The Beveridge Webster Tradition
Piano Traditions Through Their Genealogy Trees
© 2022, by Daniel Pereira
Doctor of Musical Arts | www.daniel-pereira.com
Belgian-French (Antwerp, January 12, 1937 — Bloomington, Indiana, March 4, 2003)
Michel Block was a pianist of French descent. As a child, he lived and studied in Mexico. Subsequently, he became a student at The Juilliard School in New York. At the 1960 Chopin Competition, Arthur Rubinstein created a special prize bearing his name and awarded it to Block, who had placed 11th. Two years after, he won the Leventritt Competition. Block taught at Indiana University. He made numerous recordings fro DG, EMI and Marconi, among others.
Polish (Zelazowa Wola, March 1, 1810 — Paris, October 17, 1849)
Frédéric Chopin was a pianist and composer. His father was from Lorraine, France. He studied with Zywny, Elsner and with Wilhelm Würfel, an eminent pianist. However, in terms of piano training, Chopin was mainly self-taught. His earliest autograph is the Polonaise in A flat major, dated in 1821. On November 1, 1830, he departed for Vienna and would never return to his native Poland. After spending some time in Vienna, Munich and Stuttgart, he travelled to Paris. His Parisian debut took place in the Salle Pleyel on February 26, 1832. In the French capital, Chopin became a famous teacher, composer and pianist, although he did not frequently perform in public. He was in close terms with Hiller, Liszt, Berlioz, Delacroix and Franchomme. In 1838, Chopin and George Sand begun their love affair which was to last until 1847. Chopin spent periods of time in Majorca, Marseilles, Nohant, London and Scotland. His health had always been weak and, by October 1848 he weighed less than 45 kgs. Chopin is among the greatest composers for the piano and wrote numerous pieces including études, mazurkas, nocturnes, waltzes, polonaises, sonatas, impromptus, ballades and two concertos, among other works for piano and orchestra.
[See the Frédéric Chopin Tradition]
American (San Francisco, July 23, 1928 — Baltimore, August 2, 2020)
Leon Fleisher was a pianist, teacher and conductor. He was a student of Gunnar Johansen, Lev Schorr, Ludwig Altman and, between 1938 and 1948, of Artur Schnabel. In 1952, he became the first American to win the Queen Elisabeth Competition. In 1965, he was diagnosed with focal dystonia in his right hand and, as a consequence, started to focus on left-hand repertory and conducting. After a surgery in 1981, Fleisher began once again to play two-hand works. He taught at the Peabody Conservatory since 1959 and also held teaching positions at Curtis Institute, Royal Conservatory of Toronto and Rubin Academy in Jerusalem. André Watts and Lorin Hollander are among his most eminent pupils. Fleisher recorded the complete Beethoven and Brahms concertos with George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra. He premiered Kirchner´s Second Piano Concerto in 1963.
[See the Leon Fleisher Tradition]
Austrian-American (Vienna, Austria, March 17, 1911 — Danbury, Connecticut, September 16, 1991)
He concertized in Europe and Latin America and was admired by his interpretations of Chopin, whose works he recorded in the 1940s and 50s. He often programmed works by American composers in his recitals. The International Piano Archives at Maryland owns the Robert Goldsand Collection which consists mainly of private recordings of Goldsand’s concerts.
Steven Graff is a pianist. He studied with Eloise Niwa and at The Juilliard School with Adele Marcus, Beveridge Webster and Herbert Stessin. He earned his Doctor of Musical Arts from CUNY. Graff has made records for the Centaur and Capstone labels. He held teaching positions at Hunter College and The Macaulay Honors College at CUNY and, currently, he teaches at Converse College.
American (New York, October 14, 1928)
Gary Graffman is a pianist and teacher. He was born into a Russian-Jewish family and his father was the violinist Vladimir Graffman. He studied at the Curtis Institute with Isabelle Vengerova and later with Horowitz and Serkin. After winning the Rachmaninov Prize, Graffman made his debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugeny Ormandy. He has frequently appeared with the Guarnieri and Juilliard string quartets. In 1979, he started developing problems with his right hand which likely became focal dystonia, but this illness did not prevent him from performing works for the left hand alone. He premiered such type of pieces written specifically for him such as Ned Rorem´s Piano Concerto no. 4, William Bolcom´s Gaea, for two pianos left hand (with Leon Fleisher) and Daron Hagen´s Seven Last Words. Graffman taught at the Curtis Institute and the Manhattan School. Lang Lang and Yuja Wang are among his students. He published his memoirs in a book titled I Really Should be Practicing in 1981.
