Piano Composers and Musicians

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Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach
1714 - 1788 Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. Public Domain Image from Wikimedia Commons (Source: http://www.sr.se/p2/special)

The piano has always been one of the most popular musical instruments in history. From the day it was first introduced, legendary composers have played it and created masterpieces which we enjoy to this day.

C.P.E. Bach was the second son of the great composer Johann Sebastian Bach. His father was his greatest influence and later on C.P.E. Bach would be referred to as J.S. Bach's successor. Among the other composers that were influenced by C.P.E. Bach were Beethoven, Mozart and Haydn.

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Béla Bartók

Bela Bartok
1881 - 1945 Bela Bartok. Public Domain Image from Wikimedia Commons (Source: PP&B Wiki)

Béla Bartók was a teacher, composer, pianist and ethnomusicologist. His mother was his first piano teacher and he would later on study at the Hungarian Academy of Music in Budapest. Among his famous works are "Kossuth," "Duke Bluebeard's Castle," "The Wooden Prince" and "Cantata Profana."

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  • 03
    of 22

    Ludwig van Beethoven

    Ludwig van Beethoven
    1770 -1827 Ludwig van Beethoven Portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler. Public Domain Image from Wikimedia Commons

    Beethoven's father, Johann, taught him how to play the piano and organ. It is believed that Beethoven was briefly taught by Mozart in 1787 and Haydn in 1792. Among his famous works are Symphony No. 3 Eroica, op. 55 - E flat Major, Symphony No. 5, op. 67 - c minor and Symphony No. 9, op. 125 - d minor.

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  • 04
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    Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin

    Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin
    1810 -1849 Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin. Public Domain Image from Wikimedia Commons

    Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin was a child prodigy and music genius. Wojciech Zywny was his first piano teacher but Chopin would later on surpass the knowledge of his teacher. Among his most famous compositions are: "Polonaises in G minor and B flat major 9" (which he composed when he was 7 years old), "Variations, op. 2 on a theme from Don Juan by Mozart," "Ballade in F major" and "Sonata in C minor."

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  • 05
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    Muzio Clementi

    Muzio Clementi
    1752 - 1832 Muzio Clementi. Public Domain Image from Wikimedia Commons (Source: http://www.um-ak.co.kr/jakga/clementi.htm)

    Muzio Clementi was an English composer and piano prodigy. He is especially noted for his piano studies published as Gradus ad Parnassum (Steps Toward Parnassus) in 1817 and also for his piano sonatas.

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    Aaron Copland

    Aaron Copland
    1900 -1990 Aaron Copland. Public Domain Image by Mrs. Victor Kraft from Wikimedia Commons

    Premier American composer, conductor, writer and teacher who helped bring American music to the forefront. His older sister taught him how to play the piano. Before he became a well-known composer, Copland worked at a resort in Pennsylvania as a pianist. Some of his works are "Piano Concerto," "Piano Variations," "Billy the Kid" and "Rodeo."

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  • 07
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    Claude DeBussy

    Claude Debussy
    1862 - 1918 Claude Debussy Image by Félix Nadar. Public Domain Image from Wikimedia Commons

    French Romantic composer who formulated the 21-note scale and changed how instruments were used for orchestration. Claude DeBussy studied composition and piano at the Paris Conservatory, he was also influenced by the works of Richard Wagner.

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  • 08
    of 22

    Leopold Godowsky

    Leopold Godowsky
    1870 - 1938 Leopold Godowsky. Image from Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Carl Van Vechten collection

    Leopold Godowsky was a composer and virtuoso pianist who was born in Russia but would later on move to America. He is especially known for his piano technique which is said to have influenced other great composers such as Prokofiev and Ravel.

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    Scott Joplin

    Scott Joplin
    1868 - 1917 Scott Joplin. Public Domain Image from Wikimedia Commons

    Referred to as the "father of ragtime," Joplin is known for his classic rags for the piano such as "Maple Leaf Rag" and "The Entertainer." He published an instructional book called The School Of Ragtime in 1908.

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  • 10
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    Franz Liszt

    1811 - 1886 Franz Liszt Portrait by Henri Lehmann. Public Domain Image from Wikimedia Commons

    Hungarian composer and piano virtuoso of the Romantic period. Franz Liszt' father taught him how to play the piano. He would later on study under Carl Czerny, an Austrian teacher and pianist. Among Liszt' famous works are "Transcendental Etudes," "Hungarian Rhapsodies," "Sonata in B minor" and "Faust Symphony."

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  • 11
    of 22

    Witold Lutoslawski

    Witold Lutoslawski
    1913 - 1994 Witold Lutoslawski. Photo by W. Pniewski and L. Kowalski from Wikimedia Commons

    Lutoslawski attended the Warsaw Conservatory where he studied composition and music theory. Among his famous works are "The Symphonic Variations," "Variations on a Theme of Paganini," "Funeral Music" and "Venetian Games."

