The Sigismond Thalberg Tradition

Piano Traditions Through Their Genealogy Trees

© 2021, by Daniel Pereira

Doctor of Musical Arts |


Albanesi, Luigi

Italian (Rome, March 3, 1821 — Naples, 1897)

Luigi Albanesi was a pianist and composer. He was the teacher of Beniamino Cesi. His son Carlo Albanesi (1856 – 1926) was also a pianist and composer who taught at the Royal Academy of Music in London.


Anderson [née Philpot], Lucy

English (Bath, December 12, 1797 — London, December 24, 1878)

Lucy Anderson was a pianist. In 1822, she became the first woman pianist to perform at the Philharmonic Society concerts in London. She taught Princess, later Queen Victoria and her children. Anderson also taught at the Royal Academy of Music. She married violinist and Master of the Queen´s Music George Frederick Anderson. Arabella Goddard was among her students.


Arthur Robinson, Fanny

English (Southampton, September 1831 — Dublin, October 31, 1879)

Fanny Arthur Robinson was a pianist, composer and teacher. She studied in London with William Sterndale Bennett and Sigismond Thalberg. In 1856, she was appointed professor at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Arthur Robinson composed a number of piano pieces including Sentiments, The Hunt, Elf Land and Stella. She suffered from depression and committed suicide at the age of 48.


Barth, Karl-Heinrich

German (Baltiysk, near Kaliningrad, July 12, 1847 — Berlin, December 23, 1922)

Heir of the Liszt tradition passed onto him through four of Liszt´s students, Barth was a famed pianist and teacher, known for his wide repertory and for being a member of the prestigious Barth Trio. He taught at the Stern Conservatory and at the Hochshule für Müsik, both in Berlin.

[See the Karl-Heinrich Barth Tradition]


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.


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.

[See the Charles-Wilfrid de Bériot Tradition]


Bocklet, Carl Maria von

(Prague, November 30, 1801 — Vienna, July 15, 1881)

Pianist and violinist, he caused great sensation in Vienna improvising his free fantasias on the piano, and Beethoven wrote recommendation letters for him. He 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.


Cesi, Beniamino

Italian (Naples, November 6, 1845 — January 19, 1907)

Beniamino Cesi was a pianist and teacher and a key figure in establishing the Neapolitan piano school. He took his first piano lessons from his father and then studied with Luigi Albanesi and Sigismond Thalberg. He taught at the San Pietro a Majella Conservatory in Naples and at the Conservatory of Parma and, between 1885 and 1891, he was professor of piano at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, upon Anton Rubinstein´s invitation. Cesi wrote an influential piano method, Metodo per pianoforte. Among his eminent pupils were Giuseppe Martucci, Alessandro Longo, Michele Esposito and Leopoldo Mugnone. His two sons, Napoleone and Sigismondo, were also pianists and composers.

[See the Beniamino Cesi Tradition]


Clementi, Muzio

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

Popularly known as the “father of the pianoforte”, his influence on subsequent generations of pianists, piano composers, publishing and manufacturing firms is undisputed. Clementi counted among his students such distinguished pianists as Ludwig Berger, Carl Czerny, John Field and Frédéric Kalkbrenner. His pedagogical works Introduction to theAart of Playing the Pianoforte (1801) and Gradus ad Parnassum (1817, 1819, 1826) became of frequent use for pianists all over the world. In his teens, Clementi´s talent drew the attention of an Englishman named Peter Beckford, who in his own words “bought Clementi of his father for seven years”. Clementi spent all that time near Dorset, England, immersed in studying music and practicing the harpsichord. After this period, he moved to London where he became a celebrity as composer, teacher, performer, manufacturer and publisher, and signed a contract with Beethoven to publish a few major works. He is buried at the cloisters of Westminster Abbey in London.

