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(No portrait)

David Babcock 

(Born 1956)

 Für die linke Hand 1994  MS.        

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Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

Weimar, 08.03.1714 - Hamburg, 15.12.1788

Second oldest son of Johann Sebastian Bach and Maria Barbara Bach (his cousin). He got his education at the Tomas School in Leipzig and for a time he studied law in Frankfurt until he in 1741 was appointed Royal Harpsichordist to Frederic the Great. In 1761 he succeeded his godfather Georg Philipp Telemann as General Music Director in Hamburg.
As a composer he forms a vital link between Baroque an Classicism and among his large production is music for the church, symphonies, more than 50 keyboard concertos, violin concertos, flute concertos, chamber music and an abundance of keyboard music of which a large part is of pedagogical nature.
Before the Bach Renaissance in the middle of the 19th. century, he was the most famous member of the large Bach family. According to tradition he was left-handed, which is supposed to have very little importance in this connection.  

Klavierstück in A major for one hand Wq 117/1 before 1770 (Vriesländer)

(Solfeggietto) See also William M. Felton. and  Paul Wittgenstein.

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Johann Sebastian Bach  German composer and keyboard virtuoso

Eisenach, 21.03.1685 - Leipzig, 28. 07.1750

He was the youngest son of Johann Ambosius Bach in Eisenach and thus coming from a musical family that eventually was to count more than 60 great musicians. In his own time Bach was considered as the greatest European virtuoso on the organ and the harpsichord. 
His life and work roughly falls in three groups or periods: 1. The Weimar period as concert master at the ducal orchestra, and many of his great organ works were composed there. 2. The Cöthen period as conductor with the Count of Anhalt-Cöthen, where most of his concertos were created, and: 3. His time in Leipzig as organist and "Cantor" at the Thomas Church. It is from this final period we have his 200 cantatas, the B minor Mass and the famous Passions according to St. Matthew and St. John.
Bach is - of course - today considered one of the greatest composers that ever lived, but in his own days a composer like Telemann was considered much greater. 
As mentioned in the entry about his son Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (above) there was a Bach Renaissance in the middle of the 19th. century. This more or less supposed to have been started with Mendelssohn performing the Passion according to St. Matthew in the Gewandhaus in Leipzig. Here the general audience for the first time experienced the real greatness of Bach. 
But among composers and true artists of intelligence, Bach had been known and respected for much longer: Beethoven once said (playing with the meaning of the German words): Nicht Bach - sondern Meer sollte er heissen (He should not be called a brook but an ocean) and Beethoven even planned to use the theme B. A. C. H.  in the 10th symphony, that was never completed (the first movement has survived in a reconstruction made by Barry Cooper. This at least gives a glimpse of what the movement contains thematically). Mozart, also realized quality, when he heard it. During a tour he happened to enter a church where the organist was practicing Bach. Mozart sat down quietly and listened - and afterwards he said: Finally someone - from whom you can learn something.
Apart from one piece Bach never wrote any genuine left-hand work - at lest not intentionally - but you can play the first prelude from Das wohltempetierte Klavier with the left alone.
But due to their popularity many of his pieces other composers and arrangers have transcribed them for the left hand alone. These arrangers are written as links which will lead you to them. With many of the pieces there are several transcriptions which are interesting each in itself - because no two transcriber will use the same method and each will come out with a different effect. (all non-original left-hand are noted in brackets.




Now -  I think this giant deserves to be pictured as beautifully as this. Could anybody even contemplate the enormous Devine gift of music without Johann Sebastian Bach


Kleines Präludium - Einhändig  (Verlag P. J. Tonger)

(Chaconne from solo partita nr.2 for solo violin BWV 1004) arranged by Brahms,  Isidor Philipp and Géza Zichy

(Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue BWV 903)  Arranged by Raoul Sosa  

(Jesu bleibet meine Freude - Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring. Final chorus from cantata: Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben BWV 147)  See Frédéric Meinders

(Sinfonia nr. 14 in B flat major BWV 800)  Arranged by Raoul Sosa  

(Gavotte) Arranged by Rafael Joseffy

(Gavotte and Gigue from Bach’s Cello Suite No.6) Arranged by David Matthew Haynes

( Prćludium, C-major; no 1 from Das wohltemperierte Klavier vol.1) 
Arranged by Frédéric Meinders, James Marchand,

Prćludium, C-major; no 1 from Das wohltemperierte Klavier vol. 1
The reason for this piece figuring twice is that the second is no transcription - it is in fact a genuine left hand work - only Bach probably did not know it. If you possess the left hand skill of the best pianists you can play the whole piece as it is written (of course with the use of the pedal) with the left hand alone. 

The Chaconne is recorded by Michel Béroff EMI CDC 7 49079 2
The Chromatic Fantasy and the Chaconne are recorded by Raoul Sosa Fleur de Lys FL 2 3080-1

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(No portrait)

Freda Bailey English piano teacher and composer

Born: ?

Freda Bailey has written or arranged several pieces for one hand.

Fun on the Piano, Initial Book A, B 

Fun on the Piano, Book 3.

Fun on the Piano, Book 4.

The Birds, Part 1.

Fun  on the Piano, Book 5.

The Birds, Part 2.  1983

Nocturne for the left hand performer  1983

The English Oak, The Chestnut, The Silver Birch, The Willow, The Copper Beech, The Mountain Ash  1983

Under Water Ballet (with descriptive poem), Fun at the fair; Dodgems, Helter Skelter, On the Horses, & On the Big Wheel  1999

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(No portrait) Etta Ballands  English/American pianist teacher and composer 

London, 29.03.1899 - Maine, USA, 25.05.1996

After her initial musical training she was a Licentiate at the Royal Academy of Music. She then held a similar position at Trinity College, London where she got her D.Mus before embarking on a career as an accomplished accompanist to great performers like Fritz Kreisler, Jan Kubelik, Pablo Casals and Nellie Melba. 
Besides this she taught for 25 years at different English music schools, and after WW II she went to Canada to teach at similar institutions for 11 years. She finally settled in Maine, US.
Ballands composed more than 500 works, mainly for the piano - but the following are the most significant:
Among her chamber music there are a cello sonata, two flute sonatas, a violin sonata and several other works for violin, cello and flute.
Her piano music includes a sonata for two pianos, concert sonatas, a Danse exotique, étude in A Flat Major for the left hand (mentioned below), Étude for the right hand in A Major, Kaleidoscope, Signs of Zodiac, Tone poems and 16 préludes.
The vocal output of Ballands include the cantata for narration, choir and piano Johnny Applesseed (1962) and several songs in English and French and some sacral works of which the Easter Cantata for mixed choir and baritone is the most important.

Étude in A Flat Major for the left hand  (MS)

Sources: Heide M. Bonke: Flute Music by Women Composers (Greenwood Publications1989) and
Encyclopedia of Women Composers.

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Zeqirja Ballata  Yugoslav composer, pedagogue and pianist. 

Born: Dakovisa, Kosovo, 1943

Ballata was educated at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana with professor Matija Bravnicar (1967) and as a post-graduate student with Lucijan Marija Skerjanc (1969).
After this he attended courses in Venice with V. Motara (1969-1970), at the Accademia Chigiani in Siena with Franco Donatoni (1971-1972) and finally in Rome with Goffredo Petrassi.
After his education Ballata became a lecturer at the Intermediate Music School in Maribor, where he lives. He is also member of the Society of Kosovo Composers, of the Faculty of Arts in Pristina and he is Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Pristina as well as president of the Society of Kosovo Composers.
He is a follower of quite contemporary trends and techniques. At the moment his output counts approximately 130 works for symphony orchestra, chamber, vocal-instrumental, choral and soloist formations. His compositions have been performed at festivals and concerts in former Yugoslavia, Albania, France, Austria, the Netherlands and Finland. 

Dve Skladbi za Klavir za levo ruko (Two Pieces for Piano for the left hand) 1. Echi delle Montagne Maledette fantasia rustica: Andante con variazioni, 2. Fantasia rustica.   1963-1964 (University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee)
Written in a style slightly reminiscent of Bartók's mature style.

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(No portrait)

Jacques Barat 

(1910 - 1989)


Douze petits divertissement pour piano pour le main gauche seule (12 small divertissement for the piano, left hand)  1976 (Chaudens, Paris)

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Stefan Bardas 

(1914 - 09.04.2008)

He was born in Germany  to a musical Austrian family  and survived the Holocaust by attending school in Rome at the Conservatory of Saint Cecilia, earning his bachelor's degree in music during World War II.
In New York he played popular music in piano bars and taught young talented piano student. Before coming to North Texas as artist in residence, he served as a piano teacher at Carroll College, Wesleyan University and Northwestern University.
After retiring from North Texas, he continued to teach piano part-time at El Paso Community College, was an adjunct faculty member at New Mexico State University at Las Cruces and taught private lessons.
He was well known for his performances of the 32 pieces in the Beethoven Cycle of Sonatas and for the piano fingering technique he developed for pianists with small hands. He was one of fewer than 1,400 pianists worldwide carrying the distinction of "Steinway Artist."

(Sarabande, Bourrée I & II after Bach's suite for cello suite, C-major, BWV 1009)  1964

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(No portrait)

Bernard Barrell  British Pianist and composer

(Sudbury, Suffork, 15.08.1919 - Bungay, 02.01..2005)

At he age of four his family moved to Ipswich, his home for the next seventy years. On leaving school he was employed as a clerk at Churchmans, the cigarette manufacturers,

but music was his real interest, and it was during this time he began to compose.
His own list of works contains four pieces from the immediate pre-war years: "Hommage ŕ Ravel" Suite for Small Orchestra, Op.1 and "Diversion on an original theme for Strings", Op.2 date from 1938. The "Soliloquy" for ’cello (or violin/viola/clarinet) and piano, Op.3 and the "Sarabande for Small Orchestra", Op.4 date from the following year. The "Sarabande" in the composer’s own arrangement for piano (Op.4A) was his first published composition (by Fraser Enock).
His war service was spent entirely in Gibraltar and while still in the army he married Joyce Geddy, also a composer.
he studied externally for and obtained his FTCL and L MusTCL qualifications. In addition to private teaching he took up music teaching posts in two Ipswich schools: Sidegate Lane Primary and Westbourne Boys' Secondary. He also continued to compose, slowly at first - only three compositions date from the late 1940s, but these were his first exploration into song and choral writing. In addition to day-time teaching, Bernard gave evening courses once a week at Hollesley Bay borstal, an institution primarily providing agricultural training for young offenders. He was also a lecturer for the W.E.A. (Workers' Education Association).
He was no fast composer but many of his works were of educational and didactic nature. The orchestra’s conductor, Margery Baker, wrote for their newsletter, "His writing was always tailored to the groups for which he wrote, sufficiently challenging; highlighting real talent while ensuring nothing was impossible." In addition to providing such music, Bernard was also supportive in other ways and was President of the Wymondham Youth Orchestra. He also served as the East Anglian representative for the Composers’ Guild.
Compositions in the 1970s and 1980s were plentiful and covered from Op.60 (Missa Brevis No.3) to Op.121 (a setting of Longfellow’s Carol, "I heard the bells on Christmas Day", for unison voices and piano/organ). Sacred choral music featured throughout his compositions and in addition to three Missa Brevis settings there are two further mass settings (Op.52 and Op.74), and a Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis, Op.106.
Though fewer works were completed in the 1990s these included a second string quartet (Op.132) cast in a single movement and, perhaps Bernard’s most unusually scored piece, "An Aberdeen Suite" for carillon Op.131

Five Pieces for one Hand op 98 (Intrada, Fugetta, Siciliano, Capriccio and Passcaglia  1981  (Brunton, London 1985)

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Béla (Viktor János) Bartók  Hungarian composer and piano virtuoso 

Nagyszentmiklós, Hungary (now Rumania), 25.03.1881 - New York, 26.09.1945

Bartók was the son of very musical parents and had his debut as pianist at the age of 10. After his father's death he became pupil of Ferenc Erkel's son Laszlo in Bratislave and later entered the Budapest Academy of Music, where István Thomán and Janos Koessler were his teachers.