Polish-American (Lemberg, now Lviv, June 23, 1892 — Philadelphia, May 22, 1993)
Mieczyslaw Horszowski was a pianist. His mother, a pupil of Mikuli, was his first teacher. He later studied with Leschetizky and Melcer-Szczawiński. At the outbreak of World War I, he moved to the USA. He was appointed professor at the Curtis Institute in the early 1940s and continued to teach there until he died at the age of 100. For half a century, he performed in duo with cellist Pau Casals. Horszowski first married at the age of 89 and kept performing almost until the very end of his life. He appeared at Carnegie Hall shortly before he turned 98 years old and offered his last recital in Philadelphia in October 1991. He died one month before he turned 101.
Hao Huang is a Hakka Chinese American pianist and writer. He studied with Leon Fleisher, with Beveridge Webster at Juilliard, and with Charles Rosen and Gilbert Kalish at SUNY Stony Brook. Huang has appeared on TV and radio broadcasts including NPR.
He is a scholar and the Bessie and Cecil Frankel Endowed Chair in Music at Scripps College.
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.
American (New York June 22, 1930 — New York, September 25, 1983)
Paul Jacobs was a pianist and harpsichord player. He was a student of Ernest Hutcheson and at Juilliard. He championed American and modern music and, in 1956, offered the first complete performance of Schonberg´s piano music in Paris. Jacobs taught at the Mannes College and Manhattan School in New York, at the Berkshire Music Center and at Brooklyn College. He was also pianist and harpsichordist of the New York Philharmonic. Jacobs frequently partnered in piano duo with Ursula Oppens.
American (Brooklyn, New York, July 2, 1935)
Gilbert Kalish is a pianist and teacher. He studied at Columbia University, with Leonard Shure, Julius Hereford and Isabelle Vengerova. He is a founding member of the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble and was pianist of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players.
Polish (Łańcut, Galicia, June 22, 1830 — Dresden, November 14, 1915)
Theodor Leschetizky was a pianist, teacher and composer. His father gave him his first music lessons. His debut, performing a Czerny concertino, was conducted by W.A. Mozart´s son, Franz Xaver. In Vienna, Leschetizky studied with Carl Czerny. In 1852, he moved to Saint Petersburg, where he taught and headed the piano department at the Conservatory from 1862 and stayed in the city for the next 26 years. His second wife was his student Anna Essipova, whom he divorced in 1892. Subsequently, he married two other students consecutively. Another student of his, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, contributed to expanding Leschetizky´s fame as a teacher, particularly in the United States. An estimate of 1,200 pianists studied with him, exerting a deep influence on pianism around the world, with students who were still performing as late as 1991. He was a crucial figure in the revival of Schubert´s piano sonatas, especially through his student Arthur Schnabel. Leschetizky composed a one-movement Piano Concerto and virtuoso piano music.
[See the Theodor Leschetizky Tradition]
French (Brussels, January 18, 1882 — Paris, September 20, 1964)
Lazare Lévy was a pianist and teacher. He studied with Diémer at the Paris Conservatoire.
He concertized in Europe and Asia and was a champion of Albéniz´s Iberia. He recorded works by Mozart and Schumann. Lévy taught at the Conservatoire between 1914 and 1953 and was one of Cortot´s successors. His pupils included Monique Haas, Clara Haskil and Yvonne Loriod. Lévy also produced a few piano works and edited the music of Bach, Chopin, Schubert and Schumann.