[See the Muzio Clementi Tradition]


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 on 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]


Ehrlich, Heinrich

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

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


Field, John

Irish  (Dublin, ?July 26, 1782, bap. 5 September — Moscow, January 23, 1837)

John Field was a pianist and composer. His pianism had a tremendous influence on many pianists, and particularly had an impact on the development of the Russian school of piano playing. He was the son of a professional violinist and received his first music lessons from his grandfather, also named John Field, who was a professional organist. In 1793, his family moved to London where Field became Clementi´s student. Subsequently, Field also collaborated with the Italian composer by performing on Clementi´s manufactured pianos and showcasing the qualities of the instruments. Furthermore, in 1802 Field accompanied Clementi to Russia, where he was to remain for most of his life. He met Hummel and performed the duet Sonata op. 92 with him. His lifestyle of alcohol consumption and smoking likely deteriorated his health. He contracted rectal cancer. His piano compositions exerted an important influence on the Romantic piano style. His piano output is extensive and includes 7 piano concertos, 16 nocturnes, 4 fantasies, rondos, romances, Variations fa lal la and Chanson russe varié. In 1961, Cecil Hopkinson [H] introduced a catalogue of the works of John Field.

[See the John Field Tradition]


Fladt, Frau Geheimratin von


Frau von Fladt was a student of Abbé Vogler and taught pianist Adolph Henselt.


Ganz, Eduard

German (Mainz, April 29, 1827 — Berlin, November 26, 1869)

Eduard Ganz was a pianist and teacher. He studied with Sigismond Thalberg in London. In 1862, he founded a piano school in Berlin. Ganz composed several piano works such as Memories of London op. 1 and Grand Waltz op. 2.


Goddard, Arabella

English (Saint Servan, January 12, 1836 — Boulogne, April 6, 1922)

Arabella Goddard was a pianist. She studied with Kalkbrenner in Paris since the age of 6. Subsequently, she studied with Lucy Anderson and Sigismond Thalberg in England. She concertized in America, Australia and India. Goddard taught at the Royal College of Music.


Gottschalk, Louis Moreau 

American (New Orleans, May 8, 1829 — Tijuca, Brazil, December 18, 1869)

Louis Moreau Gottschalk was a pianist and one of the most relevant American composers of the 19th century. He was recognized as a forerunner of the ragtime. His German-Jewish father was born in London and his mother had left Haiti for Louisiana during the 1790s. At the age of 11, Gottschalk travelled to France to study music. In 1845, Chopin congratulated the young pianist after a recital at the Salle Pleyel in Paris. Gottschalk concertized in Europe, became an idol in Spain under the support of Isabella II, and toured extensively in North America, Canada, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Antilles. After he was forced to leave the USA due to a scandalous affair with a student, he travelled to South America where he continued to perform and had a profound influence on music education and Classical music in several countries. In 1869, he settled in Rio de Janeiro, and organized the “monster concerts” featuring over 650 performers. His vast piano output consists of Classical and popular works including the Souvenirs d´Andalousie, La jota aragonesa, Le banjo, Last Hope, Souvenir de Puerto Rico, Bamboula, Le bananier and the Grande Tarantelle for piano and orchestra. Pianists John Kirkpatrick, Jeanne Behrend and Eugene List have championed Gottschalk´s piano works and contributed to increase an interest in his music.


Hallé, Sir Charles

English (Hagen, Westphalia, April 11, 1819 — Manchester, October 25, 1895)

Sir Charles Hallé was a pianist, conductor and teacher. His initial name was Carl Halle, but he changed it to Charles Hallé to facilitate its pronunciation in England and France. In 1836, he travelled to Paris with the intention of becoming Kalkbrenner´s pupil, but he studied with George Osborne instead. He met Chopin, Liszt, Berlioz and Wagner and introduced Beethoven sonatas to Parisian audiences, being the first pianist to perform the complete series in Paris and in London. Chappell published his edition of the 32 sonatas. In 1848, Hallé settled in London where he became active and involved in the city´s musical life. In 1893, he was appointed director and professor at the newly established Royal Manchester College of Music. His second wife was the renowned violinist Wilma Norman-Neruda, with whom he frequently performed in England, Australia and South Africa. Hallé died suddenly from a cerebral hemorrhage.


Haydn, Michael

Austrian (Rohrau, bap. September 14, 1737 — Salzburg, August 10, 1806)

Michael Haydn was a composer. He was the younger brother of Joseph Haydn. He held several positions including court Konzertmeister in Salzburg, where he met Leopold and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Haydn taught Carl Maria von Weber and Anton Diabelli.


Joseffy, Rafael

Hungarian-American (Hunfalu, Hungary, July 3, 1852 — New York, June 25, 1915)

Although he studied with Liszt for two summers, he claimed that he benefited more from Carl Tausig´s teaching in Berlin. He edited works of Chopin and Liszt for Schirmer and published in 1902 the School of Advanced Piano Playing. His manuscript and score collection was destroyed due to a fire in his house.


