, the daughter of a publisher. He taught at Tausig´s piano school in Berlin. His brother, Gustav Jensen, was a teacher at the Cologne Conservatory. Jensen composed a number of piano works including Innere Stimmen op. 2, Fantasiestücke op. 7, Romantic Etudes op. 8, Berceuse op. 12, four Impromptus op. 20, 25 Piano études op. 32, as well as works for piano duet.
Australian (Zeehan, Tasmania, January 1, 1908 — Limpsfield, Surrey, March 25, 1991)
Eileen Joyce was a pianist. She was a musically precocious child admired by Percy Grainger and Wilhelm Backhaus upon whose recommendation she went to study at the Leipzig Conservatory. She also studied in London. Joyce gave the first performance in Britain of Prokofiev´s Third Piano Concerto under Sir Henry Wood. She was known for changing the color of her dresses during the performances, according to her theory of associating colors and composers. Joyce recorded a number of solo pieces and the concertos of Ireland and Shostakovich. The film Wherever she goes, released in 1951, poorly portrays the aspects of her life.
English (Hammersmith, London, October 3, 1957 — Beachy Head, near Eastbourne, December 23, 1979)
Terence Judd was a pianist. He had a promising career, which was curtailed because of his premature death. At the age of ten, he won the National Junior Piano Competition and performed at the Royal Albert Hall at 11. He was a finalist at the Busoni, Casagrande and Tchaikovsky competitions, and winner of the British Liszt Competition. On December 16, 1979, after lunch, he left his family home to go for a walk and never returned. His body was found washed up on the beach a few days later. It is generally accepted that Judd took his own life.
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.
Karolyi, Julian von
German (Lučenec, January 31, 1914 — Munich, March 1, 1993)
Julian von Karolyi was a pianist. He came from a noble Hungarian family. Karolyi studied in Budapest, Munich, Leipzig and Paris. He appeared with renowned conductors and toured with bass singer Feodor Chaliapin. Karolyi taught at the Würzburg University.
Köhler, Christian Louis
German (Brunswick, September 5, 1820 — Königsberg, Kaliningrad, February 16, 1886)
An important music critic for over 40 years, Köhler dedicated his life mostly to piano pedagogy, and was influenced by Liszt. He published collections of instructional exercises, editions of Classical and Romantic repertoire and pedagogy books. Particularly remarkable among them is the Systematische Lehrmethode. He wrote a number of piano pieces and was appointed professor by the King of Prussia.
Bohemian (Velvary, June 26, 1747 — Vienna, May 7, 1818)
Leopold Kozeluch was a composer, pianist, teacher and publisher. He was one of the most prominent ambassadors of Czech music in Vienna during the last quarter of the 18th century. He championed the use of the fortepiano instead of the harpsichord. In 1778, Kozeluch settled in Vienna where he became a renowned pianist, teacher and composer. A few years after, his growing reputation and successful professional career allowed him to reject the position as court organist to the Archbishop of Salzburg, succeeding Mozart. In 1792, he was appointed Kammer Kapellmeister and Hofmusik Compositor. Kozeluch published his compositions through his own publishing company. His daughter Catharina Cibbini-Kozeluch was a well-established pianist and composer in Vienna during the early 19th century. Kozeluch composed dozens of sonatas and concertos for either the harpsichord of the piano, and other solo compositions including minuets, dances and caprices.
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.
Lichnowsky, Prince Carl von
Austrian (Vienna, 1756/1758/1761 — Vienna, March 15, 1814)
Prince Carl von Lichnowsky was born into a family of patrons of music. He was a pupil and patron of Mozart, and they belonged to the same masonic lodge. Beethoven, who lived at the Prince´s house when he arrived in Vienna, dedicated the Trios op. 1, the Pathétique and the op. 26 sonatas to him. The Heiligenstadt Testament of 1802 includes a mention of gratitude to the Prince.
American (New York, NY, December 18, 1860 — New York, NY, January 23, 1908)
Edward MacDowell was a composer, pianist and teacher. He had English ancestry on his mother side and Scottish-Irish on his father´s. MacDowell studied at the Paris Conservatoire and at the Hoch Konservatorium in Frankfurt, and also in Stuttgart and Wiesbaden. After he returned to the United States, he lived in Boston and finally settled in New York, where he taught and developed the newly created music program at Columbia University. MacDowell resigned the teaching position at Columbia and fell into a depression afterwards, suffering from insomnia. His mental and physical health declined severely, and he never recovered. Furthermore, he was run over by a Hansom cab in New York in 1904. The first seven opus numbers of his output were published under the pseudonym Edgar Thorne, published between 1896 and 1898. MacDowell composed numerous piano works such as the two piano concertos, four sonatas and miniatures. The most famous of the short pieces were composed between 1896 and 1902, namely, the Woodland Sketches, Sea Pieces, Fireside Tales and New England Idyls. The Venezuelan pianist Teresa Carreño was a champion of MacDowell´s music in the United States.
German (Nienstädten, near Altona, July 23, 1806 — Altona, November 18, 1887)
Appointed Royal Music Director in 1875 in Hamburg, Marxsen was a respected and demanded teacher. His most famous pupil was Johannes Brahms, who dedicated his Second Piano Concerto to him. Marxsen not only taught Brahms the piano but also strict counterpoint and the works of Bach and Beethoven. He composed numerous piano works including the Fantasie “alla moda” über den Kaffee, based on the notes c-a-f-f-e-e, published the same year as Schumann´s Abegg Variations.