János Koessler 

Bartók the composer is very well-known - but Bartók the pianist is not - except for performances of his own works. But he was a master at the keyboard which is documented by many recordings of music by Brahms etc. and these show that his attitude to the piano was nowhere as percussive as today's young virtuosos think. He was a pianist of the old school and his prime interest was tone - never banging it out - even his own music. He actually entered a piano competition in Paris but found it only fair that Wilhelm Backhaus won the first prize. 
Bartók's  first influence on his composing was that of Brahms' but soon he turned to Liszt, Debussy and Richard Strauss (often it is the other way around). At the same time he was very interested in folk music and after his graduation he traveled around with his friend Zoltan Kodály to collect (and record on cylinders) folk melodies, which should turn out to become his greatest inspiration.
After the Nazi-alliance with Hungary Bartók left his country for USA in 1940 but the remaining years of his life there were marked by disappointments, lack of work, illness (leukemia) and poverty - even though many friends and colleagues tried to help him by commissioning works from him. 
I opposition to Schönberg, Hindemith and Stravinsky Bartók chose to create his music with a folkloristic background of his own country with their special tonal patterns and especially their rhythms.
The main part of his output is for his own instrument the piano - on which he was a true virtuoso, but he has written an opera, a ballet, orchestral pieces, 3 piano concertos, two violin concertos a viola concerto and some chamber music, of which his 6 strung quartets are among the greatest works in that genre from the 20th century - and he is of course considered one of the greatest composers of his period.

Bartók at the upright piano

Tanulmany balkezre (Study for the left hand) The first of "Four Pieces for Piano" (1903) (Edito Musica Budapest).
Probably this piece was originally meant to be the first movement of a sonata dedicated to his teacher István Thomán - and originally it bore title Sonata -

The piano class of István Thomán (1862-1841)
(Bartók is third from left in the back row.)
Please notice that there are fourteen female 
students and only five male students

 - but Bartók never got around to writing the rest. The style of the etude is late romantic influenced by Liszt and Richard Strauss - and Bartók was very proud of the work.
It was premiered on 14th December 1903 at Bartók's Berlin debut in the Bechstein Hall - in the presence of Leopold Godowsky and Busoni, and afterwards the young virtuoso wrote back to his mother: I performed a new work of my own which achieved much success. It is a sonata movement for the left hand only that sounds as if played by three hands. 
Well - steady on Béla - three hands - really? - but it is a beautiful romantic (almost Rachmaninoff-like) work with nice technical problems to dig into and it does really give the impression of more than one hand. It is a work of 8-9 minutes which demands more accuracy than speed and a total command of the  wide-ranging moods from the tender almost Brahmsian to an almost Liszt/Rachmaninoffian forcefulness with a excellent octave passages. A torrential and spectacular piece - very tonal (mostly F Major) and very far from what we normally associates with Bartók.


And - a propos associating - I do not recall any picture of Bartók with a smile on his face, but here it is - sort of.

The Bartók Etude is recorded by Michel Béroff EMI CDC 7 49079 2

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(No portrait)

Marion Bauer 

(1882 - 1955)


Prélude in D (for the left hand op. 15/1.)  1922. (MS). Library of Congress.

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(No portrait)

Jean-Philippe Bauermeister  Swizz composer, oenologists etc.

(Born ?)


Prélude manchot. Pour la main gauche (ou la main droite)   2006. (MS). Schweizerischer Nationalbibliothek.
This piece is like C. Ph. Bach's small piece includeded even if it is not a genuineleft-hand work but can be played with either hand.

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Josef Bartovský  Czech pianist and composer

(Stupno, 03.12.1884 – Plzeň, 19.11.1964)

Bartovský was son of a schoolmaster in Stupno. He studied Real Gymnasium in Pilsen (Plzeň, 1896 - 1903) and from 1903 to1904 at the Teacher’s Institute in Prague. Since 1904 he was employed as a teacher near Rokycany (South/west Bohemia), after WW I he was appointed professor at the Teacher’s Institute (Institution for Education) in Plzeň. He was learning music first with O. Bradac (piano and composition, 1905/7 and 1913), with Karel Stecker (counterpoint, 1908), and with Vitezslav Novak at the Prague Conservatory from 1921 to1922 after which he passed the state examinations in singing, violin, piano and organ. 
From 1925 to 1928 He was a conductor of the Folk Philharmonic in Plzeň then he was the head of the Singing choir of the West-bohemian Teachers (1930-42). He wrote some textbooks and introductory handbooks on singing and music theory, was giving lectures on music and was writing articles for the local newspapers and magazines. 
As a composer he was very prolific , but his compositions mostly didn’t receive any wider publicity outside the regional territory  and their performances  were usually restricted mostly to the regional performances only. His compositional output includes piano pieces, chamber and orchestral music, symphonic poems, songs (18 cycles of songs), cantatas, incidental music etc.

Piano concerto No. 2 for left hand  (1952)
Written for WW I invalid Otakar Hollmann and won the 2. price in competition in Plzeň 1952

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Sir Arnold (Edward Trevor) Bax  English composer

London, 08.11.1883 - Cork, 03.10.1953

Bax alwaBax was a pupil of Frederick Corder (1852-1932) at the Royal Academy of Music in London. After e short visit to Russia he returned to Britain and was influenced by "The Celtic Revival" and by Irish literature.
Most of his work from the time before 1903 were withdrawn and after that his compositions fall in three periods: After the Celtic Revival Bax entered a period from approximately 1913 where his rich harmonic structuring was replaced by a style of stricter polyphony, and finally a third period with a somewhays described himself as a romantic, but now and again one is also reminded of the French impressionists, Sibelius and Delius. 
Except for opera Bax has produced music of all genres: 7 symphonies, concertos for piano, violin and cello, 3 string quartets, 4 piano sonatas and an abundance of piano pieces and songs.
In 1941 he was appointed
Master of the Queens Music.

Left Hand Piano Concertante  1949 (Chappell 1949)
This last important work from Bax's hand work was composed in 1949 for Harriet Cohen (1895-1967) who had injured her right hand permanently when pouring water in glass it shattered in her hand. In his charming little concerto Bax had to accommodate the solo part for Miss Cohen's small hand which just had the reach of one octave. The Concertante was premiered at the Cheltenham Festival on 4th. July 1950. Harriet Cohen continued to play left-hand works for a few years - but then she sadly gave up her career.

(The  slow movement from this Concertante has been arranged by Bax for solo piano, left hand.)  (Chappell & Co. 1950)

Arnold Bax and Harriet Cohen 
studying a score together

The life-long relationship between Bax and Miss Cohen has been described many times - but in a rather discreet manner. But if you read between the lines, it was with all probability a relationship of great harmony - though perhaps not in the strictest musical sense.

The Bax Concertante is recorded by Margaret Fingerhut, BBCPO & Vernon Handley, Chandos Chan 9715

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Frank Bayford  English composer

Born:London, 26.08.1941

Bayford did not start his professional career as a musician or composer but as a pharmacist. After his education at the Grammar School, Enfield he began studying pharmacy from 1961 to 1964 at what is now known as Portsmouth University and started work primarily at Chase Farm Hospital, Enfield - for many years as  Head of Pharmacy and Guest Lecturer in pharmaceutics to the medical and nursing staff. In 1988 he went into an early retirement to concentrate on music.
As a composer Bayford is practically self-taught and has written more than 100 works (piano works, orchestral pieces etc.) which have been performed with great success not only in the UK but also several places in the US and in Portugal. 
In 1974 he was co-founder of Compass Composers Association, which gave many premiers of mainly English music from the late 1970s as well as forming a publishing division, Modus Music, which now has a catalogue of over 300 varied items.
Frank Bayford has also President of the Enfield String Players since 1993; a musical group which has now changed its name to Enfield Chamber Orchestra and since 2005 with Grace Rossiter as artistic director. 

Theydon Bois  (Fand Music Press 2004)
In his note from this valuable album Frank Bayford writes: This piece was originally the eighth of my early set of Piano Preludes opus 1. It was written in 1962 at my aunt and uncle's home in Theydon Bois, a village on the edge of Epping Forrest in Essex.
When it was published in 1994, this item was omitted, with the original no. 9 replacing it. I wrote it "for the right hand alone", but it is perfectly feasible for performance by the left hand. I am grateful to John Mitchell for persuading me to resurrect it, and for his advise in preparing and revising it for publications.
F. B. 

Sources: http://www.britishacademy.com and
The Fand Left-Hand Album, Fand Music Press

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Colin Bayliss 

Born: Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, 15.02.1948

Bayliss composed from an very early age due to his love for music. His education led him to become a member The British Academy of Composers and Songwriters, the North West Composers' Association and the Performing Rights Society- as well as writing music himself, he has also compiled catalogues of the earlier works of Anthony Hedges and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies
His life-long love of music led him to compose from an early age and he now has a catalogue of over a hundred and fifty works including two operas, four symphonies, six string quartets, three piano sonatas and many other pieces for most instrumental and chamber groupings.
His site lists his published compositions. Details of his other works will be found in The Music of Colin Bayliss: an annotated catalogue, due for publication by Da Capo Music Ltd in the near future
His concern for the state of music publishing led him to found his own company in 1992 - Da Capo Music Ltd. This company has to date published over 700 pieces, mainly of today's composers, and also some recently discovered pieces and arrangements of works by composers of the past.
It has also begun to record some of these works on compact disc under the New Century Classics label.

Momento Riflettoso for piano left hand  (2001)
This piece is composed for Tomas Tranströmer

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(No portrait)

Richard Owen Beachcroft  English pianist, organist and composer

Born: ?

Beachcroft studied the organ, piano and composition at the Royal College of Music, London and became organist of Worcester College, Oxford from 1894 to 1896. He later was appointed to  St. Paul’s, Clifton in 1901. 
He was director of music at Clifton High School and from 1909 of Redland High School.
Among his works are the Part Song (SATB) The Day is Fine with accompaniment of piano and a set of piano impromptus.

Air and variations on a Theme by Handel  c.1918 (Oxford University Press 1927)

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(No portrait)


Kathrine Beard 

Born: ?

Song for Left Hand Alone  (Willis) 

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Betty Beath  Australian composer and pianist 

Born: Bundaberg, Queensland, 19.11.1932

Betty Beath began her musical training at the age of three - her parents owned a sugar cane farm and she was sent  to learn piano with a cousin, a gifted teacher. For such a small student, the teacher resorted to imaginative tricks: she tied a blue ribbon on Betty's right hand, a pink one on her left and drew blue and pink bows on the treble and bass clefs of the score. She introduced notes as soldiers and rabbits and other fantastical figures. She had Betty believe that the grand piano was the grand home of the fairies who made the music and thus young Betty could read music long before she could read words.  Later, in Brisbane, the state capital, she studied with Nora Baird, a well-known piano teacher.  Her career had been set from that early age: examinations, performances, competitions. 
By the age of seventeen she had won many eisteddfod competitions and had twice been a finalist in the ABC Instrumental Concerto & Vocal Competition. After being granted the Queensland University Music Scholarship she entered the Sydney Conservatorium where she studied with Frank Hutchens. Later she graduated from the Queensland Conservatorium, specializing in piano and voice.
The 1950's and 60's were years of discovery for Betty Beath, not only in a musical sense. In 1953 I married a patrol officer, John Beath, and lived for some time on the tiny, beautiful island of Abau, half-way between Port Moresby and the island of Samarai.  For some time I was the only European woman living on that island and though it was unusual at the time, I had the opportunity to accompany patrols visiting coastal and hinterland villages in the south-eastern region of Papua. Through these experiences I developed a strong and enduring interest in non-western culture which was later strengthened and extended through travel and research in Indonesia and through my collaboration and later marriage to David Cox. 
In 1974 Beath was awarded, jointly with her husband, David Cox, a South East Asian Fellowship by the Australia Council which allowed them to carry out research and gather materials for writing in Indonesia.  In Bali she studied gamelan music with the renowned teacher and musician, the late Cokorde Agung Mas of Ubud, Bali. The influence of Indonesian music can be heard in much of Betty Beath's work.  Her tone poem for orchestra, Asmaradana, inspired by 11th century music from the courts of Central Java,  was performed by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra conducted by Richard Mills in the Music of Australia Concert held in Jakarta during the Trade and Cultural Mission, Australia Today Indonesia 94.
Just as important was her association with pianist, composer and publisher, the late Dr. Franz Holford (1907-1994 and student of Alfred Cortot and Sir Hamilton Harty), whom she regarded as her musical mentor. 
In 1984, sponsored by the Fellowship of Australian Composers, Betty Beath represented women composers of Australia at the 3rd International Congress on Women in Music in Mexico City. She served for many years on the Executive Board of the International League of Women Composers and is currently serving as the State Adviser in Music for the National Council of Women of Queensland Inc.
She believes the rich experience of life, the associations with those who encouraged, and stimulated thought have offered a wide vision giving opportunities for growth. These have nurtured, given sustenance and the ability to believe that a life in music is truly a vocation.
Recent works include a cycle for voice and instrumental ensemble Towards  the Psalms, settings of texts selected from the novel Fugitive Pieces by Canadian writer Anne Michaels. This work was commissioned by the Brisbane Writers Festival 2004 and premiered by The Southern Cross Soloists.  Beath's more recent work for solo piano, Merindu Bali was programmed in a series of international memorial concerts performed by Ananda Sukarlan, dedicated to the victims of the Bali terrorist attacks and most recent work (just completed) has been the setting of some lovely texts by the Javanese writers Goenawan Mohamad and the late Subagio Sastrowardojo for solo voice and orchestra.  She has titled the work Gambar gambar Jawa - meaning - for those of you whose Jawanese has become somewhat rusty: Images of Java and she says: those images, along with the texts, have been powerful in stimulating memories and images I treasure. The first performance will take place on the 10th August, 2007 in a concert celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University. 

