The Bernhard Stavenhagen Tradition

Piano Traditions Through Their Genealogy Trees

© 2022, by Daniel Pereira

Doctor of Musical Arts |




Alves de Sousa, Berta

Portuguese (Liège, Belgium, April 8, 1906 — Porto, August 1, 1997)

Berta Alves de Sousa was a composer, teacher and critic. She studied at the Porto Conservatory and with Wilhelm Backhaus, Theodor Szántó, Georges Migot, Vianna da Motta and Alfred Cortot. Alves de Sousa was critic for the Primeiro de Janeiro and teacher at the Porto Conservatory.


Brendel, Alfred

Austrian (Wiesenberg, Moravia, now the Czech Republic, January 5, 1931)

Alfred Brendel is a pianist and writer of German, Austrian, Italian and Slav ancestry. He spent most of his childhood traveling with his family in Austria and Yugoslavia. He admits he was not a child prodigy, nor he has an extraordinary ability for sight-reading or memorizing. However, his discography is one of the largest ever made and he was the first pianist ever to record Beethoven´s complete piano works in the 1960s for Vox. Particularly admired are his interpretations of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert. He often performed with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. Brendel is also active as an essayist, poet and painter.


Busoni, Ferruccio

Italian (Empoli, Tuscany, April 1, 1866 — Berlin, July 27, 1924)

Ferrucio Busoni was a pianist and composer. Born in the region of Tuscany, his family moved to Trieste in the Northern part of the country when he was only a few months old and, as a result, he was influenced by a Germanic atmosphere. His father, who gave Busoni his first piano instruction focused on Bach, was a virtuoso clarinet player, and his Austrian-born mother was a pianist. Although Busoni was baptized Catholic, he was fundamentally an atheist. He entered the Vienna Conservatory at the age of nine but, unhappy with the curriculum of studies, left after only two years. He taught at the Helsinki College of Music, New England Conservatory in the USA and at the Vienna Conservatory, and also in Switzerland and Moscow, where he married Gerda Sjöstrand. He enjoyed giving “historical recitals”, inspired by Anton Rubinstein, such as the six concerts he performed in Berlin in 1911 championing the music of Liszt or the series of eight recitals devoted to the keyboard literature since J.S. Bach. His extensive output includes works of a broad compositional spectrum including the monumental Piano Concerto (with a male chorus finale), Fantasia contrappuntistica, Suite Campestre, 24 Preludi, Sonata in F, Sonatina Seconda and the Toccata. The letters “BV” or “KiV” following his compositions refer to Jürgen Kindermann´s catalogue. Busoni mastered an extensive repertory and produced a number of Bach transcriptions such as the organ preludes and the Chaconne and published an annotated edition of the Well-tempered clavier and of Liszt´s works for the Franz-Liszt-Stiftung. He made several 78-rpm and piano-roll recordings including Liszt´s Feux follets and Réminiscences de Don Juan.

[See the Ferruccio Busoni Tradition]


Castro, Juan José

Argentine (Avellaneda, Buenos Aires, March 7, 1895 — Buenos Aires, September 5, 1968)

Juan José Castro was a composer and conductor. He studied piano and violin with Manuel Posadas. Thanks to the Europa Prize, he went to Paris to study piano with Risler at the Schola Cantorum. He was the conductor of orchestras such as the Havana Symphony, Melbourne Symphony or the Argentine National Symphony. He taught at the Puerto Rico Conservatory and at the National Music Academy in Argentina. He was one of the founders of the group Renovación in 1929. Castro composed sonatas and tangos for piano among other works. His brother was the composer, conductor and cellist José María Castro.


Costa, Luís António Ferreira da

Portuguese (São Pedro, September 25, 1879 — Oporto, January 7, 1960)

Luís Costa was a pianist and teacher. Heir of Liszt´s piano tradition through his teachers Conrad Ansorge, José Vianna da Motta and Bernhard Stavenhagen, he also studied with Busoni and was director of the Porto Conservatory. Costa frequently played with such noted musicians as Casals, Hekking, Cortot and Enesco. He married pianist Leonilde Moreira de Sá, a pupil of Vianna da Motta. Two of their daughters became prominent musicians: pianist Helena de Sá e Costa and cellist Madalena de Sá e Costa.