[See the Eduard Marxsen Tradition]
Mozart, Franz Xaver Wolfgang
Austrian (Vienna, July 26, 1791 — Carlsbad, July 29, 1844)
The sixth child and younger surviving son of Mozart and Constanze, F.X.W. Mozart studied composition with Salieri, Vogler and Albrechtsberger, among others. Between 1819 and 1821, he toured extensively in Europe and in 1842 the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome named him “maestro compositore onorario”. His compositions show the influence of his teacher Hummel as well as the style of Chopin and Liszt. His works include a number of variations, piano concertos and polonaises.
Austria (Augsburg, November 14, 1719 — Salzburg, May 28, 1787)
Leopold Mozart was a composer and teacher. He was the son of a bookbinder and the father of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Leopold Mozart was an accomplished organist and violinist and also studied philosophy and jurisprudence. In 1763, he was appointed Kapellmeister at the court of Archbishop Leopold Anton Freiherr von Firmian. Mozart married Anna Maria Pertl in 1747. They had seven children of which only Maria Anna “Nannerl” and Wolfgang Amadeus survived. In 1756, Leopold Mozart published his influential Treatise on the Fundamental Principles of Violin Playing. When the precocious genius of Wolfgang Amadeus emerged, Leopold devoted most of his time and effort to educate his gifted child. The family went on extended journeys all over Europe for several years. These experiences had a decisive impact on W.A. Mozart´s artistic development. Leopold Mozart also acted as his son´s proofreader, editor, valet, impresario and travel organizer. L. Mozart composed a handful of keyboard works including several sonatas, Arietto and Scherzo and Fugue and Andante.
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]
Austrian (Vienna, December 21, 1826 — Jugenheim, near Darmstadt, May 9, 1905)
Active as pianist, editor, teacher and writer, his mother came from the family of the renowned piano manufacturing company Streicher. He taught at the Royal Academy of Music, succeeding Cipriani Potter, and at the Royal College of Music in London since its foundation in 1876. His series of historical performances of harpsichord and piano music were a landmark in England´s musical life. He lectured on the history of keyboard music and pedagogy. As editor, he produced Old English Composers for the Virginal and Harpsichord, 12 books of Alte Klaviermusik, 65 issues of Alte Meister and Alte Tänze. He also edited works of Clementi, Moscheles, Mendelssohn and Liszt´s transcriptions of Schubert songs. He made arrangements for piano or piano duets of Beethoven and Schumann symphonies. He published a number of books on music such as The Art of Pianoforte Playing, The Elements of the Beautiful in Music, Musical Forms and a Dictionary of Pianists and Composers for the Pianoforte with an Appendix of Manufacturers of the Instrument. His son was the pianist Max von Pauer.
German (London, October 31, 1866 — Jugenheim, near Darmstadt, May 12, 1945)
Max Pauer was a pianist, teacher and music administrator. He was the son of Ernst Pauer, who taught him until 1881. Max Pauer taught at the Cologne Conservatory and at the Stuttgart Conservatory, succeeding Dionys Pruckner, a Liszt pupil. Pauer was head of the Leipzig Conservatory which he converted into the Hochschule für Musik. He composed a handful of piano pieces and edited numerous works. Pauer also published a new edition of the Lebert-Stark Klavierschule (1904) and an autobiography (1942). His pianism can be heard in a recording of the late 1920s playing Schubert´s Trout Quintet.
Austrian (Innsbruck, April 20, 1875 — Munich, October 12, 1950)
Joseph Pembaur was the son of the composer Josef Pembaur the Elder and the husband of pianist Maria Elterich, with whom he performed two piano recitals. Pembaur was an active teacher and concert pianist. He was juror for the Ibach Prize in Berlin. He composed a handful of piano pieces.
Austrian (Sarmingstein, September 2, 1765 — Bresane, Crotia, before April 1811)
Barbara Ployer was a pianist and composer. She was the daughter of a tax collector. In 1779, after her mother died, she settled in Vienna and lived with her uncle, the Court Councilor Gottfried Ignaz von Ployer. She studied with Mozart who dedicated the piano concertos K 449 and K 453 to her, both of which were premiered by Ployer in 1784.
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, and always appeared 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]
German (Königsberg, November 1, 1863 — Libau, October 3, 1907)
One of Liszt´s predilected students, Reisenauer toured extensively in Russia, Siberia and China. In 1900, he became professor at the Leipzig Conservatory and also taught at the Sondershausen Conservatory in Thuringia. He composed some piano works including the Reisebilder op. 14. Reisenauer recorded ten piano pieces for the Welte-Mignon player piano in 1905. Seemingly, he feared the public and sometimes appeared to be drunk on the stage.
French (Baden-Baden, February 23, 1873 — Paris, July 21, 1929)
Edouard Risler was a pianist and composer. He was of Alsatian and German descent. Risler won the premier prix at the Paris Conservatory in 1889. He carried Liszt´s tradition into the 20th century French pianism through his studies with three of Liszt´s most important pupils, and also as an heir of Chopin via Émile Decombes. He worked in Bayreuth as a stage manager and vocal coach. He was admired as a Beethoven interpreter and offered his first complete cycle of the sonatas in Paris in 1905. He also played contemporary music and is the dedicatee of Dukas Piano Sonata. Risler enjoyed giving monographic recitals including Bach´s entire Well-tempered clavier and concerts featuring the works of Chopin. He made a piano version of Strauss´s Till Eulenspiegel and played in concert Liszt´s piano version of Berlioz´s Symphonie fantastique. He taught at the Paris Conservatory and produced acoustic recordings for Pathé around 1917.
[See the Edouard Risler Tradition]
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]
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 his last few years in a villa in Italy as a viticulturist.
[See the Sigismond Thalberg Tradition]
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]
A student of Karol Mikuli and Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart.
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