Russian (Orel, near Moscow, December 13, 1874 — New York, December 2, 1944)
Josef Lhévinne was a pianist. He studied with Vassily Safonov at the Moscow Conservatory. After a few tours abroad, he was forced to do the military service in Russia. In 1898, he married pianist Rosina Bessie, later known as Rosina Lhévinne. From 1900 to 1902, he taught in Tbilisi and, from 1902 to 1906, at the Moscow Conservatory. After a period in Berlin, the Lhévinnes settled in New York and, since 1924, both taught at Juilliard. His disciples included Adele Marcus, Sascha Gorodnitzki and Homer Samuels. Lhévinne made several phonograph records and published Basic Principles in Pianoforte Playing.
[See the Josef Lhévinne Tradition]
Indonesian-American (Jakarta, October 25, 1951)
Jahja Ling is a pianist, conductor and music director of Hokkien Chinese descent. He studied piano in Jakarta and then at the Juilliard School with Munz. He also studied conducting there and at the Yale School of Music. In 1968, Ling won the Jakarta Piano Competition. He was music director and conductor of the San Diego Symphony and artistic director of the Taiwan Philharmonic, among other posts.
American (Detroit, May 14, 1927 — Blue Hill, Maine, November 16, 2015)
Seymour Lipkin was a pianist, conductor and educator. He studied at Curtis Institute with David Saperton, Rudolf Serkin and Mieczyslaw Horszowski. Lipkin also studied conducting with Koussevitzky and Szell. He was accompanist to Jascha Heifetz and taught at Juilliard, Curtis, Manhattan School and New England Conservatory.
Robert McDonald is a pianist. He studied at Lawrence University, Curtis, Juilliard and Manhattan School with Rehl, Lipkin, Serkin, Horszowski, Webster and Graffman. He was accompanist to Isaac Stern and performed with the Takács, Vermeer, Juilliard, Brentano and Shanghai string quartets. He recorded for Sony Classical, Bridge, Vox and ASV, among others. McDonald received the gold medal at the Busoni International and Kappell competitions. He taught at Juilliard and, since 2007, at Curtis Institute.
American (Kansas City, February 22, 1906 — New York, May 3, 1995)
Adele Marcus was a pianist and teacher. She studied in Los Angeles and at Juilliard with Josef Lhévinne. She won the Naumburg Prize in 1929 and, subsequently, studied in Berlin with Schnabel. Marcus taught at Juilliard where her students included Agustin Anievas, Horacio Gutiérrez and Byron Janis.
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 and some opera transcriptions.
[See the Georges Mathias Tradition]
Hungarian-French (Budapest, Hungary, September 2, 1863 — Paris, France, February 20, 1958)
Born in Hungary, he was professor of Piano at the Paris Conservatory and at the American Conservatory of Fontainebleau and, during the Nazi invasion of 1940, he fled to the United States. He became a renowned teacher, famous for his capacity to approach and solve any pianistic issue. He published numerous collections of piano exercises and studies, including the Ecole du Mécanisme, Exercices d´extension pour les doigts and Exercices de velocité, and works such as Valse-caprices and concert studies. The Isidore Philipp Archive was established in 1977 at the University of Louisville and is considered the largest Isidore Philipp collection.
[See the Isidore Philipp Tradition]
American (Galion, Ohio, 1930 — 2020)
Theodore Rehl was a pianist and teacher. He studied in Cleveland and at Oberlin. He taught at Lawrence University for 34 years.
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]
American (New York, May 5, 1927 — New York, December 9, 2012)
A pianist, writer and intellectual, he studied at the Juilliard School between the ages of seven and eleven. His direct connection to Liszt through Rosenthal, to Chopin through Mikuli and to Leschetizky through Rosenthal´s wife Hedwig Kanner, convert him in a pianist who belongs to the Golden Age and a reference to the Romantic generation of pianism. Among his many interests were Romance languages, for which he earned a PhD from Princeton University and taught modern languages for a time at the MIT, and also mathematics, philosophy and literature. He produced the first-ever recording of the Debussy Études in 1951, and also recordings of such monumental works as the Goldberg Variations and The Art of the Fugue. He premiered works such as the Carter´s Concerto for piano and harpsichord and recorded Boulez´s sonatas, working closely with the composer. As an author, he published numerous books, articles and essays including The Classical Style, The Romantic Generation and Sonata Forms. He taught at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Austrian-American (Lipnik, April 17, 1882 — Axenstein, Switzerland, August 15, 1951)
Artur Schnabel was a pianist, composer and teacher. He studied with Theodor Leschetizky in Vienna. He frequently performed with Casals, Feuermann, Fournier, Hindemith, Huberman, Szigeti and Primrose. He taught at the Hochschule für Musik in Berlin and at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Clifford Curzon and Claude Frank were among his pupils. Schnabel made the first recording ever of the complete Beethoven sonatas for HMV and also recorded the 5 concertos and the Diabelli Variations. Schnabel composed a number of works including a piano concerto and published several books including My Life and Music and Reflections on Music and edited the Beethoven´s sonatas and the Diabelli Variations. In 1905, he married contralto Therese Behr.
