The Pianist’s Lineage

PATHWAYS FOR PLAYING • by ANDREW EALES
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Until quite recently it never occurred to me to consider who my teacher’s teacher’s teacher’s teacher was. But then I realised (somewhat inadvertently while looking into the history of piano teaching) that my teacher’s teacher’s teacher’s teacher was none other than Franz Liszt, perhaps the greatest and most influential pianist of all time.

At which point I decided it was time to give the matter more serious thought…

Now let’s get this bit over with quickly, because (as we shall see) I’m really not about to claim my “lineage” endows me with any special status or ability. But here it is:

  • My final teacher at college (in the 1980s), Joseph Weingarten (1911-1996)
  • In his own student years in Budapest, Joseph had studied with (among others) the great pianist and composer Ernő Dohnányi (1877-1960).
  • Dohnányi had been a student of István Thomán (1862-1940) and Eugen d’Albert (1864-1932), both students of Franz Liszt (1811-1886).
  • Liszt, incidentally, was a student of Carl Czerny (1791-1857), who in turn was a student of Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827). And would it be rude to mention that Beethoven had lessons with Haydn and Mozart?

THUD! There’s the sound of some pretty heavy name-dropping!

And if you are interested in tracing your own legacy, this information on Wikipedia is a helpful resource.

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