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]


Kontskï, Antoine de

Polish (Kraków, October 27, 1817 — Ivanichy, Novgorod, December 7, 1899)

Antoine de Kontskï was a pianist and composer born into a family of musicians and child prodigies. He received lessons from his father, and later studied with John Field in Moscow and with Sigismond Thalberg in Vienna. He lived in Warsaw, Paris, Saint Petersburg, Moscow, Berlin, London and America. In 1897, Kontskï began a concert tour around the world which took him to Australia, New Zealand, East Asia and Siberia. He composed piano concertos, salon pieces and Le réveil du lion op. 115 as well as a method book titled L´indispensable du pianist.


Kuhe, Wilhelm

British (Prague, December 10, 1823 — London, October 8, 1912)

Wilhelm Kuhe was a pianist and composer of Bohemian origin. He studied with Josef Proksch, Tomášek and briefly with Thalberg. From 1886 to 1904, he taught at the Royal Academy of Music. He composed some piano works such as Lieder ohne Worte op. 12, Le carillon op. 13 and Le feu follet op. 38. Kuhe published My Musical Recollections in 1896, an interesting account of the lives of many of his contemporaries including Jenny Lind, Liszt, Chopin and Berlioz.


Kunkel, Charles

American (Sipperfeld, Germany, July 22, 1840 — Saint Louis, United States, December 3, 1923)

Charles Kunkel was a pianist, composer and publisher of German birth. He studied with Thalberg and Gottschalk, with whom he performed piano duets. He created the Kunkel´s Music Review and founded the Saint Louis Conservatory of Music in 1872. Among his piano pieces were Alpine Storm.


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 du 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.

[See the Adolf von Henselt Tradition]


Hummel, Johann Nepomuk

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

One of the most famous pianists and composers of his time, he was also active as a conductor and teacher. 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 Mozart´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. Hummel met and had a profound impact on Chopin, Liszt and Schubert, who had dedicated to him his last three piano sonatas until Diabelli posthumously changed the dedicatory to Schumann. He 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, selling thousands of copies. He 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. He married the singer Elisabeth Röckel and one of their sons, Eduard, became a pianist.

[See the Johann Nepomuk Hummel Tradition]


Lanza, Francesco

Italian (Naples, 1783 — Naples, 1862)

Son of composer and teacher Giuseppe Lanza, he moved with his father to London at the age of nine, where he met and studied with Clementi. He achieved reputation in London as a pianist and composer. He returned to Naples and taught many generations of pianists at the conservatory and is recognized as the father of the Neapolitan School of piano playing. In 1804, he offered one of the first public piano recitals in Naples. He composed only piano works including two concertos, fantasias on opera tunes, two sonatas and a piano method.

[See the Francesco Lanza Tradition]


Logier, Johann Bernhard

German (Kassel, February 9, 1777 — Dublin, July 27, 1846)

John Bernhard Logier was a pianist, composer, teacher and author. In 1791, he went to England and, in 1809, he settled in Dublin. In 1814, he developed and patented the chiroplast artifact, which Kalkbrenner would modify years later. The chiroplast was used for many teachers in Britain and in the USA for a time. Samuel Webbe and Louis Spohr were among the defenders of the new mechanism. Logier was interested in improving the existing teaching methods and created a group class to teach several pupils at the same time. He published Logier´s Theoretical and Practical Studies for the Pianoforte and several method books to introduce the chiroplast.


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.


Mathias, Georges Amédée Saint-Clair

French (Paris, October 14, 1826 — Paris, October 14, 1910)

Georges Mathias was a pianist, teacher and composer. At the Paris Conservatory, he studied with François Bazin, Auguste Barbereau, Augustin Savard and Fromental Halévy. He studied composition with Kalkbrenner and perfected his pianism with Frédéric Chopin. Along with Karol Mikuli, Mathias was one of the most important figures in perpetuating Chopin´s style into the next generation. He taught at the Paris Conservatory from 1862 to 1893 and had numerous illustrious pupils including Teresa Carreño, Isidor Philipp and Alberto Williams. He composed two piano concertos, chamber music some opera transcriptions.

[See the Georges Mathias Tradition]


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.