Curzon, Sir Clifford

English (London, May 18, 1907 — London, September 1, 1982)

Married to the harpsichordist Lucille Wallace, he won the Macfarren Gold Medal while at the Royal Academy of Music. He combined concertizing with periods of studying with no public appearances. He premiered works such as the Rawsthorne´s Second Piano Concerto and the Berkeley Sonata, dedicated to him. Although he played a broad repertoire, he was admired for his interpretation of the Classical composers. He was made CBE in 1958.


D´Albert, Eugène Francis Charles 

German (Glasgow, April 10, 1864 — Riga, March 3, 1932)

Eugène 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 regarded 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. D´Albert was the dedicatee of Strauss´s Burleske. He wrote piano concertos, a suite and a good number of operas. His Bach transcriptions and editions were highly praised and equaled to those of Busoni. Among D´Albert´s six wives was Venezuelan pianist Teresa Carreño.


Decombes, Émile

French (Nîmes, August 9, 1829 — Paris, May 5, 1912)

Émile Decombes was a pianist and teacher. He was one of the last pupils of Chopin in Paris. He taught preparatory piano at the Paris Conservatoire between 1875 and 1899 and had Cortot, Risler, Ravel and Satie among his pupils. Decombes edited a number of piano arrangements of piano concertos in École du piano – Choix de Concertos des Maîtres.


Diémer, Louis-Joseph

French (Paris, February 14, 1843 — Paris, December 21, 1919)

Louis Diémer was a pianist, composer and teacher. He studied with A.F. Marmontel at the Paris Conservatoire where he obtained premiers prix in solfège, piano, harmony and accompaniment and counterpoint and fugue. Since 1887, he started teaching at the Conservatoire where his pupils included Cortot, Risler and Robert Casadesus. As a composer, Diémer wrote the Concert piece, op. 31 and the Concerto op. 31, both for piano and orchestra, Méthode supérieure de piano and over 70 piano piece and transcriptions.

[See the Louis Diémer Tradition]


Février, Jacques

French (Saint-Germain-en-Laye, July 26, 1900 — Epinal, September 2, 1979)

Jacques Février was a pianist and teacher. He studied with Edouard Risler and Marguerite Long at the Paris Conservatoire where he obtained the Premier Prix in 1921. He premiered Poulenc´s Concerto for two pianos with the composer and was the first French pianist to play Ravel´s Concerto for the left hand in France and the United States. Frévier´s recording of the complete piano works of Ravel was awarded with a Grand Prix du Disque in 1963.


Fischer, Edwin

Swiss (Basle, October 6, 1886 — Zürich, January 24, 1960)

Pianist and conductor, he was recognized as an expressive and scholarly interpreter, and for recording the first-ever complete Well-tempered clavier in the 1930s. His interpretations of Bach and Mozart were especially praised. He edited the Mozart´s sonatas and keyboard works by J.S. Bach. Fischer composed songs and small piano pieces as well as cadenzas for some Mozart and Beethoven piano concertos.


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.


Jedliczka, Ernst

Russian-German (Poltava, May 24, 1855 — Berlin, August 3, 1904)

Ernst Jedliczka was a pianist, pedagogue and critic. His father was the composer Alois Jedliczka. He studied with Anton and Nikolay Rubinstein and Karl Klindworth at the Moscow Conservatory, where he taught from 1880 to 1887. He also taught at the Klindworth-Scharwenka and Stern conservatories in Berlin. Arthur Nevin and Olga Samaroff were among his students.


Kaan, Ludovika von

Professor of Alfred Brendel at the Graz Conservatory.


Klindworth, Karl Ludwig 

German (Hanover, September 25, 1830 — Stolpe, near Oranienburg, July 27, 1916)

Karl Klindworth was a pianist, composer and teacher. His first musical instruction was on the violin and later he was self-taught on the piano. While studying with Liszt, he created the “Society of Murls” along with Bülow, Mason and others, in order to promote the “Music of the Future”, especially the compositions of Liszt and Wagner. Klindworth worked on the piano scores of the Ring upon Wagner´s request. While in Moscow, he was friends with Tchaikovsky and contributed to make his music known in the West. His adopted daughter, Winifred Williams, married Siegfried Wagner and became director of the Bayreuth Festival. He lived in London and Berlin, where he was conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic and founded the Klindworth Conservatory, which for a time was merged with Scharwenka´s. He made piano arrangements of Schubert´s Ninth Symphony for two pianos, Tchaikovsky´s Francesca da Rimini for piano, and Mozart´s Requiem for piano duet. As a composer, his output includes the 24 Studies in all the major and minor keys, and he contributed with editions of the Well-tempered clavier, Beethoven´s complete sonatas and Chopin´s entire output.