Beath's work is recorded by Tall Poppies, Vienna Modern Masters, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Fellowship of Australian Composers and JADE. Her music can be accessed through the Australian Music Centre and biographical information appears in a number of publications including The New Groves Dictionary of Women Composers and Contemporary Composers, St. James Press, Chicago & London. 
Betty Beath and husband David Cox, who is an illustrator and writer, have collaborated in a number of successful works and written several children's operas. 

David Cox

Black on White  for piano, left hand  (1983)  (Five Line Publishing, London and The Keys Press in a selection of piano pieces for senior secondary piano students published)

To this author Betty Beath has given the following thorough and informative explanation and back-ground story of her work: 
Black on White was written following an invitation from Shirley Harris, Director, The Harbor Conservatory and is a contribution to her collection of piano music for one hand alone.
The piece makes use of the full keyboard with the help of a ruler, thirty centimetres long, just the right length to depress two octaves of either black or white keys. By depressing the ruler and at the same time the sustaining pedal, the resulting gong-like cluster of sound can be maintained for as long as is musically appropriate. The tempo, ANDANTE, has been chosen to accommodate varying skills but the work needs to be kept moving. Clusters and groups of chords are designed to make use of all the black keys followed by a shift of interest to the white keys.
Although I was interested to write this work I haven't (yet) written again for one hand alone...I seem to have been called in other directions. When I think about it there were two reasons which drew me to accept the challenge, the first of course was the invitation to write a work for left hand alone; the second reason goes back to my student days when, in performing a Mozart concerto with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra where the conductor, Bernard Heinze, remarked (to the orchestra) 'this girl has a sensitive left hand, let us hear what she is saying'! I have never forgotten that and to this day I very much value the singing warmth of tone that the left hand may produce... as well, I often think of the left hand as the 'male' voice in dialogue with the 'female' voice of the right hand. I enjoy setting up some of those conversations!

Sources: National Library of Australia
Betty Beath's own website from which I graciously have been permitted to extract. 
I also owe a debt of gratitude to Betty Beath for helping me with this biography 
and to her husband David Cox for the portraits.

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Louise Adolpha Le Beau  German pianist and composer 

Rastatt, Baden, 25.04.1850 - Baden-Baden, 1927

Le Beau was brought up in a very unusual and musically gifted family. Her father was a general in the army of the duchy Baden - but he was also a good amateur singer and conductor. And Louise showed great musical talents herself - being able to sing a tune back before she could even speak.
At the age of four she had already composed  her first piece of music and her family decided that she was going to have a solid musical education. So she starting with studies in singing, piano and composition.
Her formal debut was at the age of eighteen, when she played the Emperor concerto and Mendelssohn's piano concerto in D minor (no.1). After this she went on her first tour to Basel, Heidelberg and Augsburg - playing among other things Mozart's concerto in D major (no 26 KV. 537) and with her own cadenzas.
Since just after Louisa's birth the family had lived in Karlsruhe and in her memoirs she gives a very interesting description of the musical life there: It was certainly not seen upon mildly that her family had allowed her to study music seriously. So the family began to seek opportunities for Louisa's education father afield - away from the narrow-minded provincial Karlsruhe.
On recommendation by the conductor Hermann Levi and the pianist Hans von Bülow - who was deeply impressed by the young lady - the choice fell on Munich and Joseph Rheinberger who - after hearing her violin sonata op. 10 - made an exception to his principle of not teaching women. Louisa's eleven years' stay in Munich became some of her most rewarding years and her most prolific as a composer. She even founded a Private Music Course for Piano and Theory for Daughter of Educated Station and appeared in numerous concerts with her own works.
On the other hand her stay in Munich also started some of her troubles partly because she refused to choose  side in The Wagner Question. This displeased both sides and she was eventually more or less pushed out of the official musical life - finally even getting unfair and bad reviews which really had nothing to do with her music or her playing. 
So - she was an outsider, and she was treated as such - sometimes with awkward and even comical results. In 1882 she won the first prize in an composers' competition which had Carl Reinecke as head of the jury. The winning work was her Four pieces for cello and piano op. 24 and it caused some embarrassment when the judges realized that the pre-printed diploma - which only needed the filling in of the winner's name would not do at all. So they had to cross out Herr (Mr.) and write Fräulein (Miss) instead.
And at that time music played such an important role in Germany that the mayor of Baden-Baden discouraged the family from returning since he did not want any musical war in his town and he feared Miss Le Beau's competition with local musicians - so the family instead settled in Wiesbaden.
Both Dr. Edel and Judith E. Olson in her contribution to the subject in Women Making Music (Macmillan Press) only mention the relationship between Louise and Clara Schumann with two or three words. Pity - since this is one of the most interesting and juicy parts of the Le Beau's story. 
The relationship began in 1873 when Louise started as Clara's pupil. Artistically they were in total accordance with each other but otherwise the whole business was  - in a word - a flop. The interesting thing is Louise's very frank description of Frau Schumann which certainly gives a somewhat different picture of the otherwise almost canonized lady than the one we are accustomed to. According to Louise, Clara was a fretful old lady who never spoke one word of kindness. Everything she said was done in a brutal and impatient way and her teaching lacked any sign of consistency. One day she would (sort of) praise something only to ridicule it the next day and she never showed the pupil anything by playing it herself. Louise felt that she was being oppressed - and then comes the really funny part. One expect at least some kind of solidarity between these two women composers - but - oh no! Frau Clara Josephine Wieck Schumann - composer of a piano concerto, numerous piano pieces and songs; coming to the total of 23 opus numbers - just didn't  like women composers!
The term with Clara was so strenuous for Louise that she contracted nervous fever - which later was known to be a normal psychosomatic reaction with many who came in contact with the Grand old Lady. Or - to put it more bluntly: Le Beau must have thought Clara a bitch - a sentiment she seems to have shared with others..
I don't know for how long a teacher like that would stay in business today, but Louise left Clara after a very short time and turned to Clara's innate enemy: Hans von Bülow who sent her on to Rheinberger with a letter of the warmest recommendation - with the result described above.
Well - much of Le Beau's professional life was a tragedy - being caught in the middle of different musical wars and not being taken seriously as a (woman) composer but the music she left is strong, well-balanced, inspired and with an almost Brahmsian muscularity. 

Among her most important works are a symphony, an oratorio Ruth, many pieces of chamber music, choral works, piano pieces and songs.

Louise Adolpha Le Beau
in 1909

Improvisata; Etude op.30  (Cranz 1885)

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(No portrait)

Gilson Jappe Beck  Brazilian pianist and composer

Born: ?

Só para a Măo ezquerda - sequęncias sulistas para piano  2002 

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(No portrait)

Tiziano Bedetti   Italian pianist and composer

Born: 1976

Due preludi per la mano sinistra  1993

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(No portrait)
 Louise Béguin-Salomon (often just: Mm. Béguin-Salomon)  French composer

 Born: 1831  Died 19??

Etude de concert for the left hand op. 14

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(No portrait)

Larry Thomas Bell  American pianist and composer

Born: 1952

Prelude (Study for the left hand No.11 from reminiscences and reflections)  

Twelve Preludes and Fugues op. 46  (Casa Rustica Publications, Boston 1998)  

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(No portrait)

Karl (Carl) Beecher

Born: ?

Four Preludes for the left hand alone  1928 (Schlesinger)

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Ludwig van Beethoven  German composer of Flemish descent but most living in Austria

Bonn, 16.12.1770 - Vienna, 26.03.1827

Beethoven did not write any pieces for the left hand alone but due to their popularity many of his pieces other composers and arrangers have transcribed them for the left hand alone. These arrangers are written as links which will lead you to them. With many of the pieces there are several transcriptions which are interesting each in itself - because no two transcriber will use the same method and each will come out with a different effect. (all non-original left-hand are noted in brackets)

(Minuet in G major) Arranged by Felix de Cola and Frédéric Meinders

(Für Elise) Arranged by Gerhard Rühm, James Marchand and Cor de Groot who has also recorded it for Philips Records.

(Andante Cantabile - 2nd movement from the Pathétique Sonata) Transcribed by Rudolf Horn

(Adagio sostenuto - 1st movement from the Moonlight Sonata) Transcribed by Frédéric Meinders

See also the Beethoven works arranged by Paul Wittgenstein

See appendix about Beethoven's last flat

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Vincenzo Bellini  Italian composer

Catania, Sicily, 03.11.1801 - Puteaux nr. Paris, 23.09.1835

Bellini grew up in a musical environment - his father being and organist, and due to the intervention of a Sicilian noble man - who was struck by the young Vincenzo's talent - he was sent to Naples to be educated - free of charge.
Together with the four years older Donizetti - Bellini became one of the greatest opera composers in Italy in the bel canto tradition.
Composers and arrangers of piano music have often drawn on the catching tunes from the his operas.

(Capriccio sull' Opera La Straniera di Bellini op. 96) See Bonamici 

(Casta diva che inargenti from the opera Norma) Arranged by Fumagalli and Rudolf Hasert 

(Étude cromatique on a march from the opera I Puritani) See de Croze 

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Sir Julius Benedict  German-English composer

Stuttgart, 22.11.1804 - London, 05.06.1885

Julius Benedict's father was a wealthy Jewish banker in Stuttgart and he secured his son a good education with good teachers: Hummel in Weimar and Weber in Dresden. The latter treated the young man more or less like a son and he introduced him to Beethoven in Vienna on the 5th of October 1823.
Benedicts first engagement came the same year as Kapellmeister of the Kärntnerthor Teater in Vienna
and two years later (in 1825) he became Kapellmeister of the San Carlo theatre at Naples. His first opera, Giacinta ed Ernesto, was brought out in 1829, and another, written for his native city, I Portoghesi in Goa, was given there in 1830; but neither with much success. 
In 1834 Benedict left for Paris and one year later the famous mezzo-soprano Malibran suggested that he should try his luck in London, where he stayed for the remainder of his life.

Maria Malibran

Jenny Lind

After having produced the short opera Un anno ed un giorno he was in 1838 appointed conductor of the English Opera at Drury Lane and many of his operas were produced here: The Gypsy's Warning (1838), The Bride of Venice (1843), and The Crusaders (1846). In 1850 he went to America as the accompanist on the Swedish Nightingale, Jenny Lind's tour. 

