Influential Pianists And Teachers Since Liszt

One of the greatest living teachers in history and breadth of influence is Theodor Leschetizky, born in 1831. A pupil of Czerny, he began to teach at the age of fifteen, having played in public since 1842. He became a teacher in the St. Petersburg Conservatory, where he tau ht for many years. Soon after 1880 he settled in Vienna, where he has lived ever since. Since the success of hi. pupil Paderewski, Leschetizky has been the most sought-after teacher in the world. He has been obliged to have assistants to prepare pupils for him. Students have come to Sienna from all parts of the world. A brilliant pianist, he has written piano music and even an opera, but his merit as a teacher is due to the foundation given him by Czerny, who a acquired his traditions from Beethoven, to the keenness of hi ability to prescribe for the individual needs of the pupil nd the simplicity and directness of his “method.” His pupils have met with great success, although he has not yet produced a second Paderewski.

Ignaz Paderewski, probably the greatest pianis since Liszt, although like him excelled in some respects by others, was born in 1859. A pupil of the Warsaw Consevatory, he also studied at Berlin. He taught piano at the Warsaw Conservatory from 1878-83, and also at Strassburg. Later he went to Leschetizky for a thorough course of study. After his debut at Vienna, in 1887, he conquered by  Paris and London. His first visit to America was i 1891, when he carried all before him. Since then he has visited the United States three times, he has traveled over all Europe, and has visited Australia with overwhelming success, financial and artistic. His most noticeable qualities are a magnetic personality, a virtuoso technic, the color and piquant rhythm of his playing, and the poetry and deep human intensity of his interpretations. He has written several sets of pieces for the piano, a concerto, and a fantasy with orchestra, and an opera. His generous gift of the endowment of triennial prizes to American composers is an admirable instance of his warm-heartedness.

Josef Slavinski, born 1865, who studied with Stroeble, Anton Rubinstein and finally Leschetizky, is a pianist of great ability who came to the United States in 1873, and again in 1901. Other Leschetizky pupils are Ossip Gabrilowitsch, born 1878, also a pupil of Anton Rubinstein and the St. Petersburg Conservatory, who came to America in 1900 and 1902 ; Mark Hambourg, born in 1879, who first studied with his father, and after a tour of the United States in 1900, has had brilliant successes in Europe and England ; Martinus Sieveking, born 1867, a pupil of Rôntgen at Leipzig, who visited America in 1895 and again in 1896-97 and afterwards went to Vienna. There are many other brilliant pupils of Leschetizky, but the foregoing are some of the best known.

Paderewski has not taught, as a rule, since his great triumphs as a virtuoso, but he has made exceptions. Sigismond Stojowski, born 1870, was a pupil of the Paris Conservatory, where he won first prizes in piano playing and composition. Later he studied with Paderewski, and lived as pianist, teacher and composer in Paris. In 1905, he accepted the position of head of the piano department at the Institute of Musical Art, New York City. Antoinette Szumowska-Adamowska was born in 1868. She studied at Warsaw, and later, for several years, with Paderewski. She has made successful appearances in Europe and America. Later she accepted a position at the New England Conservatory, in Boston, U. S. A.

Another pianist of great ability who has profited by Paderewski’s suggestions is Harold Bauer, born in 1873.

A student of the violin, as well as of the piano, he did not consider making a career as a piano virtuoso until encouraged by Paderewski. In 1892, he studied with Paderewski, although he is largely self-taught, for his individuality and musical style show slight effects of Paderewski’s influence. Bauer’s technic is superb, although he is not a virtucso pure and simple. His interpretations are healthy and vigorous, and especially faithful to the composers’ intentions. His repertory is enormous. He has made several extremely successful tours to the United States. He has traveled also widely in Europe as well as to South America. Bauer is one of the most eminent of living artists.

Among Norwegians, Edvard Grieg, born 1843, is a remarkable interpreter of his own individual works. Christian Sinding and Wilhelm Stenhammar also deserve ment’. on.

The Italians have not produced many. remarkable pianists,. nevertheless, several are well known. Chief among them is Giovanni Sgambati, born 1843, a pupil of Liszt. Sgambati has composed charming music for the piano, as well as chamber-music, a concerto and symphony. He is dir.ctor of the Academy of St. Cecilia, at Rome. Giuseppe Buc namici, born 1846, a pupil of the Munich Conservatory and of von Bülow, has done much to promote music in Floren _e. He has been connected with several musical socities in that city, and has been active as a teacher. His editions of Beethoven’s sonatas, of Bertini’s etudes, and a treatise on scale playing are of great value to the student. The most prominent Italian pianist, who has lived a cosmopolitan life, is Feruccio Busoni, born in 1866. Early in life he became a member, as a pianist, of the Bologna Philharmonic Academy, after a severe test. In 1888, he accepted a position at the elsingfors Conservatory. In 1890, he won the Rubinste n prize as composer and pianist. Subsequently he taught t e piano in the Moscow Conservatory, and later he was c.. nected with the New England Conservatory at Boston. Si ce then he has lived in Europe as a pianist and conductor e f ultra-modern music. Busoni has one of the most fo ~ idable technics of any pianist living. He has edited Bach’ “Well-Tempered Clavichord,” with many helpful technical suggestions, also the smaller preludes and inventions ; he has made masterly transcriptions of Bach’s organ works for the piano, of a fantasy for organ by Liszt, the same composer’s “Mephisto Waltz,” etc. He re-visited America in 1904.