Kwast, Jacob James

Dutch-German (Nijkerk, Netherlands, November 23, 1852 — Berlin, October 31, 1927)

James Kwast was a pianist, teacher, composer and editor. He studied with his father and with Ferdinand Böhme, Carl Reinecke, Theodor Kullak, Louis Brassin and François-Auguste Gevaert. He settled in Germany in 1833, where he taught at the Cologne, Hoch, Klindworth-Scharwenka and Stern conservatories. He was the pianist for the English premiere of Brahms´ Piano Trio in C minor. The last piece that Clara Schumann ever played in public was the Variations on a theme by Haydn of Brahms, for two pianos, with Kwast as her partner. He wrote a Piano Concerto and made a number of Bach transcriptions, among other pieces, and edited the works of Joseph Haydn. His first wife was the daughter of Ferdinand Hiller and their daughter married the composer Hans Pfitzner, who was a student of Kwast. His second wife was one of his students, Frida Hodapp, who was also a pupil of Busoni and premiered his Concertino.

[See the Jacob James Kwast Tradition]


Kurz, Vilém

Czech (Nemecky Brod, Bohemia, December 23, 1872 — Prague, May 25, 1945)

Vilém Kurz was a pianist and teacher. He taught at the Lviv State Conservatory, in Vienna and at the Prague Conservatory. His students included Rudolf Firkusny, Eduard Steuermann and Pavel Stepan. Kurz reworked Dvorak´s Piano Concerto in G minor and his version has become a part of the standard piano repertoire.

[See the Vilém Kurz Tradition]


Liszt, Franz

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

Franz Liszt was a pianist, conductor, teacher and composer. He is indisputably one of the greatest piano virtuosi of all time and a pioneer in different areas: father of modern piano technique, inventor of the piano recital, the masterclass and of novel concepts in orchestral conducting. He performed complete concerts by memory, performed works from the entire history of the keyboard literature and always opened the lid of the piano towards the audience. His compositions envisioned new harmonic paths which greatly influenced Debussy, Ravel or Scriabin. Born in the Burgenland, a region which nowadays belongs to Austria, located at about 100 kms. from Vienna, Liszt´s native tongue was German, and he never became fluent or comfortable in Hungarian. His father, Adam, an amateur musician who worked for a long time at the Esterházy estates and met Joseph Haydn, gave him his first music lessons. During his travels, Liszt met Beethoven, Brahms, Anton Rubinstein, Chopin, Schumann, Berlioz, Alkan, Hiller, Grieg and many other contemporary figures. A student of Czerny, Salieri, Reicha and Ferdinando Paër, he went on extended concert tours in Europe, England, Scotland, Russia, Turkey, Spain and Portugal, playing numerous and populated recitals such as the one he offered at La Scala in Milan for 3,000 people. At the age of 35, he decided to abandon the stage and devote his time to mostly compose, teach and doing a great deal of travelling, especially to Weimar, Rome and Budapest. Always interested in the live of the saints, religion and spiritual life, he received the four minor Catholic orders in July 1865. He lived at the Vatican for a time and became friends with Pope Pius IX. His compositional output for piano is enormous. His large-scale works include the Sonata in B minor, Dante Sonata and the piano concertos. He went beyond the Romantic concept of the étude with the 12 Transcendental Études, 6 Paganini Études or the several Études de Concert, and wrote numerous Hungarian Rhapsodies. He produced many sets of pieces including the Années de Pèlerinage, Harmonies Poétiques et Religieuses, as well as the Ballades and the Mephisto Waltzes. Liszt also made a number of transcriptions of Bach´s works, Schubert lieder and Beethoven symphonies, and paraphrases on operatic themes such as Rigoletto, Don Juan and Norma. In the late pieces, he explored new harmonic devices, the exploitation of the limits of tonality and atmospheric effects in Nuages Gris, La Lugubre Gondola, Unstern! and Bagatelle sans tonalité. He produced editions of the Beethoven complete sonatas, Field´s nocturnes, Chopin´s complete works, and of pieces by Schubert and Weber. The most authoritative catalogue of Liszt´s works was compiled by British composer Humphrey Searle, hence the use of the letter “S” following the titles of Liszt´s works. Liszt had three children, two of them died during his lifetime, and his daughter Cosima was married to Hans von Bülow before she left him for Richard Wagner. By the end of his life, Liszt suffered from dropsy, fevers and cataracts. He likely died of heart infraction at the age of 74.