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  • 12
    of 22

    Felix Mendelssohn

    Felix Mendelssohn
    1809 - 1847 Felix Mendelssohn. Public Domain Image from Wikimedia Commons

    A prolific composer of the Romantic period, Mendelssohn was a piano and violin virtuoso. He was the founder of Leipzig Conservatory. Some of his most notable compositions are "A Midsummer Night's Dream Opus 21," "Italian Symphony" and "Wedding March."

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  • 13
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    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    1756 - 1791 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Portrait by Barbara Kraft. Public Domain Image from Wikimedia Commons

    At the age of 5, Mozart already wrote a miniature allegro (K. 1b) and andante (K. 1a). Among his famous works are Symphony No. 35 Haffner, K. 385 - D Major, Così fan tutte, K. 588 and Requiem Mass, K. 626 - d minor.

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  • 14
    of 22

    Sergey Rachmaninoff

    Sergey Rachmaninoff
    1873 - 1943 Sergei Rachmaninoff. Photo from the Library of Congress

    Sergey Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff was a Russian piano virtuoso and composer. Under the advice of his cousin, a concert pianist by the name of Aleksandr Siloti, Sergey was sent to study under Nikolay Zverev. Some of Rachmaninoff's most famous works are "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini," "Symphony No. 2 in E Minor," "Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor" and "Symphonic Dances."

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  • 15
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    Anton Rubinstein

    anton rubinstein
    1829 - 1894 Anton Rubinstein Portrait by Ilya Repin. Public Domain Image from Wikimedia Commons

    Anton Grigoryevich Rubinstein was a Russian pianist during the 19th century. He and his brother Nikolay learned how to play the piano through their mother. Later on they will study under Aleksandr Villoing. Among his famous works are the operas "The Demon," "The Macabees," "The Merchant Kalashnikov" and "The Tower of Babel."

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    Franz Schubert

    Franz Schubert
    1797 - 1827 Franz Schubert Image by Josef Kriehuber. Public Domain Image from Wikimedia Commons

    Franz Peter Schubert is referred to as the "master of song," of which he wrote more than 200. He studied counterpoint, keyboard playing and singing under Michael Holzen. Schubert wrote hundreds of musical pieces, some of his well known work are: "Serenade," "Ave Maria," "Who is Sylvia?" and "C Major symphony."

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  • 17
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    Clara Wieck Schumann

    Clara Wieck Schumann
    1819 - 1896 Clara Wieck Schumann. Public Domain Image from Wikimedia Commons

    Clara Josephine Wieck was the wife of Robert Schumann. She was the foremost female composer of the 19th century and a piano virtuoso. She began piano lessons with her father when she was 5 years old. She wrote 3 partsongs, 29 songs, 20 compositions for solo piano, 4 compositiona for piano and orchestra, she also wrote cadenzas for Mozart and Beethoven's piano concertos.

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  • 18
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    Robert Schumann

    Robert Schumann
    1810 - 1856 Robert Schumann. Public Domain Image from Wikimedia Commons

    Robert Schumann was a German composer who served as the voice of other Romantic composers. His piano and organ teacher was Johann Gottfried Kuntzsch, When he was 18, Friedrich Wieck, the father of the woman Schumann eventually married, became his piano teacher. Among his well known works are "Piano Concerto in A minor," "Arabesque in C Major Op. 18," "Child Falling Asleep" and "The Happy Peasant."

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  • 19
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    Igor Stravinsky

    Igor Stravinsky
    1882 - 1971 Igor Stravinsky. Photo from the Library of Congress

    Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky was a Russian composer of the 20th century who introduced the concept of modernism in music. His father, who was one of the foremost Russian operatic basses, was one of Stravinsky's music influence. Some of his famous works are "Serenade in A for piano", "Violin Concerto in D Major", "Concerto in E-flat" and "Oedipus Rex".

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  • 20
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    Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky

    Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky
    1840 -1893 Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Public Domain Image from Wikimedia Commons

    Considered the greatest Russian composer of his time, Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky showed interest in music early in his life. Later on he would become a student of Anton Rubinstein. Among his most famous works are his musical scores for ballet such as "Swan Lake," "The Nutcracker" and "Sleeping Beauty."

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  • 21
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    Richard Wagner

    Richard Wagner
    1813 - 1883 Richard Wagner. Public Domain Image from Wikimedia Commons

    Richard Wagner was a German composer and librettist famous for his operas. Among his famous operas are "Tannhäuser," "Der Ring des Nibelungen," "Tristan und Isolde" and "Parsifal."

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  • 22
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    Anton Webern

    Anton Webern
    1883 - 1945 Anton Webern. Public Domain Image from Wikimedia Commons

    Austrian composer belonging to the 12-tone Viennese school. His mother was his first teacher, she taught Webern how to play the piano. Later on Edwin Komauer took over his piano instruction. Some of his famous works are "Passacaglia, op. 1," "Im Sommerwind" and "Entflieht auf leichten Kähnen, Opus 2."

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