Caricature of Benedict
receiving applause

His most famous opera The Lily of Killarney was produced at the Covent Garden in 1862, and at the same time he began to write cantatas for which he became very known and the greater part of them he produced at the Norwich festival which he conducted from 1845 to 1878.
Julius Benedict was knighted in 1871 and in 1874 was made knight Commander of the Orders of Franz Joseph (Austria) and Frederick (Württemberg).

Etude für die linke Hand allein, f-minor (Study for the Left Hand Alone)  1872 In Lebert und L. Stark: Groβe Theoretisch-praktische Klavierschule (Stuttgart)


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Stephan Beneking  German pianist and composer

Born: Aachen, 04.01. ?

Stephan Beneking, award-winning composer, is based in Berlin, Germany. Beneking´s original compositions are in neoclassical, classical, romantic, melodic and contemporary modern classical style for piano solo with favourite composers as different as Bach, Chopin, as Satie.
The unique melodies and melancholy in his pieces attract listeners all over the world, even comparing him with the likes of Chopin, Schuman and Schubert. Pianists appreciate the sudden changes, little surprises and sparkling creativity, that make the pieces enjoyable to play.
Beneking ́s style of "pure piano" means literally "crafted" piano works, that concentrate on the pure melody aspect, while the omission of any tempo, dynamics and pedal markings gives every pianist the possiblity to develop his/ her own understanding of the work, thus making every single interpretation an unique piece of art, joint product of composer and pianist.


His work 18 Préludes for one hand alone from 2013, of which 9 are written for the left hand alone. His repertoire comprises more than 300 piano works so far and his music is being played by hobby and professional pianists in many countries.
All scores/sheet music can be downloaded for free on www.beneking.com to make the music available to all interested pianists. Among  them are Adveniat, Black and White Panther, Dance on Icy Waters, Elegies and Fantasies, Fleurs de la Nuit, La grande Petitesse et ses Filles, Holocaust Remembrance Suite, Homage a Bach,Das kleine Mädchen mit den Schwerfelhölzern, A la recherche du temps perdu, Miniatures for giants, Nachtlieder von der Toteninsel, 12 Nocturnes, 24 Petites reves bizarres, 24 Petites reves, 4 piano sonates, 8 preludes fantaisias, 18 Preludes for one hand alone, Peves et reveries, 12 Valkyries, 12 valsesmelancholiques10 valses melancholiques, Zita in the wonderland.
Often Beneking's subject is the fact that during the Nazi era the conditions for homosexuals were very dangerous. One man kissing another could lead to execution of both persons.This is the subject for some of Beneking's works like Der Kuss (The Kiss).
Another piece commorates On 10th of May 1933, exactly 80 years ago, Nazi student organizations burned ten-thousands of "un-German" books on the Opera place in Berlin. The same happened in many other german cities.
Heinrich Heines profetiske warning from  1823 (!): "Das war Vorspiel nur. Dort, wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen."
Fĺ mĺneder etter at national scialistse overtook the power the first phase of the "cleaning processes Den 10. mai 1933 the first "book pyre" was arranged with large numbers of books af dissertionsl med store mengder břker og invaluable from all over Germany avhandlinger were colected from Universities and private collectors. Innsamlingen ble gjort ved ĺ beslaglegge skrifter fra offentlige samlinger  thus showing what already Goethe said of the German race.

  Burning books during the Nazi regime bringing Heinrich Heines
words to mind: This the prelude only. Where they burn
books, in the end they will burn people (early 1800s)

They tried to extinguish and eradicate this part of German culture. Among the hundreds of poets and writers, whose books were banned and burned, were Bertold Brecht, Albert Einstein, Heinrich Heine, Franz Kafka, Erich Kästner, Heinrich and Klaus Mann, Stefan Zweig and many others. They were expatriated or even put into concentration camps (e.g. Carl von Ossietzky).

18 Préludes for one hand alone (2013, Berlin)

6  short "Nocturnes-Etudes" in C minor (3 pieces for the left hand, 3 pieces for the right hand)


Would be great if you could include these (and also my 24 Waltzes for one hand) into your catalog- Thanks a lot!


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Photo © Katie v. Dyck

Sir Richard Rodney Bennett  English composer

Born: 29 03.1936 

Bennett is one of the most versatile of British composer today. He feels equally at home writing for the concert hall or for film. His education began in London at the Royal Academy of Music after which he went to Paris to become the first pupil of Pierre Boulez. In 1964 he received the Arnold Bax Society Prize one year later the Ralph Vaughan Williams Award for Composer of the Year. 
He was composer-in-residence at the Peabody Institute, Baltimore during the years 1970-71 and is now living in New York.
Bennett has enjoyed a 40-year career as composer, noted arranger, essayist, teacher, and pianist. His affinity for "traditional" linear form and tonal harmony has given his music an identity, leading him through European post-War modernism, 60's serialism and 70's avant-garde, as well as delving into the worlds of jazz and cabaret. He has written in every genre including music for television and the films Billy Liar, Far from the Madding Crowd, Billion Dollar Brain, Nicholas and Alexandra, Murder on the Orient Express, Yanks, Tender is the Night and Four Weddings and a Funeral). 

Reictando, mano sinistra, No. from Five Studies (1962-64 Universal)

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(No portrait)

Berenice (Benson) Bentley

(1887 -1971)

Four Easy Pieces for Children: 1. A Happy Heart, 2. Just a-fooling, 3. Prince Fairy Foot, 4. Vagrant Breeze  1944 (Summy)

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(Johan) Hermann Berens  German-Swedish pianist and composer

Hamburg, 07.04.1826 - Stockholm, 09.05.1880

Berens was the son of a German flute player and composer - Carl Berens (1801-1887), who gave the boy his first musical instruction. After that he went on to study with Weber's successor at the German Opera at Dresden, Karl Gottlieb Reissiger (1798-1859) and in 1847 he settled in Sweden - first as member of a chamber orchestra in Stockholm arranging chamber music evenings and from 1848 to 1860 as musical director of Örebro Hussar Regiment. 
In 1860 he was called to Stockholm as music director of Mindra Teatern and after that followed a similar post at the more important theatre Dramaten. One year later (1861) he was appointed teacher of composition and instrumentation at Stockholm Conservatory - becoming professor in 1868 and for a period of time he was private piano teacher of Queen Lovisa - married to king Karl XV.
Among his works are operas Violetta (1955), Lully and Quinault (1859), En utflugt i det gröna (1862) and Riccardo (1869), incidental music, songs, many piano pieces and he invented a special form of chamber music called Gesellschaft Quartet for piano four hand, violin and cello. He also wrote two sonatas for Piano-duet and six Kunder-Sonater for piano solo and two other sonatas. All were fairly popular but the critics were not always enthusiastic; a sonata for violin and piano op. 5 (1847) was reviewed as promising but inconsistent - with inadequate development in the first movement and meaningless brilliance in the last. But then again - his piano sonata op. 60 (1862) earned Berens a prize.

Die Pflege der linken Hand (Cultivation of the Left Hand) op. 89 (46 exercises and 25 studies)  1872 (Peters)
The exercises are simple 'Hanon-like' but among the studies are several small gems - and by small I mean that they are pleasant though without much originality and less than a whole page long.

Pour le main gauche. (No 2 from Six Etudes enfantines  op. 3)  (Schubert, Hamburg ca. 1948)

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Francesco [Francis] Berger  English pianist and composer

London, 10.06.1834 - London, 26.04.1933

Berger's father - a businessman from Trieste - came from Italy to London and then decided to stay in England. His son Francesco first played in public at the age of 8 and then got a very thorough musical education studying piano with Adolf Gollmick (1825-1883) and composition with Raffaello Paravivini (?) in London. He then went to Trieste to study piano with Aegidius Ferdinand Karl Lickl (1803-1864) and composition with Luigi Ricci (1805-1859), and later in Leipzig he became a private pupil of Louis Plaidy , Ignaz Moscheles (1794-1870) and Moritz Hauptmann .

Louis Plaidy (1810-1874)
Among his other pupils were
Felix Draeseke, Julius Röntgen
and a rather disheartened Grieg

Moritz Hauptmann (1792-1868)
Among his other pupils were 
Ferdinand David, Joseph 
Joachim and Hans von Bülow

Back in England, in 1855 Berger ventured upon a very long and distinguished career as  pianist and teacher. Between 1868 and 1908 he organized unique classes in London for the study of chamber music with piano, known as the Aprčs-midi instrumentales (Musical Afternoons). From 1886  he was professor of the Royal Academy of Music and from 1887 he taught at the Guildhall School of Music  and, a member of the Royal Philharmonic Society since 1871, he was elected a honorary secretary from 1884–1911 and became a member of its directorate from 1880 to1912.

Berger composed many works in all genres: masses, operas, overtures, chamber music, piano works (more than 100 light pieces), choral works and songs (among these more than 100 short vocal pieces).
Dvořák was a dear friend of Berger and prior to the English premiere of his 9th symphony (From the New World) he wrote to Berger June 12, 1894 explaining the character of the work and emphasized that The Largo goes very slowly as well as the introduction too. O, the tempi, the tempi! it is an awful think ! [sic]. 

Francesco Berger
10.06.1834 - 26.04.1933

Berger who acted as the diplomatic secretary of the London Philharmonic Society was also in contact with Saint-Saëns offering him the chance to compose, conduct, and perform a piece for Britain’s most prestigious orchestra. It was from this opportunity that Saint-Saëns produced one of his most famous works: Symphony No. 3 in C minor, otherwise known as the Organ Symphony, and thus it was premiered in London 19.05.1886.

Charles (John Huffam) Dickens
07.02.1812 - 09.06.1870

He also was a close personal friend of Charles Dickens to whose two plays The Lighthouse and Frozen Deep he composed incidental music and Berger himself wrote a series of biographies of great musicians, a Vocabulary of Musical Expressions and contributed to several musical journals and daily newspapers. During an interview late in his life he claimed that he in fact didn't have any recreations - he simply couldn't spare the time which one can easily imagine. In 1913 he published his first book of memoirs (Reminiscences, Impressions and Anecdotes) - one might say - about time - but oh no! - a further book  appeared in 1931 with that very significant title 97 (his age by then). This last book is a perfectly charming set of different recollections from a man who had known and befriended a host of celebrated musicians of the past like Spohr, Meyerbeer, Wagner, Verdi, von Bülow, Liszt, Thalberg, Moscheles, Brahms, Rubinstein, Berlioz, Jenny Lind, Sullivan, Saint-Saëns, Dvořák, Grieg, Tchaikovsky, Moszkowski, Busoni, Vieuxtemps, Wieniawski, Joachim, Sarasate and Clara Schumann and he accompanied Giulia Grisi and Adelina Patti at their last performances.
Besides the book gives a precise and often witty and enlightening picture of Victorian society by a man who went everywhere and knew everybody of musical importance.  

When Berger died barely two months before turning 99 the obituary in the Musical Times, vol. 74 (June 1933), p. 559 read as follows:

Now here is something strange: The obituary indicates April 25 as the day of his death -  while most accepted encyclopedias - including the New Grove's has April 26. 
Well - I suppose, at the ripe age of 98 one day more or less does make very little difference. Or - perhaps sir Charles Groves "bumped him off" (why bother)
one day earlier and didn't' tell anybody.

Six Bagatelles  1921 (Augener 1926) 
These rather easy pieces were primarily meant for educational purposes and written in different national idioms:
1. A Good old Fashion, F-major
2. Sweet Innocence, D-major
3. In Sunny Spain, G-major much arpeggiated work
4. In Bonnie Scotland, F-major (not to be confused with the Laurel and Hardy film)
5. Dreaming in Venice, F-major  6/8
6. Polacca, F-major  6/8

Six Bagatelles for the pianoforte for the left hand alone  (Presser, Philadelphia 1929)
1. Slowly
2. Irish spirit
3. Slow and almost sentimental
4. Beautiful and light
5. Smooth, elegant and fastish
6. Rather fast

See New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians' (London, 2001), p. 334
J.D. Brown: Biographical Dictionary of Musicians (Paisley and London, 1886/R)
© Portrait of Francesco Berger: Original drawing by this author: H. Brofeldt

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(No portrait)

Helene Berger  ?