Miró y Anoria, José

Spanish (Cádiz, July 25, 1815 — Seville, October 12, 1878)

José Miró was a pianist, teacher and composer. He was born into a well-established family. At the age of 18, he was appointed director at the Seville Theatre Opera as a substitute for the principal director Eugenio Gómez, who was one of his teachers. In Paris, he studied with Kalkbrenner and Thalberg and was accompanist of the singer Maria Malibran. In the French capital, Miró made the acquaintance of Chopin, Hummel, Bertini, Herz and Döhler. He concertized in France, Belgium, Holland and Great Britain. In 1842, he returned to Spain and became an advocate of Thalberg´s piano school. In 1843, he travelled to the United States, where he performed in New York, Philadelphia and Boston. Subsequently, he spent a few years in Cuba, where he played an important role in establishing Cuba´s modern piano school. Nicolás Ruiz Espadero was among his students in Havana. In 1851, Miró moved to Jamaica, where he performed and taught for a year. In October 1854, he was appointed professor of the Madrid Conservatory as substitute for Pedro Albéniz, who retired due to a health ailment. His piano output includes fantasias on opera themes such as Il crociatto, Semiramide, Anna Bolena and Norma, the capriccio El trino and Valses brillantes. In 1856, he published his Método de piano.


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]


Mozart, Leopold

Austrian (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 started to emerge, 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 which had a decisive impact on W.A. Mozart´s artistic development. Leopold Mozart also acted as his son´s proofreader and editor as well as valet, impresario and travel organizer. 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]


Pattison, John Nelson

American (Niagara Falls, October 22, 1845 — New York, July 27, 1905)

John Nelson Pattison was a pianist and composer. He studied in Germany with Thalberg, Henselt, Bülow, Reinecke and briefly with Liszt. He concertized extensively and, in 1862, settled in New York. In 1878, Pattison launched a music therapy project which involved dozens of musicians and singers and the Blackwell´s Island lunatic asylum in New York City. He composed a piano concerto among other works.


Pixis, Johann Peter

German (Mannheim, February 10, 1788 — Baden-Baden, December 22, 1874)

Johann Peter Pixis was a pianist and composer, born into a family of musicians. In Vienna, he met Beethoven, Meyerbeer and Schubert. In 1824, he moved to Paris where he was part of the circles of Moscheles, Liszt and Berlioz. Pixis became a highly regarded pianist and teacher during his time. He composed four sonatas, the Piano Concerto op. 100, sets of variations on opera themes and the Concert Rondo op. 120.


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]


Proksch, Josef

Bohemian (Reichenberg, now Liberec, August 4, 1794 — Prague, December 20, 1864)

Josef Proksch was a teacher who became blind at the age of 13. He studied in Wenzel Franz Kozeluch and with J.B. Logier. In 1831, he founded his Musikbildungsanstalt in Prague, which had a far-reaching influence in the city´s music life and education. Smetana was among his pupils. He published numerous piano compositions.


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 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.


Ruso, Michelangelo

Italian (1839 — 1892)

Michelangelo Ruso was a pianist. He studied with Francesco Lanza. Among his students was Beniamino Cesi.


Stamaty, Camille

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

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


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]


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. 


Tomášek, Václav Jan Krtitel

Bohemian (Skuteč, April 17, 1774 — Prague, April 3, 1850)

Václav Tomášek was a composer and teacher. He studied with Abbé Vogler and Forke but was mainly self-taught in music. He settled in Prague in 1790 and studied mathematics, history, aesthetics, philosophy and law at Charles University. He met Haydn and Beethoven in Vienna and also made the acquaintance of Clara Schumann, Wagner, Berlioz, Paganini and Ole Bull. Among his notable students were Dreyshock, Hanslick and Würfel. Tomášek composed variations, sonatas, rhapsodies and German dances among other works.


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.


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.


Wölfl, Joseph

Austrian (Salzburg, December 24, 1773 — London, May 21, 1812)

Joseph Wölfl was a pianist and composer. His first musical studies were under Leopold Mozart and Michael Haydn. In 1790, he moved to Vienna where he possibly studied with W.A. Mozart. Wölfl was appointed composer to Count Ogiński in Warsaw. He was for a time considered the only rival of Beethoven. In 1805, he settled in London. He composed over 30 keyboard sonatas, Fantaisie op. 18, no. 3, variations, rondos, dances, marches and a Méthode de pianoforte.


© 2021, by Daniel Pereira