[See the Artur Schnabel Tradition]
American (Born in 1937)
He is active a recitalist, adjudicator and lecturer, and published study guides on Brahms, Albéniz and Rachmaninov as well as a critical edition of Albéniz´s Suite Iberia. He recorded for the Elan label.
Austrian-American (Eger [present-day Czech Republic], March 28, 1903 — Guilford, Vermont, May 8, 1991)
Rudolf Serkin was a pianist. His family moved from Bohemia to Vienna where the young boy studied with Richard Robert. Subsequently, he moved to Berlin where he had a strong influence from violinist Adolf Busch, with whom Serkin played chamber music and made records for HMV in the 1930s. In 1939, he started to teach at the Curtis Institute and, along with Busch, founded the Marlboro Festival in Vermont. His numerous records include piano concerti with conductors such as Szell, Ormandy and Bernstein.
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]
American (Arizona, November 24, 1951)
Jeffrey Swann is a pianist. He studied with Alexander Uninsky in Dallas and with with Beveridge Wesbter and Joseph Bloch at the Juilliard School. Subsequently, he obtained a doctoral degree in musical arts with Adele Marcus. He was awarded at international competitions such as the Young Concert Artists International auditions, Dino Ciani, Queen Elisabeth, Chopin, Van Cliburn, Vianna da Motta and Montreal. Swann has made records for such labels as Ars Polona, DG, RCA Italy, Replica and Agorá. He regularly offers masterclasses in the U.S., Italy and Germany.
Russian (Kharkiv, November 3, 1883 — Los Angeles, March 22, 1976)
Sergei Tarnowsky was a pianist and teacher. He studied with Henryk Bobinski and Anna Essipova. Subsequently, he taught at the Kiev Conservatory where Vladimir Horowitz, Alexander Uninsky and Vladimir Yampolsky were among his pupils. Tarnowsky emigrated to the United States in 1930 where he was appointed professor at the DePaul University in Chicago. In the U.S. he performed with Nathan Milstein, Raya Garbousova and William Primrose. He married Alexander Glazunov´s daughter and later one of his students, Maxine Matlavish, and settled in California, where Horacio Gutiérrez was among his students.
Ukrainian-American (Kyiv, February 2, 1910 — Dallas, Texas, December 19, 1972)
Alexander Uninsky was a pianist of Polish, Russian and Ukrainian descent. He studied at the Kiev Conservatory with Sergei Tarnowsky and at the Paris Conservatoire with Lazare Lévy. He was awarded first prize at the 2nd International Chopin Competition in 1932, after a draw which was resolved by the tossing of a coin. He joined the French Army during the World War II and later emigrated to South America where he performed extensively. In the early 40s, he moved to the United States and, in 1955, he became a professor at the Conservatory of Toronto in Canada nd also taught at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He made numerous recordings, particularly of the music of Chopin.
American (Pittsburgh, May 13, 1908 — Kendal-at-Hanover, New Hampshire, June 30, 1999)
Beveridge Webster was a pianist and teacher. He firstly studied with his father, who was the founder and director of the Pittsburgh Conservatory. Subsequently, he studied in France with Isidor Philipp and Nadia Boulanger and became the first American to win the first prize in piano at the Paris Conservatoire. Webster premiered Ravel´s Tzigane in Paris in 1924. He also studied with Schnabel in Berlin for 3 years. He taught at Juilliard and New England Conservatory. He was the father of clarinet player Michael Webster (1944).
© 2022, by Daniel Pereira