(At the moment of writing most beautifully alive)

Of this lady I know absolutely nothing but on YouTube you can see and hear her playing the work below:

Prelude for the left hand

As I would like to make this base the most complete concerning work for piano left hand alone I urge my readers Helene Berger - or those who are still with me - to contact me and let me know a little more about Helene Berger - or preferably get a mail from herself about herself and her piece.

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Ludwig Berger  German composer and pianist

Berlin, 08.04.1777 - Berlin, 18.02.1839 

Berger spent his childhood and youth in Templin (Uckermark) and later in Frankfurt/Oder where he attended school and later studied at the University. In 1799 he was given musical instruction by the double bass player Joseph Augustin Gürrlich in Berlin. One year later he left for Dresden with the intension to continue his education there under Johann Gottlieb Naumann but this famous teacher died before Berger had arrived.
Back in Berlin in 1803 Berger now settled as a piano teacher and it was here he in 1804 met Clementi who didn't perform publicly any more but often went on travels with some young pianist and pupil. This time it was with August Alexander Klengel and the meeting with Clementi became the great turning point for Berger. Together with Clementi and Klengel he traveled to St. Petersburg where he settled for a period of seven years as a famous pianist and teacher and getting acquainted with both Daniel Steibelt and John Field.
When Napoleons troupes approached the city in 1812, Berger fled and came by Stockholm to London to join Clementi once again and here he stayed for two years before he returned to Berlin in 1814 to perform for the last time in public in November.
The cultural life in the salons of the city flourished at that time and Berger soon gained access to the best of them forming friendships with Luise Hensel (later married  to Mendelssohn) and her brother, the painter Wilhelm Hensel, Clemens von Brentano and the poet of Die Schöne Müllerin, Wilhelm Müller. In fact Berger became the first to set some of these Müllerin songs to music - about seven years before Schubert's. 
Now Berger had established himself as the most important piano teacher in the city with illustrious pupils like Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn, Wilhelm Taubert and Adolf von Henselt.
His compositions concentrates on three genres: songs, piano pieces and choral works. In the first he precedes Schubert by breaking up the narrow rules of the stanzas and by adding a new expressivity and colour to the accompaniment, making the voice and the piano equal partners. In his character pieces for piano Berger also anticipates Mendelssohn's Lieder ohne Worte with their lyricism. 
Berger also tried his hand on the larger form like a piano concerto but with little success. It was through the smaller forms he showed his mastery as a representative of the Berlin Biedermeier style at the threshold of romanticism.

12 Etudes op. 12  1820 (Peters /  Ruthardt)
In this collection No. 9 ( Andante con moto. con mano sinistra sole is for the left hand alone)

Quinze (15) etudes pour le pianoforte op. 22. (Hoffmeister, Leipzig 1836)
In this colledtion No. 6, Maestoso patetico is for the left hand alone.

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Wilhelm (Reinhard) Berger  German composer, conductor and pianist of American origin

Boston, 09.08.1861 - Jena, 16.01.1911

Berger's parent settled in Germany when Wilhelm was only one year and here he stayed for the rest of his life. His musical education he entrusted to the Royal High School of Music in Berlin where he studied with Friedrich Kiel (who was said to have had more than 140 pupils in composition) and after that he became teacher at the Scharwenka-Klindworth Conservatory (1888). After five years he left the institute and was appointed conductor of the famous Meiningen Orchestra (1893) - succeeding Fritz Steinbach who was Brahms' favorite interpreter of his works.

 Friedrich Kiel 
Fritz Steinbach

As a composer Berger produced two Symphonies (op. 71 and 80), Serenade for winds op. 102 and some chamber music: string quintet op. 75, piano quintet op. 95, piano quartet op. 21, clarinet trio op. 94, string trio op. 69 and a cello sonata op. 28 as the most important. Besides this there are many piano works a f.ex. piano sonata in B major. The choral works include Meine Göttin op. 72,  Euphorion: Scene aus Goethes Faust II. Teil op. 74,  Der Totentanz op. 86, Pharao op. 101, Schneehymnus and finally  several sets of songs.

Romanze (Studie für die linke Hnad allein für Pianoforte) op. 31 no. 6  (C. Fischer)

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Borah Bergman



Three for the Left Hand Alone: River shadows, Oranges & Horizons (Borah Bergman Music)
Three Improvisations. Recorded on Chiaroscuro Records; CR-158 1957, New York

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Michael Bergson

(1820 - 1898)


Les Caracteristiques. Etudes de styles et de Perfectionnement op. 60 1865 (Rieter- Bietermann, Leipzig)
From this collection No. 7,  Pour le main gauche seule is for the left hand alone.

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Ralph Berkowitz  American pianist and composer

New York 05.09.1910 - Albuquerque, New Mexico 02.08.2011

Berkowitz enrolled at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia in 1928 where he later became a staff member teaching form and analysis, directing the Historical Series of concerts, and coaching vocal students. 
In 1940 he resigned to become accompanist for cellist Gregor Piatigorsky, a position he held until the cellist's death in 1972 giving concerts throughout the world.

Gregor Piatigorsky

From 1946 to 1951 Berkowitz was executive assistant to Serge Koussevitzky at Tanglewood and from 1951 Dean of the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood in 1951 and he remained in that position until his resignation in 1964.
In 1953 he also became executive director and principal pianist of the June Music Festival in Albuquerque - to where he moved - and five years later also business manager of the Albuquerque Symphony Orchestra until his resignation in 1969.
In addition to teaching, lecturing, and performing, Ralph Berkowitz was also a painter. His paintings, pastels, woodcuts, and drawings are in numerous private collections in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Los Angeles and Albuquerque.
As a composer, Ralph Berkowitz is primarily remembered for A Telephone Call for singer and orchestra, based on a Dorothy Parker monologue.

The Right Hand's Vacation: Five Pieces for the Left hand Alone: 1952 (Elkan-Vogel)

1. Tuning Up  "For Larry"
2. Two Sad Clowns  "For Donna an Roddy"
3. The Harp  "For Cara"
4. Spanish Dance  "For Kathy"
5. Circus March  "For Joan"
These pieces are in fact mostly intended for childre
n - still - aren't we all? I am not too old for a game of tiddlywinks between a piece of Scriabin and Stockhausen. All except no. 4 are just one page.

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José Berr  Swiss pianist, composer and conductor

Regensburg, 29.12.1874 - Zurich, 15.04.1947

Berr studied at the Münchener Akademie der Tonkunst where his teachers were Ludwig Thuille and Joseph Gabriel Rheinberger

Ludwig  Thuille
(1861 - 1907)

After this he worked for several years as conductor at the theatres in Osnabrück, Regensburg and Gera. In 1900 he settled in St. Gallen and already one year later he was appointed teacher at Gottfried Angerers Musikakademie in Zurich.
From 1913 to 1944 he led his own private conservatory where he, among others, employed the Polish composer and pianist Czeslaw Marek (1891-1985). Among his students at this private institution was the composer and conductor Rolf Liebermann (1910-1999).

Czeslaw Marek
(1891 - 1985)

At the same time he continued appearing as pianist and during WW I he belonged to Busoni's personal friends in Zurich. 
Among his works are the operas Der tote Gast (The Dead guest) (1923), François Villon (1932), Santa Rock (1939) and John Kabys (1945). Further works for the stage include the ballet Der weisse Tänzer (The White Dancer) (1926), the pantomime Francesca (1901) and the dramatic poem with ballet Der Lebenstrank (The Draught of Life) (1924). Beside that he has composed orchestral music, songs for chorus and solo-voice and a large amount of piano pieces which are mostly in manuscripts. Among these are: Gavotte (op. 2), Petits morceaux caractéristiques (op. 3), 
Menuet (op. 4), Valse-Impromptu (op. 5), Serenata (op. 28),  Drei Humoresken In Fugenform (op. 46),  Resignation (op. 63),  Berceuse d’enfant (op. 68),  Dans le crépuscule (op. 69), Scherzo (op. 70), Fugierte Suite (op. 71), Hommage ŕ Chopin; Variationen über Chopin’s Praeludium : mit Benützung der Chopin Etüden : mit Schlussfugen (op. 73), Sonatine Papillons (op. 74), Sonatina seconda (op. 80), Impression (op. 81), Valse intime (op. 82), Sonatine suisse (op. 85), Prelude und Choralfuge (op. 86), Prelude nocturnal (op. 89), 3 kleine Klavierstücke (op. 90),  Sonatina domestica (op. 92), 3 Albumblätter in Fugenform (op. 96), Affenfuge (Monkey's fugue) (op. 97), Albumblatt (op. 98) and Hommage ŕ Richard Wagner (op. 102). 

Rhapsodie für die linke Hand allein op. 65, no.1 (MS) (No date)

Scherzo für die linke Hand allein op. 65, no.2  (MS) (No date)

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Henri (Jerome) Bertini  English-French piano virtuoso, teacher  and composer

London, 28.10.1798 - Meylan, 01.10.1876

Bertini was the son of a musician and  joined him (together with his brother) very early on tours to Holland, Flanders and Germany. After some years in Scotland and England he settled in Paris in 1921 as piano virtuoso, composer and teacher. In 1859 he retired to Meylan at the foot of the French Alps, near Grenoble. He was by contemporaries described as a major virtuoso: With a technique that resembled Clementi's but with an expression of feeling closer to that of Hummel's. 
His output is primarily for the piano and his excellent etudes are used to this very day as teaching  material.                     

18 Etudes from op. 177 & 178  (Schott)

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Edward Maurice Besly English pianist and composer

Normanby, Yorkshire, 28.01.1888 - Oxford, ?.03.1945

Besly got his musical training first at Tonbridge where he returned to as Assistant Music Master from  1918 to 1919, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge and in Leipzig and afterwards went on to conduct various orchestras in his homeland from about 1922, notably the Royal Albert Hall and Scottish Orchestras also the London Symphony Orchestra and, in Oxford, where he was Organist of Queen’s College 1919-26 and took over the Oxford Orchestral Society from Sir Hugh Allen.
If at all he is today remembered as composer of the elegant popular ballads, The Second Minuet, and Columbine’s Garden, Jenny’s New Hat, Dainty Little Maiden, Lullaby Trees, My Heart Remembers, Love I Give You My All, and Time, You Old Gipsy Man. But in his own days  songs like Music When Soft Voices Die, On London Bridge and The Rolling English Road made their impact. Among his most popular songs was A Soldier - His Prayer from 1944.
His more ambitious works included Four Poems Op 24, Charivaria (5 songs) and, with orchestra, the scena Phaedra, for soprano, and The Shepherds Heard an Angel for soprano solo and chorus. He also composed the operettas (or musicals) For Ever After, Luana and Khan Zala and edited the Queen’s College Hymn Book.
His orchestral output included overture and incidental music to The Merchant of Venice, the Mist in the Valley and the two suites Chelsea China and Suite Romanesque and the violin pieces A Tune with Disguises and Nocturne and several short piano solos, including Barge Afloat, Berceuse and the Six Preludes.
During his last professional active  years he worked in legal practice as a solicitor and notary public. He served gallantly in the First World War and was sometime Director of the Performing Rights Society.

Eidulion, Piece for One Piano Left Hand Alone op. 29 nr. 3 (from Three Pieces for Piano Solo) (Rogers)

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Antoni Besses i Bonet Catalonian pianist, conductor and composer

Born: Barcelona, Catalonia,  Spain, 05.03.1949
Basses began his studies at the Conservatori Superior Municipal de Música de Barcelona, piano, composition and chamber music with teachers like Joan Gibert Camins, Joaquim Zamacois and Joan Massiŕ and J. Too.
With sevaral grants he was able to carry on his studies in Paris with Pierre Sancan and Olivier Messiaen and in Antwerp with Frédéric Gevers.


 He got several grants to study in Paris with Pierre Sancan and Olivier Messiaen and in Antwerp with Frédéric Gevers. He has also collaborated with and been advised by Guido Agosti, Alicia de Larrocha, Vlado Perlemuter, Alberto Ginastera, not forgetting the famous Catalan composer Frederic (Federico) Mompou, who said: “... he is a complete musician with a solid training. In addition to his high standing as a pianist - in which I am pleased to include a faithful interpretation of my work - he displays an outstanding ability in the field of composition and as a conductor”.

