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#539895 - 01/29/02 11:14 AM My Piano Teacher's "Family Tree"
Stanza Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/02
Posts: 1458
Loc: Chapel Hill, NC
A couple of months ago my piano teacher gave me a copy of his musical education "family tree". It consisted of the people who he had studied with, who they studied with, etc going back for a number of generations. It is pretty cool.
Here is a partial list of some of his teachers :
Barry Snyder(Triple prize, Van Cliburn, 66)
Steve De Groote (First prize Cliburn, 77)
Abby Simon, (Julliard)
William Masselos
and others

Some of his teachers teachers
Henry Mancini,Arthur Schnabel,David Saperton Carl Friedberg et.al.

Their teachers:
Clara Schuman, J Brahms, R Serkin,L Godowski, A Schoengerg, T Leschetizky, R Joseffy, F Busoni

Their teachers:
Czerny, Liszt, Mathias, Tausig, Alkan

Al the way back to:
Beethovan, Chopin

Maybe this is no big deal, like we are all 3 degrees of seperation away from Kevin Bacon.

But I thought:

A)it is pretty cool to see the linkages, and to think that now I have a link to these masters, and
B)to paraphrase Billy Joel "Man what are YOU doing HERE...teaching a hack like me!
\:o
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#539896 - 01/29/02 01:08 PM Re: My Piano Teacher's "Family Tree"
ChemicalGrl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/03/01
Posts: 643
Loc: Durham, North Carolina
Stanza -

That is, indeed, a really neat tree! I wonder how common a name Barry Snyder is ... a chemistry professor up at Brandeis U. has this name ...

But anyway, it really is fascinating indeed to have a look at your teacher's teachers. We did something similar for my karate dojo when I was up in Worcester, MA and were able to trace it all the way back to Gichin Funakoshi, who was considered the father of shotokan karate.

Neat. Thanks for sharing! \:\)
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Lyn F.

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#539897 - 01/29/02 05:39 PM Re: My Piano Teacher's "Family Tree"
Amy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 433
Loc: Upstate New York
Wow! That is really neat! Thanks for posting it!
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#539898 - 01/29/02 06:53 PM Re: My Piano Teacher's "Family Tree"
jgoo Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/23/01
Posts: 3974
Loc: Seattle, Washington, USA
Wow! Thats really cool. Thanks for shareing. I wonder what my teachers "family tree" is like.
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#539899 - 01/30/02 12:36 AM Re: My Piano Teacher's "Family Tree"
MacDuff Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 560
Loc: Southeast, U.S.A.
OK, one of my teachers studied from Angelica Morales von Sauer, who was a student (then second wife) of Emil von Sauer. Emil Von Sauer studied from Liszt, who studied from Czerny, who studied from Beethoven. Another line of my "piano descent" goes back to Tobias Matthay, a famous English teacher who wrote books on technique that have confused people for years. http://www5.wittenberg.edu/academics/music/portbut.shtml
Another teacher of mine studied from James Friskin.

I'm not sure how much of all this rubbed off on me.

;\)

[ January 30, 2002: Message edited by: MacDuff ]

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#539900 - 01/30/02 11:23 AM Re: My Piano Teacher's "Family Tree"
Vid Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/01
Posts: 842
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
I'd rather be six degrees from Beethoven than Kevin Bacon! ;\)
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#539901 - 01/30/02 11:49 AM Re: My Piano Teacher's "Family Tree"
Eldon Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 597
Loc: Illinois
MacDuff,
"Lots" rubbed off on you; 'cause I can tell by your posts! You're cool!
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Eldon

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#539902 - 01/31/02 07:56 AM Re: My Piano Teacher's "Family Tree"
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18073
Loc: Victoria, BC
These lineages may be "pretty cool," as some of you say, but a good piano teacher (if that's what we're looking for) - after a few given basics - is a good teacher because of his/her own skills, talents and abilities, not because of his/her piano teacher's teachers.

Cheers!

[ January 31, 2002: Message edited by: BruceD ]
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#539903 - 01/31/02 08:36 AM Re: My Piano Teacher's "Family Tree"
AndrewG Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2506
Loc: Denver, Colorado
Amen! BruceD! I'm with you all the way on this.

AndrewG

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#539904 - 01/31/02 01:27 PM Re: My Piano Teacher's "Family Tree"
MacDuff Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 560
Loc: Southeast, U.S.A.
 Quote:
Originally posted by BruceD:
These lineages may be "pretty cool," as some of you say, but a good piano teacher (if that's what we're looking for) - after a few given basics - is a good teacher because of his/her own skills, talents and abilities, not because of his/her piano teacher's teachers.

Cheers!

[ January 31, 2002: Message edited by: BruceD ][/b]


True. And if you live in the same town as your former teacher(s) and talk about them too much, your potential students (or their parents) will seek out that teacher! Or, they say, "He's no good, so his teacher must be an idiot, too!"