[See the Franz Liszt Tradition]


Luboschutz, Pierre

Russian (Odessa, June 17, 1891 —Rockport, April 17, 1971)

Pierre Luboschutz was a pianist. He was a student of Konstantin Igumnov at the Moscow Conservtory, and also took lessons from Felix Blumenfeld and Edouard Risler. His sisters, Lea and Anna Luboschutz, were professional string players and formed a piano trio with their brother Pierre. He frequently appeared in concert with dancer Isadora Duncan, violinists Efrem Zimbalist and Paul Kochanski, and double bassist Serge Koussevitsky. Luboschutz fled Russia in 1925. Subsequently, he taught at the Paris Conservatoire, Curtis Institute, New England Conservatory and Michigan State University. He married pianist Genia Nemenoff in 1931 and formed the renowned Luboschutz-Nemenoff piano duo. They premiered numerous works including Martinu´s Concerto for two pianos and were the only piano duo to perform in concert with Arturo Toscanini.


Moscheles, Ignaz

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

Ignaz Moscheles was a pianist, composer, conductor and teacher of Jewish descent. Besides the piano, he studied counterpoint with Albrechtsberger and composition with Salieri in Vienna, where he met Beethoven. The publisher Artaria commissioned him to write a piano reduction of Beethoven´s opera Fidelio. Clementi and Cramer regarded him as an equal and friend, as well as Mendelssohn, whom he taught piano. Moscheles also met Chopin and played with him his Grande sonata op. 47. He taught at the Royal Academy of Music and was conductor of the Philharmonic Society, conducting the first performance of Beethoven´s Missa Solemnis in London in 1832. He also taught at the Leipzig Conservatory. Moscheles translated and edited Schindler´s biography of Beethoven and published it as The Life of Beethoven. He established the “historical soirées” in London which championed early music played on the harpsichord. He commissioned Chopin´s Trois nouvelles études for his piano method. He composed numerous piano works including the Sonate mélancolique op. 49, La marche d´Alexandre op. 32, Präeludien op. 73, sonatas, fantasias, rondos, variations, etudes opp. 70 and 95, piano concertos, and the Hommage á Händel op. 92 for two pianos.

[See the Ignaz Moscheles Tradition]


Nemenoff, Genia

French (Paris, October 23, 1905 — September 19, 1989)

Genia Nemenoff was a pianist of Russian descent. She studied with Wager Swayne and also with Isidor Philipp at the Paris Conservatoire. Nemenoff taught at the New England Conservatory and Michigan State University. She married pianist Pierre Luboschutz in 1931 and formed the renowned Luboschutz-Nemenoff piano duo. They premiered numerous works including Martinu´s Concerto for two pianos and were the only piano duo to perform in concert with Arturo Toscanini.


Reddie, Charles

Charles Reddie was a pianist and teacher. He was a pupil of Bernhard Stavenhagen and the teacher of Sir Clifford Curzon.


Reinecke, Carl

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

Carl Reinecke was a pianist, composer, conductor, teacher, administrator, painter and poet. He received a complete music instruction from his father J.P. Rudolf Reinecke. He was appointed court pianist in Copenhagen in 1846 and taught counterpoint and piano at Hiller´s conservatory in Cologne and at the Leipzig Conservatory, which he also directed and transformed into a famous school in Europe. In Leipzig, Reinecke also conducted the Gewandhaus Orchestra. As a composer, he wrote a substantial amount of works including piano sonatinas, exercises and four piano concertos. He was remarkably noted in the “Hausmusik” style. Reinecke also wrote books and essays on music subjects. 

