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Carl Czerny


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Carl Czerny (sometimes Karl; February 21, 1791 – July 15, 1857) was an Austrian pianist, composer and teacher. He is best remembered today for his books of etudes for the piano.

Czerny was born in Vienna to a family of Czech origins. He was taught piano by his father before taking lessons from Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Antonio Salieri and Ludwig van Beethoven. He was a child prodigy, making his first appearance in public in 1800 playing a Mozart piano concerto. Later, he gave the Vienna premiere of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 “Emperor” in 1812.

He quickly took to teaching and by the age of fifteen, he was already a sought after instructor. He eventually instructed Franz Liszt, among many others. Liszt later dedicated his twelve Transcendental Etudes to Czerny, who was one of the first composers to use étude (“study”) for a title. Liszt also implicated him in the collaborative work The Hexameron.

Czerny also composed a very large number of pieces (up to an op. 861), including a number of Masses and Requiems, and a large number of symphonies, concertos, sonatas and string quartets. None of these pieces are often played today, however, and he is known as a composer almost exclusively because of the large number of didactic piano pieces he wrote, many of which are still used today, such as The School of Velocity and The Art of Finger Dexterity.

Signum Records has recently issued at least three CD recordings of Czerny’s symphonies and concerti, including a concerto for piano four hands in C Major.

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  • Unknowny503

    One can definitely feel Beethoven's profound influence, especially on his symphonies. If someone played it to me my first guess would be "Beethoven unheard piece?"

    10 Jul 10:04am Reply
  • brain_use

    his symphonies are pure joy :3

    19 Feb 2:16pm Reply
  • lalqr

    @bachterman - hahaha :D I'm playing Etude 26 already!

    17 Oct 2010 Reply
  • cheyvan


    5 Mar 2009 Reply
  • bachterman

    is czerny on tour?

    16 Oct 2008 Reply
  • OhYesByAllMeans

    More people should listen to Carl Czerny...

    23 Aug 2007 Reply

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