Stephen Heller, born 1814, died i888, was much influenced by Chopin. He was a talented pianist, who will be remembered chiefly by his studies, and a few other pieces, which have decided educational value.

Among other living pianists who escape classification for one reason or another are Moritz Moszkowski, born 1854, a pupil of the Dresden, Kullak and Stern Conservatories; while a successful pianist and teacher, he is known chiefly for his fluent and graceful piano music, although he has composed works in larger forms. Franz Rummel, born 1853, died 1901, a pupil of Brassin and the Brussels Conservatory, toured Europe and visited America several times ; he taught at the Stern Conservatory in Berlin; Rafael Joseffy, born 1853, went to the Leipzig Conservatory, he then studied with Carl Tausig and later with Liszt ; of late years he has taught at the National Conservatory at New York. His concert appearances have invariably been successful, al-though he has devoted himself largely to teaching. A pianist of especial distinction is Vladimir de Pachmann, born in 1848, a pupil of the Vienna Conservatory; in spite of a brilliant début he retired for many years’ study ; on re-appearing he gave concerts over all Europe, and has made several visits to America; his chief triumphs have been as the inimitable interpreter of Chopin; Leopold Godowsky, born 1870, appeared as a prodigy at the age of nine; he studied at the Hochschule in Berlin, made European tours, and studied with Saint-Saëns from 1887 to 1890; taught in Philadelphia and Chicago; in 1902, he returned to Europe. In 1909 he went to the Vienna Conservatory as head of the master school for piano playing. A composer of piano pieces, he has devised many extraordinary versions of Chopin’s studies.

Among English pianists, Frederic Lamond, a pupil of the Raff Conservatory, of von Bülow and Liszt, and Leonard Borwick, a pupil of Mme. Schumann, are the best known, although there are many pianists of rising reputation.

Two young pianists deserving of especial recognition are Ernst von Dohnanyi and Josef Hofmann. Dohnanyi, born 1877, is a pupil of Kessler and D’Albert. In 1898, he won a double success as pianist and composer with a piano concerto. In 1900, he made a brilliant tour in America. Since then he has devoted himself largely to composition. Josef Hofmann was a pupil of his father, and later, of Anton Rubinstein. He played the piano when six years old; in public at the age of nine. In the following year h° gave fifty-two concerts in the United States. After retiring for study under Rubinstein, he reappeared a mature artist. He has since visited America several times. Hofmann has an unusual technic ; his individuality is not striking, but he is an artist of conspicuous merit.


The rapid progress of music in America renders it impossible to do justice to piano playing in this country. However, the pioneer work of William Mason, a pupil of Moscheles, Dreyschock and Liszt, active as pianist and teacher, the author of “Touch and Technic” and other technical treatises ; of B. J. Lang, a pupil of his father, F. C. Hill, Salter and Alfred Jaell, an active pianist, teacher, and conductor, of W. S. B. Mathews, Otto Dresel, Ernst Perabo, and others, was of great importance. Later Carl Baermann, a Liszt pupil, Carl Faelten, William Sherwood, also a Liszt pupil, Carl Stasny, Arthur Whiting, Edward MacDowell and many others have continued the work so ably begun. Edward MacDowell is easily the most noted American composer-pianist. His technical equipment, personality, and interpretative gifts justly entitle him to this distinction. A pu, pil of Mme. Carrefio, Marmontel and Carl Heymann, he has had thorough training. His pianistic career has been limited by his efforts as a composer, and by his work as Professor of Music at Columbia, which position he resigned in 1904, as well as his activity as a teacher. His studies, concertos and smaller pieces show great individuality of technical style, besides being among the most valuable contributions to piano literature since Liszt. Mac Dowell has appeared with leading orchestras in this country; he has given many recitals, including a tour of the United States in 1904.


Of the many distinguished women pianists since Liszt, the most eminent was Mme. Clara Schumann, a pupil of her father, Friedrich Wieck. She played in public from the age of thirteen, winning instant recognition. Her-marriage to Schumann diminished her public activity, but after his death in 1856, she resumed her career. She taught at the Hoch Conservatory at Frankfort, besides playing in public in Europe and England. Among other famous women pianists were Madame Clauss-Szavardy, Mme. Arabella Goddard Davidson, and Mme. Sophie Menter. Mme. Teresa Carreno, a pupil of L. M. Gottschalk and G. Mathias, has had a remarkable career as concert-pianist. Mme. Essipoff, a pupil of Wielhorski and Leschetizky, taught for many years at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, after brilliant concert tours. Miss Fanny Davies, a pupil of Reinecke and Mme. Schumann, Mme. Roger-Miclos and Mlle. Clotilde Kleeberg, pupils of the Paris Conservatory, are all pianists of distinction. In this country Miss Adele aus der Ohe, a pupil of Kullak and Liszt, Mme. Bloomfield-Zeisler, a pupil of von Wolfssohn and Leschetizky, and Mme. Helen Hope-kirk, a pupil of the Leipzig Conservatory and of Leschetizky, now a teacher at the New England Conservatory, and Mine. Szumowska-Adamowska, before mentioned as a pupil of Paderewski, are all pianists of great ability.

In conclusion, it may be stated that while Liszt’s pupils have done much to carry on the traditions which he originated, much has also been accomplished for the advancement of pianistic art by Leschetizky and his pupils, a remarkable group of teachers at the Paris Conservatory, and by such independent pianists as de Pachmann, Busoni, Siloti, Godowsky, Bauer 2nd Hofmann, while many able co servatories and private teachers in America are enabli ~ g the American pianist to compete favorably with Europe.