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#539905 - 02/02/02 10:18 PM Re: My Piano Teacher's "Family Tree"
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 3915
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
Lillie Philipp, in her book Piano Technique, (Dover Reprint, 1982, of 1969 MCA publication) gives a fascinating Tree of Keyboard Masters and Students (pp. 88-90). The book's cheap ($6.95) and probably worth it for that part alone, if you have an interest in piano performance history.
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There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians

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#539906 - 02/04/02 02:37 PM Re: My Piano Teacher's "Family Tree"
fmelliott Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/01
Posts: 894
Loc: Virginia
Here is amusing thought. I could be mistaken, but I read that Guillmant of 19th century France could trace his teachers back to Bach. I had a teacher who studied under Nadia Boulanger in France. She was a couple of teachers away from Guillmant, so on really bad days when I can't get my hands to work, I can console myself with that. See if you can catch the Guillamnt thread amongst your teachers. I expect you can. \:D ;\)

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#539907 - 02/04/02 07:20 PM Re: My Piano Teacher's "Family Tree"
Dan Offline


Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 1031
Loc: Colorado
I like my current teacher. I like the way she plays, the way she teaches, and the way she motivates. I've never even thought to ask her about her "family tree", but that might be fun to know I guess.

As for having Chopin in your lineage, didn't I read or hear somewhere that he never had a great student to teach, and as a result there is no direct link to him in ANY lineage? Maybe I'm mixing up my composers, but as I heard it one of the reasons for Chopins tremendous rages was his frustration with not having anyone he could teach/train to continue his art.

Regards,
Dan

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#539908 - 02/04/02 11:07 PM Re: My Piano Teacher's "Family Tree"
Palindrome Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/22/01
Posts: 3915
Loc: Chicago, IL USA
Chopin had Filtsch, of whom Liszt said "When the boy goes on tour, I'm going to shut up shop!" Alas, Filtsch died at 15. Chopin also had Fleurville, who taught Debussy.

Most peoples' lineage goes through Liszt, who taught everyone, although some with more attention than others (sit through a few of his salon classes and then hang out a shingle: "Pupil of Liszt").

Czerny taught Liszt, Leschetizky, and Kullak. Beethoven taught Czerny, and Beethoven was the "pianistic (or klavieristic) great-grandson of JSB, as:

JSBach --> Homilius --> Hiller -->Neefe --> Beethoven

In my own case, if I may:

Liszt --> B. Stavenhagen --> B. Jacobson --> F. Rothchild --> myself.

Also, I have a spiritual cousin in Mark Twain, who said something like:

"In my schooling I was like a photograph. I was exposed to more than what took."
\:D
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#539909 - 02/05/02 11:07 AM Re: My Piano Teacher's "Family Tree"
Dan Offline


Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 1031
Loc: Colorado
Thanks for the info on Chopin's students. I did remember the early death of one of his talented students, but did not know about Fleurville or that he taught Debussy (who along with Chopin is a favorite of mine).

So, what constitutes "teach" anyway. For example, if you take lessons from someone for say one year, then move on, and later decide that teacher did not influence you very much, would the teacher be part of your lineage or not? Conversely, if you take lessons for say a month, then cannot take lessons any longer from that teacher and move on, and later decide that teacher had great influence on you, would that person be part of your lineage?

Guess that's kind of confusing. But the real question is how is it decided that a teacher is in you lineage, and who makes that decision (the teacher, the student, 3rd party observers or what)?

I remember reading somewhere that there is some possibility that Beethoven took a few lessons from Mozart. So, if you can trace your lineage to Beethoven, do you automatically get to Mozart as well?

Just curious,
Dan

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#539910 - 02/05/02 02:20 PM Re: My Piano Teacher's "Family Tree"
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Hi, Dan:

I don't think Beethoven ever studied with Mozart, there's even some debate as to whether B even played for M, although they did meet in Vienna sometime in the mid 1780s.

Beethoven's "famous" teacher, IMHO, was Haydn, who was also a mentor of sorts.

For what it's worth! So you get Haydn, perhaps not Mozart.

Nina

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#539911 - 02/05/02 06:15 PM Re: My Piano Teacher's "Family Tree"
ryan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 1995
Loc: Colorado
Haydn was one of Beethoven's composition teachers. I have never heard that Haydn taught any piano lessons to Beethoven. I believe that by the time Beethoven studied with Haydn his piano technique was pretty mature. If I remember correctly, Beethoven could play Bach's 48 by the time he was 11.

Beethoven studied composition not only with Haydn, but with anyone who was considered the best in their area of expertise, whether it was vocal, chamber, solo, etc. I have read that before composing some of his great choral works including Missa Solemnis and and the 9th Symphony, Beethoven ordered manuscripts for the complete works of Handel and studied them front to back. Given how much he studied and how hard he worked, it is no wonder that Beethoven's music is so highly regarded.

Ryan

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#539912 - 02/05/02 06:59 PM Re: My Piano Teacher's "Family Tree"
jgoo Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/23/01
Posts: 3974
Loc: Seattle, Washington, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Nina:
Hi, Dan:
I don't think Beethoven ever studied with Mozart[/b]


Yes, he did. But only for a short time. I did a research report on Beethoven in my freshman year of highschool (2 years ago) and I found in my research that Beethoven did have a very breif study period with Mozart.

[ February 05, 2002: Message edited by: jgoo ]
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#539913 - 02/05/02 09:42 PM Re: My Piano Teacher's "Family Tree"
iamcanadian Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/02/02
Posts: 1893
Loc: Canada
my best friend's great grandfather's brother was named sergey rachmaninoff. I think that's pretty whacked. Im so jealous :p
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