[See the Carl Reinecke Tradition]


Risler, Edouard

French (Baden-Baden, February 23, 1873 — Paris, July 21, 1929)

Edouard Risler was a pianist. He was of Alsatian and German descent. He 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. He 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]


Rudorff, Ernst

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

Ernst Rudorff was a pianist, conductor, composer and teacher born into a cultural and intellectual family. His mother was a friend of Mendelssohn and his father a law professor. Besides music, he studied Theology and History. He taught at the Cologne Conservatory and at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik and succeeded Bruch as conductor of the Stern Choral Society. Rudorff was a close friend of Clara Schumann, who also taught him for a short period. He produced a number of piano compositions including the Fantasie op. 14, Romanzen op. 48 and the Impromptu op. 51. He was a member of the editorial committee of Denkmäler Deutscher Tonkunst.


Sá e Costa, Helena

Portuguese (Porto, May 23, 1913 — Porto, January 8, 2006)

Helena Sá e Costa was a pianist and teacher. She was a crucial figure in Portugal´s piano scene. Her parents were pianists Luís Costa and Leonilda Moreira de Sá e Costa. She succeeded Vianna da Motta at the Lisbon Conservatory and also taught at the Porto Conservatory, founded by her grandfather. She played Bach concertos with Edwin Fischer throughout Europe and was the first pianist to perform the complete Bach´s Well-tempered clavier in Portugal. She had a tremendous performing career playing recitals, concertos and chamber music, and influenced many generations of pianists. 

[See the Helena Costa Tradition]


Samaroff [née Hickenlooper], Olga

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

Olga Samaroff was a pianist and teacher. 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 and held 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. Samaroff published The Layman´s Music Book and was married to Leopold Stokowski between 1911 and 1923.

[See the Olga Samaroff Tradition]


Schumann [née Wieck], Clara

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

Clara Schumann was a pianist and composer. She was one of the greatest and most influential concert pianists of all time and was admired by Chopin, Liszt and Paganini. She was Robert Schumann´s wife and contributed to promote her husband´s music by performing and editing it. Her father and teacher was Friedrich Wieck, who not only taught her the piano but supervised her career and general education until her late teens. Her mother Marianne came from a family of musicians and was an accomplished singer and pianist. Clara concertized all over Europe, travelling to the British Isles over 19 times, not only performing but acting as her own manager. She was regarded as a piano equal to Liszt, Thalberg and Anton Rubinstein and was known in Europe as the “Queen of the Piano”, with a career that lasted for about 60 years. She was one of the pioneers in performing from memory, without assisting artists, a with a detailed attention to the music text, designing shorter concert programs in order to keep the audience´s attention. Her compositions include the Piano Concerto in F, Variations on a Theme by Robert Schumann, Impromptus, Trois Romances and Souvenir de Vienne. She edited the works of Robert Schumann and arranged works of Brahms and Sterndale Bennett for piano. Composer and conductor Woldemar Bargiel was Clara´s half-brother.

[See the Schumann/Wieck Tradition]


Soriano, Joaquín

Spanish (Corbón del Sil, January 5, 1941)

Joaquín Soriano is a pianist. He studied at the Paris Conservatoire with Vlado Perlemuter and Heuclin and in Vienna with Alfred Brendel. He was awarded the first prize at the Viotti and Jaén competitions. He taught at the Real Conservatorio of Madrid from 1980.


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.


Stavenhagen, Bernhard

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

Bernhard Stavenhagen was a pianist, conductor and composer. He was 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. Stavenhagen 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]


Steuermann, Edward

Polish-American (Sambor, June 18, 1892 — New York, November 11, 1964)

Edward Steuermann was a pianist and composer. He studied with Vilém Kurz and Ferruccio Busoni. He premiered many of the piano works by Schoenberg and presented new pieces by Scriabin to Vienna audiences. In 1838, he moved to the United States where he taught at The Juilliard School since 1952. Among his pupils were Theodor Adorno, Alfred Brendel, Lorin Hollander, Joseph Kalichstein, Lili Kraus, Moura Lympany and Russell Sherman. He composed a number of works and made a piano transcription of Schoenberg´s Chamber Symphony op. 9.


Urban, Wilhelm

Wilhelm Urban was an early teacher of Bernhard Stavenhagen in the city of Greiz.


© 2022, by Daniel Pereira