At the end of his studies, Antoni Besses was already the holder of an impressive prize list: “Maria Barrientos”, “Extraordinario de Piano”, First Prize from the French Institute in Barcelona; awarded First Prize - Drago de Plata - at the International Competition of Santa Cruz de Tenerife (1968); Diplôme Superieur avec Grande Distinction from the Royal Conservatoire in Antwerp (1977); Finalist of the Vińa del Mar International Competition (Chile, 1978); First Prize for Orchestra Conductor (Antwerp, 1979).

With an extensive repertoire from Baroque to contemporary composers, Antoni Besses has performed in the most distinguished concert halls in Europe and the rest of the world, with such famous conductors as Sergiu Comissiona, Aaron Copland, Igor Markevitch, Emil Simon, amongst others. He has worked in close collaboration with musicians of international prestige, like Radu Adulescu (cello), Marçal Cervera (cello), Gonçal Comellas (violin), Eva Graubin (violin), Cristoph Henkel (cello).

Antoni Besses is also a composer. As a composer his works include Seguit for piano (1972), perhaps the most significant, and Música 17 (1974), Joc de cadires, which was performed at the Festival de Música de Barcelona in 1980, and Concert per a piano i orquestra, premiered with great success in Barcelona. His music was played during international festivals in Royan and Barcelona.

With his profound research into the work of J.S. Bach, Antoni Besses has left his personal impression on such fundamental works as Das Wohltemperirte Klavier (entire work) and the Goldberg Variations (BWV 988), which he has played in public more than forty times, and is considered to be one of its best interpreters - now recorded on CD by Edicions Moraleda. Other remarkable recordings are also noteworthy: Blancafort (entire work), Falla (entire work), Mompou (entire work), Johannes Brahms, César Franck, Granados, Schubert, Turina, Heitor Villa-Lobos, as well as his own compositions.

Since 1981, Antoni Besses is Professor of piano at the Conservatori Superior de Música de Barcelona, and he has been teaching at the ESMUC in that city for the past six years (since 2006?), involved in an intense educational activity, imparting numerous master-classes and lectures in Madrid (Conservatorio Superior), Warsaw (Chopin Academy), Quebec (Faculty of Music), and Kuhmo (International Music Festival).

Mystic prelude No. 7  (Fundation Juan March, Madrid)

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Carl Bial

(1833 - 1892)

4 Clavier-Stücke op. 30 (Serenade, Gavotte, Polka and Menuetto) 1884 Ries & Erler, Berlin

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Antonio (Gino) Bibalo  Italian-Norwegian composer

Trieste, 18.01.1922 – Larvik, 20 June 2008

Study for the Left Hand  1955
This piece has for quite some time been represented on this site and due to the fact that I had never seen the score and believed by me to be genuine. But due to the kind help of Dr. Albert Sassmann, Vienna it has now been established that the work is not a genuine left hand work but one of those in which the emphasis is put on the left hand in "Alberti-bass" figures with the melody in the right hand. With a piece by Tchaikovsky and others the title is confusing but it answers the question I am often met with: why are the dissertations on the subject and my site using the term Piano Music for the Left Hand Alone. This rather heavy and seemingly pleonastic expression indicates that it is a genuine work only for the left hand - a piece for one hand only and thus Bibalo's work is not entitled to be represented on the present site. I humbly regret this error.

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Albert Biehl  German composer, teacher and pianist

Schwarzburg-Rudolfstadt, Germany, 16.08.1836 - Hamburg (?), 1899 

Biehl's works was much in demand during his time and very prolific. His śvre runs up to 200 opus numbers - mostly of educational character or salon pieces like: Aus der Kinderzeit op. 52 & 58, Poetische Studien op. 189, Des Kindes Lieblinge op. 20, Kinderfreuden op. 30, Kinderlieder and - for 4 hands: Die beiden Schwestern op. 33 (54 pieces).
Some of his educational works are still in print, like his Sonatina in C Major, Opus 57, No. 1 which still attracts beginner for its easiness and enjoyable tone. Other piano pieces are Elementary Etudes in the Form of Small Piece, the Waltz, Liebesbriefe (Love Letters), op. 43, Sonatina, op. 94 No. 4 and, (of pure educational value) Ten Easy Instructive Octave Etudes for Piano op.144 and School for Development of Rapidity and Interpretation op. 66

Twenty-five easy and progressive Studies op. 44  (C. Fischer)

10 Etüden: No. 4 op. 145  (R. Forberg)

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Annie Mathilde Bilbro  American composer

Tuskegee, Alabama, January 1880 - 1958

Mathilde began to study music at the age of six. Although she could neither read nor write she tried to write music instead of playing like the other children did. Soon she began writing scales and even inventing new ones. In a few years she had advanced to writing love songs and submitted one to a publisher. It was returned with a note that the world was full of love songs but they needed sets of attractive piano pieces for children with original verses. So she composed Jolly Tunes For Little Folks The set was accepted and another requested. She then wrote Wee Folks In Music Land, which was also published immediately.
Now the young Mathilde was catapulted upon a career as a professional composer. At the age of seventeen she graduated from the
Alabama Conference Female College (Now Huntington College) in Montgomery, Alabama. Three years later, in 1890 she and her parents moved to Gadsden, Alabama where she opened a studio for piano instruction.
She began to spend much time in New York City composing piano stories, piano studies, song stories, early instruction collections, musical plays etc. and finding ready purchase by all of the top publishing houses of the day. Her success was secured and her application so great that she became the most prolific of Alabama composers with over 600 published compositions.
In addition Bilbro held master classes and other courses in many states and thus had a
significant impact on music education in America. 

Melody in D flat  (1912) (White-Smith Publications)

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Oscar Peeze Binkhorst



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Ludvig (Harbo Gote) Birkedal-Barfod  Danish organist, pianist and composer

Copenhagen,  27.05.1850 - Copenhagen, 17.10.1937

His father; Poul Wilhelm Birkedal-Barfod was a well known author in the 19th century especially for his stories from the Danish history. Ludvig got his education at the Royal Danish Conservatory where he was a pupil of Gebauer. After graduation he held several post as organist in Copenhagen and Svendborg (Funen) until he in 1894 was appointed organist at the newly opened Frederik's Church generally known to Danes as Marmorkirken (The Marble Church) just beside The Royal Palace, Amalienborg.

Marmorkirken (The Marble Church)

In 1905 he was appointed piano teacher at Matthison-Hansen's Musical Institute and for a number of years he vas music critic at Kristeligt Dagblad (a newspaper of Christian observance) At he same time he was General Editor of the new hymn book, Menighedens Melodier (Melodies of the Congregation), but as a composer he did not have much impact then and is today totally forgotten, which is a shame since his songs and piano pieces (mostly of lyrical character) are well worth "exhuming". 

Birkedal-Barfod at the piano

Exercises op 8 (15 Etüden)  (1892) (Wilhelm Hansen)

Sixteen easy studies op. 15  (1900) (Wilhelm Hansen)

Melodic Studies op. 19 (1-5)  (1902) (Wilhelm Hansen)

Photos from the Det kongelige Bibliotek (Royal Library), Copenhagen  www.kb.dk

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Felix Blaesing 

Zwei Klavierstücke op. 24  (Leipzig:  F. Schuberth jr.)
These pieces are mentioned in Hofmeisters Handbuch der Klavierlitteratur 1844-29  & 1919-1964

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David Blake

Born: ?

Shepherd's Evening Song  (McKinley Pub.)

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Arthur W. Blakely

Born: ?

Home, Sweet Home for the Left Hand Alone   (McKinley Pub.)

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Émile-Robert Blanchet  Swiss composer and pianist

Lausanne, 17.07.1877 - Pully nr. Lausanne, 27.03.1943

Blanchet's first teacher was his father who was organist at the Cathedral at Lausanne, but he later went on to the Conservatory in Cologne and finished as pupil of Busoni in Weimar and Berlin.
After returning to Lausanne he was appointed teacher of piano in 1904 and was director of that institution from 1905 to 1908. After 1917 he retired from his work of teaching and devoted himself exclusively to his main interests: music (composing, playing piano recitals) and mountain climbing on which he wrote two books.
Blanchet composed practically entirely for his own instrument. a ballad for piano and orchestra (orchestrated by Ernest Ansermet), a Konzertstück with orchestra, a violin sonata, and numerous etudes, polonaises, impromptus, preludes, ballades, variations etc.- all with highly original and engaging harmony and rhythms.

Étude no. 2 from Neuf Études de concert pour piano op. 19  (1916) (Ricordi)

Étude pour la main gauche d'apres l'étude op 10 no. 2 de Chopin  (MS)

Étude pour la main gauche d'apres l'étude op 10 no. 7 de Chopin  (MS)

Étude pour la main gauche d'apres l'étude op 25 no. 1 de Chopin  (MS)

64 Preludes op. 41: Volume 4: Exercises pour la main gauche seule  1926 (Eschig)

13 Etudes op. 53 1932 (Eschig)

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Allan Blank  American composer and violinist

Born: New York, 27.12.1925

Allan Blank's early musical training was on the violin. He attended the High School of Music & Art where an interest in conducting and composition was fostered. Further studies were at the Juilliard School of Music (1945-1947),Washington Square College (BA, 1948), University of Minnesota (MA,1950) and the University of Iowa. He was a violinist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (1950-1952) and has taught at a number of schools and universities. Currently he is Professor of Composition at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA.
He has over 60 published works. 

Six Studies for Piano One Hand (Right or Left), Set I: 1. Limited Shapes, 2. Around Sustained Tones, 3. Contrasts, 4. Riding the Beat, 5. Semi-Improvisation, 6. Serious Events.  1992 (American Composers Editions)

Six studies for one Hand, Set II: 2. Dirge, 4. Pantaloon's Dance 6. Determination (The rest are for the right hand)  1993 (American Composers Editions)

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Stéphane Blet

Born: 1969

Pour la main gauche no. 28 from Trente počmes microcosmiques op.41  (2005) (Leduc, Paris)

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Philip Paul Bliss jr.  American organist, composer and music editor

Chicago, 25.11.1872 - Oswego, N.Y., 02.02.1933

The Father of Philip Paul Bliss (1838-1876) was a famous organist, gospel singer and writer of hymns, many of which are used to this very day. Among them are I Am So Glad, Daniel's Band, More to Follow, Free From the Law, Whosoever Will, Man of Sorrows, Almost Persuaded, I Know Not the Hour, and Meet Me at the Fountain, and his perhaps most famous song Hold the Fort! (1870) which was based on the events of a Civil War battle in October 1864. His hymns were printed either under his own name or the pseudonym Pro Phundo Basso which would lead to the conclusion that he had a very deep bass voice himself. On June 1, 1859  he married Lucy Young (1841-1876) and they had two children. 

Philip Paul Bliss Sr.  Lucy Young Bliss

On the 29 December 1876 the couple were travelling westwards by train and at 6.35 in the morning during a blizzard and heavy frost the were crossing the Ashtabula River. The bridge here was eleven years old and had been tested with far greater weight that the one on that morning when only two engines and 11 normal passengers' cars crossed it. But as soon as the first engine had arrived safely at the west abutment the bridge suddenly collapsed and sent the second engine, all the cars and 156 souls 75 feet down in the river.

The Ashtabula catastrophe 29 December 
1876 as illustrated in Harper's Weekly

The cars were crashed and fire broke out turning the place into an inferno. The passengers were either crushed, drowned or burnt to death. Bliss managed to escape but returned to the burning cars to save his wife - and the both perished. Their bodies were never identified and their remains were laid to rest in the grave of the nineteen unrecognizable victims of the terrible disaster which cost at least fifty-five lives - and two weeks later another was added as the chief engineer of the bridge shot himself with a revolver.
Thus Philip Paul Bliss jr. was brought up an orphan and was
first educated for the ministry and graduated from Princeton in 1894. He then turned to music with Hugh Archibald Clarke (1839-1927) and Richard Zeckwer (1850-1922) as teachers in Philadelphia before he went to Paris to become pupil of Felix Alexandre Guilmant (organ) and Jules Massenet (composition).
The first four years after his return to America in 1900 he taught public school music at the same time as being organist in  Owego, N.Y. after which he became music editor in 1904 at John Church Company, Cincinnati and in 1911 he joined Willis Music Company and still later Theodore Presser Company, Philadelphia.
As a composer he left more than 200 piano pieces, many operettas, church music, more than 100 songs, solo works for organ, violin and cello and music with educational purposes.

