A Diary of Clara Schumann's Last Years of Teaching

Because of poor health, Clara Schumann (1819–1896) gave notice in February 1892 that she would no longer teach at the Frankfurt Conservatory. Her daughters Marie (1841–1929) and Eugenie (1851–1938) also left the conservatory at the same time. The next month Eugenie became ill and remained in a weakened state for severa...
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Clara Schumann: Role Model for the 21st Century

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Clara Josephine Wieck was born two hundred years ago on September 13, 1819, in the German city of Leipzig. Her father Friedrich chose the name Clara, which meant bright, shining, or famous, and from her birth was determined to turn her into a piano virtuoso. By age eleven, she was touring Europe as a concert pianist, often playing her own compositi...
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Seymour: More than an introduction

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My introduction to Seymour My earliest exposure to Seymour Bernstein came during childhood, after hearing several student performances of his beloved impressionistic suite, Birds. Inspired by one of Bernstein's own pupils, Birds charts the progress of a precocious student named Christopher as he moves towards specific pianistic goals—such as evenne...
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Women of exceptional accomplishment: eight women composers

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Editor's note: Nicholas Phillips wrote a companion piece recommending intermediate repertoire from these eight composers. You can find it here. Recently I participated in a concert featuring works by women composers at the community college where I study piano. I am an amateur pianist but a historian by profession, and I was curious about the backg...
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William Gillock: A centennial retrospective

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"To provide a musically thrilling experience." --Willam Gillock, on the purpose of student piano literature I often ask my piano pedagogy students to take a few moments to reflect on their motivations for being a music major. After all, studying music is challenging and time consuming, and there's no clear-cut promise of financial riches at the end...
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Amy Beach: Celebrating 150 years

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Many years ago, while reading an issue of the old music magazine, The Etude, I found an article written by Mrs. H. H. A. Beach: "Ten Commandments for Composers." I had no idea who this mystery composer was, so I began my research to find information about her life and music. During my travels, I stopped at antique stores looking for editions of her...
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An unknown pupil of Franz Liszt

Today we know only a few composers and performers from the past in contrast to the many who were active, and even well known during their lifetime. I recently read that more than 16,000 works titled "symphony" were composed between 1720 and 1810. Yet when I think of symphony composers from this time period, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and perhaps a f...
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Committed to Record: An Appreciation of Walter Legge

Committed to Record: An Appreciation of Walter Legge
We now take it for granted that we can walk into a store and find multiple recorded interpretations of the great musical masterpieces, make a few clicks on a computer to order CDs online, or hear a variety of performances on YouTube and other websites. It is hard to imagine a time when recordings of the standard repertoire didn't exist at all. That...
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The Schnabel family’s exile in Italy

Legendary for their ability to ignite the imagination in students, the Schnabel family has provided a rich musical heritage, including a teacher tree linking directly to Czerny and Beethoven through Artur's studies with Leschitizky. One of the Schnabels' most celebrated and influential students, Leon Fleisher, reflects back on his time with the Sch...
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Robert Pace A Tribute

Helen and Robert Pace, 2007
Both the scope of materials to be used and the sequence, or order of presentation, are crucial to the success of the student at each stage of development. Students should understand so clearly what they are doing during the lesson that they can literally teach themselves for the rest of the week.1     —Robert Pace My father, Robert P...
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Frank Glazer

Frank Glazer in 1936. Photograph by Ben Pinchot.
Many people have played all thirty-two Beethoven Sonatas in one concert season before, but I would be willing to bet that no one has done it for the first time at age ninety-five. Frank Glazer holds a unique place among concert pianists and teachers. He is the last living student from the Berlin days of the great Beethoven interpreter Artur Schnabe...
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The life of Chopin (and autographed piano)

The Chopin Foundation of the United States has in its possession a rare and unique item: a Pleyel piano with the autograph of Frederic Chopin. This well-traveled piano has touched many lives and resided in multiple countries, not unlike the man who signed it. As we celebrate the 200th birthday of this influential composer, it is notable to con...
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Clara Schumann: Ambivalence and resilience

The lives of Clara and Robert Schumann make great movies.Two exist: Hollywood's "Song of Love" (1947), starring Katherine Hepburn as Clara Schumann and Paul Henreid as Robert, and the German film "Frühlingssinfonie (1983), starring Nastassja Kinski and Herbert Gronemeyer. Both films present what have become typical versions of Clara'...
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Piano Magazine is the leading resource for pianists, piano teachers, and piano enthusiasts. We bring you informative, interesting, and inspiring ideas on all aspects of piano teaching, learning, and performing. The official name of Clavier Companion magazine was changed to Piano Magazine in 2019.

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