Three Fancies: 1. In Lilac Time, 2. A Summer Reverie, 3. By Quiet Water  (1925) (Wood)

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Wilko Bloem

Born: ?

Nostalgie (Nocturne) & Badinage (Etude) voor der linkerhand  (1984) (Heuwekemayer)

 Souvenir voor der linkerhand  (1981) (MS)

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Felix (Michailovich) Blumenfeld  Russian piano virtuoso, piano teacher and composer

Kavolevka, Southern Ukraine,19.04.1863 - Moscow, 21.01.1931

Blumenfeld was of Polish-Jewish descent and born  into a musical family - both his older brothers Stanislaus (1850-97) and Sigismund (1852-1920) were also accomplished musicians and his nephew was the composer Karol Szymanowsky . After displaying an early interest in music, he entered the St. Petersburg Conservatory and studied composition under Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and piano with Alexander Stein. 
Immediately after his graduation in 1885 he began to teach there himself, being appointed a professor in 1897. In 1905 he resigned the post in protest at the dismissal of Rimsky-Korsakov from the Conservatory during the 1905 uprising, and took on the post of coach and conductor of the Marinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. 

Marinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg

He gave the premieres of Rimsky-Korsakov's Servilla (1902) and Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh (1907) and the Russian premiere of Tristan and Isolde (1899). He also introduced Russian audiences to Scriabin's Divine Poem and Poem of Ecstasy.
He lived and worked in close contact with people like Anton Rubinstein, Nikolaj Rimsky-Korsakov, Alexander Glazunov, Sergej Rachmaninov, and the great singer and on-stage personality, Feodor Shaliapin. 

Feodor Shaliapin - a rare example
of a man who could draw his own
caricature - from behind (1923)

Blumenfeld's performing style, influenced by Rubinstein, was brilliant and lyrically melodious; he gave first performances of many piano works by Alexander Glazunov,  Anatol Liadov and Anton Arensky, and as a composer he was close to the Belyayev Circle (establishment of the publishing-house that Belyayev established for Russian composers).
Among his piano pupils were celebrities like Maria Grindberg, Alexander Gauk,  Simon Barere and not least Vladimir Horowitz to whom he dedicated his op. 52, Episodes in the Life of a Woman Dancer (Horowitz did not - in an interview - express any warm feelings for Blumenfeld and for some  reasons he never played his op 52 or - for that matter - the left-hand etude - of which he would have been a complete master). 

Simon Barere
Vladimir Horovitz

As a composer his oeuvre contains a symphony, a string quartet and many piano pieces - especially his etudes op. 17 in four volumes in which he has laid down his entire principle of piano playing.
Being also a very handsome and charming man he found time for other good things in life - from which he - alas - contracted syphilis. And by
something that seems almost premonitory, he suffered a stroke  in 1918 paralyzing his right arm. Nevertheless he was accepted as a professor of piano at the Kiev Conservatory and taught there until 1922 after which he moved on to the Moscow Conservatory where he was a professor until his death in 1931.
Blumenfeld's style is closely related to that of Balakirev, Borodin, Chopin and Liszt. He was rather  conservative in that there is little dissonance and no experimental aspect in his music.
His only symphony (which is recorded on a Russian disc) was first performed at a Siloti subscription concert (Jan 20th 1907) with Blumenfeld conducting. This work was listed on the program as a Symphony Fantasy in manuscript. It was published later that year by Belyayev as Opus 39, with the title To the memory of the beloved dead (Tchaikovsky?). 

Felix Michailovich Blumenfeld
Then why have this great picture of Felix Blumenfeld?
Well here is a good reason for you. For many years Left Hand Playing was about Scriabin op. 9 and Blumenfeld's  most beautiful Etude. Of course we have moved along from that but still he ought to be remembered

The list of his works runs like this: Six Melodies for chorus opus 1, Four Pieces for piano opus 2 (1886):1. Etude; 2. Souvenir douloureux; 3. Quasi Mazurka; 4. Mazurka de concert, Three Etudes for piano opus 3, Valse-Etude in F major for piano opus 4, Five Melodies for chorus opus 5, Two Nocturnes for piano opus 6, Allegro de Concert for piano and orchestra opus 7, Variations Caracteristiques sur un theme original for piano opus 8, Six Melodies for chorus opus 9, Mazurka for orchestra opus 10, Mazurka for piano opus 11, Four Preludes for piano opus 12, Two Impromptus for piano opus 13, Sur Mer, Etude for piano opus 14 (1890), Six Melodies for chorus opus 15, Valse-Impromptu for piano opus 16, Twenty-Four Preludes in four books opus 17, Five Romances for chorus opus 18, Two Morceaux for cello and piano opus 19: 1. Elegie; 2. Caprioccioso, Nocturne-Fantaisie for piano opus 20, Three Pieces for piano opus 21: 1. Moment de desespoir; 2. Le Soir; 3. Une course, Two Morceaux for piano opus 22: 1. Mazurka; 2. Valse brillante, Suite Polonaise for piano opus 23: 1. Krakoyienne; 2. A la Mazurka; 3. Berceuse; 4. Mazurka, Concerto Etude in F sharp minor for piano opus 24 (1897), Two Etude Fantasies for piano opus 25 (1898), String Quartet in F major opus 26 (1898), Ten Moments Lyriques for piano opus 27 (1898), Impromptu for piano opus 28 (1898), Two Etudes for piano opus 29 (1898), Six Romances for chorus opus 30, Second Suite Polonaise for piano opus 31: 1. Krakowiak; 2. Kujawiak; 3. Mazurka; 4. Polonaise, Suite Lyrique for piano opus 32, Two Fragments Caracteristiques for piano opus 33, Ballade (in form of Variations) for piano opus 34, Three Mazurkas for piano opus 35, (Piano Etude for the left hand opus 36 (1905)), Two Pieces for piano opus 37: 1. Elegy; 2. Pathetico, Pres de l'Eau, six pieces for piano opus 38: 1. Morceaux in C; 2. L'isle abandonnee; 3. By the Sea; 4. Barcarolle; 5. Saules pleureurs; 6. La Fontaine, Symphony in C Minor "To the Beloved Dead" opus 39, Glocken Suite for Piano opus 40, Two Pieces for piano opus 43, Four Etudes for piano opus 44 (1912), Two Impromptus for piano opus 45, Sonata Fantaisie for piano opus 46, Two Lyric Fragments for piano opus 47, Etude Fantaisie in F minor for piano opus 48 (1916), Two Dramatic Moments for piano opus 50, Trois Nocturnes for piano opus 51, Episodes in the Life of a Woman-Dancer for piano opus 52, Two Pieces for piano opus 53 and Etude in F major for piano opus 54 (1927).

Etude in A flat major op. 36  (1905) (Belaďeff)
This work - though not known to very many - is one of the great left hand works: A beautiful and very Russian melody with an ingenious accompaniment running under and over it, making an illusion that would be a Godowsky worthy, and the piece is in fact dedicated to him at a time where he toured Russia and stunned the audiences with his playing.

(In several sources another left-hand Etude in G flat major is mentioned but no trace of it seems to have been found - yet!.)

The A flat etude is recorded by Leon Fleisher, SONY Classics SK 48081
And 3 times by Blumenfeld's pupil Simon Barere  

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Carlotta Bocca

Born: ?

Ten Melodious Compositions op. 20  c.1915 (Wood)

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William Bolcom  American pianist and composer

Born: Seattle (Washington), 26.05.1938 

When he exhibited musical talent while still very young, Bolcom began - at the age of 11 - private studies in composition with John Verrall and piano with Berthe Poncy Jacobson at the University of Washington while performing extensively in the Seattle area and throughout the Northwest.
He earned his B.A. from the University of Washington in 1958, studied with Darius Milhaud at Mills College in California and at the Paris Conservatoire de Musique, he earned a doctorate in composition in 1964 from Stanford University where he worked with Leland Smith. Returning to the Paris Conservatoire, he won their 2e Prix in Composition in 1965. 
Bolcom has received commissions from orchestras in Philadelphia, St. Louis, Seattle, Saint Paul, Saarbrücken (Germany), Vienna (Philharmonic), Washington, DC (National Symphony Orchestra), New York (The MET Orchestra), Boston, and many others; the American Music Theater Festival of Philadelphia; the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis; the Western Wind; Orpheus Chamber Players; Aeolian Chamber Players; Carnegie Hall; Aspen Music Festival; Lyric Opera of Chicago and the San Francisco Opera Orchestra.

Gaea  (1996) (E.B. Marks; Bolcom Music)
In fact this one hour long work is three concertos with different scoring and it was premiered by the dedicatees, Leon Fleisher and Gary Graffman, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and David Zinman conducting, April 11th 1996. Fleisher played the first movement, Graffman the second and the third was played by both on two pianos. The first and the second movement is for piano and chamber orchestra and the third movement is for both pianos and full orchestra. 

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Willem Frederik Bon

(1940 - 1983)

No. 1-2 from Preludes voor piano  (c.1959) (MS)

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Ferdinando Bonamici  Italian pianist and composer

Naples, 1827 - Naples, 09.1905

Teacher at the Naples Conservatory for many years.

Capriccio sull' Opera La Straniera di Bellini op. 96  1865 (Ricordi)

100 Exercises et 153 Passages divers op. 271  (Ricordi)

30 Exercises-Etudes op. 272   (Ricordi)

34 Etudes melodiques op. 273   (Ricordi)

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Frederic Seymour Bontoft

Born: ?

Prelude and fughetta  1958 (Augener)

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Felix Borowski  English-American composer and teacher

Burton-in-Kendal, Westmorland, England, 10.03.1872 - Chicago, 07.09.1956

Borowski was of Polish descent but born in England and studied in both there and at the Cologne Conservatory. After teaching for a while in Aberdeen he settled in America becoming newspaper critic at the Chicago Sun and professor of theory and counterpoint at the Chicago Musical College where he later became head. He was the programme annotator for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1908-1956, and the orchestra holds a great collection of his original compositions, and of a good deal of arrangements by him of the works of others.
His published works include a satirical opera Fernando del Nonsensico (1935), ballets and pantomimes, orchestral works f.ex. three symphonies (1932, 1933 & 1937), a piano concerto, a string quartet (1935), piano pieces and songs.

Valsetto  (McKinley Publication)

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Hilbrand Borkent

Born: ?

Fantasia-étude pour la main gauche seule  (1974) (MS)

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Sergej (Eduardovich) Bortkiewicz  Russian-Austrian composer and pianist

Kharkov, Ukraine, 22.02.1877 - Vienna, 25.10.1952

Bortkiewicz was born into a family of musicians. His grandmother Theresa Ushinsky was a fine musician and his mother Sofiya played the piano well and she became his first teacher. 
At 18, Sergej Bortkiewicz decided to dedicate his life to music, but his strict father insisted that he was educated as a lawyer at the university. So  young Sergej chose to go to St. Petersburg where Rimsky-Korsakov, Liadov, Glazunov, Auer and Blumenfeld were on the staff of the Conservatory. He was enrolled in St. Petersburg University’s Law School and - simultaneously - in the Conservatory. There he was taught theory of music by Anatoly Liadov and piano by Karl van Arek, a real taskmaster who enjoyed everyone’s respect.
Revolutionary sentiments among the students caused the authorities to close the university, while the students went on strike and Sergej could not take the exams. I soon noticed, with utmost disgust, that the political movement of those so-called leaders was aimed not at creating but destroying the state - he later wrote. 
So Sergej decided to quit the university. Until he could receive permission to leave Russia, he enlisted in the Alexander Nevsky Regiment for some time and  then he left his country for Leipzig, and became pupil (composition) of Salomon Jadassohn (1831-1902) and Carl Piutti (1846-1902) and with the Liszt pupil Alfred Reisenauer as piano teacher.

Bortkiewicz in 1918

After several successful appearances in student concerts, Sergej was offered and happily agreed to play Liszt’s Concerto No. 2 in A Major in Munich, conducted by Felix Weingartner. Now he was preparing for a concert in Berlin but fell ill and had to return to the family estate. There he met his sister’s schoolmate Yelizaveta Geraklitova and they married in July 1904.The young couple went to Berlin where they would spend ten years. His first composer’s attempts were not quite successful. After playing a Piano Concerto No. 1, Opus 1, Bortkiewicz destroyed the music (some elements would be used in his Piano Concerto No. 2). His second concerto was not published. Four piano pieces, Opus 3, appeared in print, in Leipzig, only in 1906 but the publisher Daniel Rather was the first to notice the young composer’s talent.
During those years he appeared in concerts in Germany, Austria, Hungary, Russia, and France. He also taught at the Klindworth -Scharwenka Conservatory. In 1914, with the outbreak of World War I, Bortkiewicz and many compatriots had to leave Berlin (which he had hoped would be his home for many years).
But the wartime and the approaching Bolshevism were fateful for Bortkiewicz so the family  fled Russia in November 1920 for Constantinople and half year later he went to Vienna where he stayed to his death teaching and composing but as an almost unknown composer.

Piano concerto nr. 2  E flat op. 28  1930 (MS)
Written for Paul Wittgenstein and partly on material from his first attempt at a piano concerto.

Etude in F sharp major "Le Počte" (Nr.5 from 12 Etudes nouvelles op. 29) 1924  

(Nocturne )
This piece was especially arranged for the left hand alone for Rudolf Horn who, like Wittgenstein lost his right arm during WW I - but carried on a career as pianist and who played this arrangement at a recital in Vienna on October 26 1946 and probably on many other occasions.

Epithalame; (nr. 3 from Quatre Morceaux Op 65) (Epithalame is probably best translated as a Nuptial Song - but Epithalame literally means on the bed). This piece was especially written for Rudolf Horn mentioned above.

Etude op.15 no. 5
Transcribed for the left hand alone by the composer. (Paul Wittgenstein Archive, Octavian Society, Hong Kong)

Etude op. 15 no. 10
Transcribed for the left hand alone by the composer. (Paul Wittgenstein Archive, Octavian Society, Hong Kong)

Gavotte-Caprice op. 3 no. 3
Transcribed for the left hand alone by the composer. (Paul Wittgenstein Archive, Octavian Society, Hong Kong)

Nocturne op. 24 no. 1
Transcribed for the left hand alone by the composer. (Paul Wittgenstein Archive, Octavian Society, Hong Kong)

Epithalame is recorded by Stephen Coombs, Hyperion CDA67094

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(No portrait)

Pierre Boulez

Born: 1925

Thčme et variations pour la main gauche  (1945) (MS)

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Charles Samuel Bovy-Lysberg [Charles Samuel Bovy]

Lysberg, Bern, 01.03.1821 - Geneva, 25.02.1873

After a thorough musical education in his home-town Lysberg (from which he later took his name) he went to Paris in 1835 to become pupil of Chopin (piano) and Belaire (composition).
He later returned to Switzerland as professor of the Geneva Conservatory and as organist. At the same time he gave many recitals with his own works - both in Geneva and in other Swiss cities.
His output as a composer is largely for the piano for which he has written ca.130 brilliant pieces: nocturnes, barcaroles, caprices, concert pieces, waltzes, a romantic sonata: L'Absence, one opera La fille carilloneur (premiered in Geneva 1854) and several choral works the choral work f.ex. Les Alpes (text: A. Richard) for men's chorus and orchestra. 
During the American Civil War Bovy-Lysberg's piece La Fontaine (Id˙lle pour piano) was very popular for its simple and rather sentimental tone.

Etude op. 20  1848 (Richault)

Photo of Bovy-Lysberg: Name of the photographer is: Vuagnat and the source is: Genčve, Centre d'iconographie genevoise, Collection Bibliothčque Publique Universitaire.

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(Edwin) York Bowen  English piano virtuoso and composer

Crouch End, London, 22.02.1884 - London, 23.11.1961)

Just like Arnold Bax - Bowen was pupil of Frederick Corder at the Royal Academy of Music and besides being a great piano virtuoso he played the viola and the horn.
He has composed 3 symphonies (in fact 4, but the last one has disappeared), 4 piano concertos, a violin concerto, and a viola concerto. Among his rich output of chamber music are a piano sonata in F minor op. 72, a cello sonata in A major op. 64 and a violin sonata in E minor op. 112. 
Further he has composed a great number of virtuosic piano pieces. Bowen's musical language has its origin in late romanticism with a richly developed rhythmic variety and a very deliberate calculated expansion of the tonal field.

Nocturne in F minor (Nr. 5 from ”Curiosity Suite” op. 42)  (J. Williams / Stainer & Bell)

Sight test for the Left Hand alone: 1. Moderato in A major,  2. Andantino in F major  1949 (MS)

5 Sketches op. 142: nr. 4. Allegro scherzando in E minor, 5. Andante espressivo in D major  (nr. 1-3 are for the right hand alone) 1952
Even though there are two pieces for the left hand alone - the collection is dedicated to Cyril Smith, who during a tour of Russia suffered a stroke and had his left arm paralyzed.

Two Pieces for piano  1953 

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(No portrait)

Harold de Bozi

Born: ?

Bozi made many arrangements - some of them rather untraditional - like his arrangement of Ravel's Bolero for accordion.

Paolina, Tango  1938 (Associated Music Publishers)

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Thčodore Vaclav [Wenzel Thčodore] Bradský Bohemian composer and pianist

Rakovnik Bohemia between Prague and Plzeń, 17.01.1833 - Rakovnik, 10.08.1881

Bradsky was a member of the Royal Dome Choir in Berlin ans singing instructor. From 1874 he was appointed court Composer to the King Of Prussia.
As a composer he produced six operas  but his most important contribution is Lieder for solo singers and for choir.

Bradsky's signature

Morceau de concert; La petite Fadette op. 22  1862 (Stempelman)

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Johannes Brahms  German composer

Hamburg, 07.05.1833 - Vienna, 03.04.1897)

Today Brahms is commonly accepted as one of the very greatest among composers. He came from very humble circumstances in a poor peoples quarter in Hamburg where his father - having broken with his family's traditions - had been educated as a musician (double bass).
The young Johannes was a dreamer who was totally absorbed with music and he was finally entrusted to Otto Cossel for proper education - even though the Brahms family did not even own a piano. Here he showed such remarkable talents that he was sent on to Eduard Marxsen, who actually became Brahms' only teacher of
After touring through Europe with a Hungarian violinist (and in some ways a charlatan) Eduard Rémeny he met the great violinist Joseph Joachim, who in turn introduced the young man to Robert and Clara Schumann in Leipzig. This became the great turning point in Brahms' life and of decisive importance to his career.
In 1862-3 he settled in Vienna - now a world famous composer and conductor. Brahms has composed in practically all genres except opera and his symphonies, concertos and chamber music are among the greatest works of musical art.
But not everybody had this opinion about him. Once a year Benjamin Britten was said to have taken all Brahms works and played them in the piano transcription - just to convince himself that Brahms was in fact a mediocre composer of very modest talent. Well - somehow I would personally find it much more interesting if Brahms would play all Britten's works and then voice his opinion about them.

Brahms at the piano 

Chaconne from Bach's solo partita nr.2 for solo violin BWV 1004
Brahms himself was a marvellous pianist and throughout his life very interested in pianistic problems and techniques. In 1877 he composed a study - which was in fact a left hand transcription of this Bach chaconne, and fortunately he sent it to Clara Schumann as a surprise. The time could not have been better chosen, for it turned out that Clara had just injured her right hand: A wrong movement when she was opening a drawer had caused tendonitis here - just a year before her 50th anniversary as a pianist - so Brahms' gift proved to be a very welcome diversion for her during the period of recovery. 

Clara Schumann 
at the height of her career. 

As Brahms explained in his writings: To me, the Chaconne is one of the most wonderful, inconceivable pieces of music. If one has not a violinist of the greatest eminence at hand, quite the finest enjoyment one can have is simply to let it sound in one's mind. Only in one way do I find that I can procure a much diminished, but approximate and entirely pure enjoyment of the work - if I play it with the left hand alone!... The similar kind of difficulty, the sort of technique, the arpeggio-work, all combine to make me -feel like a violinist.
This chaconne has also been arranged by Géza Zichy  and Isidor Philipp the latter being probably the best of them all.

Brahms also wrote another piece that might be interesting in this connection although it is not for the left hand alone; it is his arrangement of the Rondo from Weber's piano sonata in C major op. 24 and included in his Five Studies without opus number of which the Chaconne is no. 5. Here Brahms treats the piece in an almost Godowskian way by changing right and left hands - much to the astonishment of Brahms' teacher Eduard Marxsen.

Still another piece by Brahms is his arrangement of Schubert's Impromptu op.90 nr. 2.But alas this piece which changes both hands and makes the left hand do all the "running" is in fact for two hands. And by the way it has never been established that it really was by Brahms. So - until then - it is much like the Danish humorist Storm Petersen who said: "Now it stands clear that the famous plays etc. were not written by William Shakespeare but by a totally different man who by the way was also called William Shakespeare"!

(Read some interesting recollections about Clara Schumann i connection with her pupil Louise Adolpha Le Beau)

(Waltz in A Flat op. 39 no. 15) see Fredéric Meinders and Sara Scott Woods

The Chaconne is recorded by Michel Béroff EMI CDC 7 49079 2
And on a LP by Paul Wittgenstein ORION ORS 7028
(The Weber Rondo is recorded by Idil Biret: NAXOS  8.550509)

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(No portrait)

S. Brand-Vrabély (alias for Stéphanie Countess Wurmbrand-Stuppach)

(1849 - 1919)

Klavier-Studie for the left hand op. 53  (Eberle, Vienna)

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(No portrait)

S. Margaret Brandman

Born: 1951

Winter Piece. For the left hand alone  (1992) (Jazzem Music )
This piece is from the collection Three Concert Pieces for Piano

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(No portrait)

John L. Branson

Prelude for Left Hand Only  (Willis)
Early intermediate. 

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(No portrait)

Rudolf Braun  Austrian organ virtuoso and composer  

Vienna,  21.10.1869 - Vienna, 30.12.1925  

Blind like his teacher Josef Labor

Piano concerto in A minor  1927 (Universal) 
All works were written for Paul Wittgenstein and the concerto was premiered 31st October 1927.

3 Klavierstücke: 1. Scherzo, 2. Perpetuum mobile, 3. Serenata 1928 (Doblinger)  

3 Klavierstücke: 1. Nocturno, 2. Ŕ la zingarese, 3. Walzer  1928 (Doblinger)

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Thérčse Brenet  French pianist and composer  

Born: Paris, 22.10,1935

Her mother, Marguerite Warnier was an accomplished singer and though her influence Thérčse began to study the piano at a very early age - and was able to accompany her mother's singing.

Thérčse Brenet playing
at the age of 6 

Soon the girl who were making such great progress that she became a pupil of Mlle Davenet and Marguerite Long and later of and professor Germaine Hugueniot, who discovered the girls desires to become a composer.

Marguerite long
'Grand Dame' of French piano playing.
dedicatee of Ravel's G-major concerto
- the one for two hands.

Thus she was enrolled at the Conservatory in Reims in the piano class of Simone Glotz soon winning a first prize for her performances. In October 1954 she joined the Conservatoire National Supérior de Musique de Paris studying counterpoint, harmony and composition.
She also followed courses with Maurice Duruflé, Darius Milhaud and Jean Rivier - finally being awarded the Grand Prix de Rome together with Lucie Robert-Diessel for the cantata Les Visions Prohetiques de Cassandre
Later Thérčse Brenet was employed as
a professor of the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris.

Étude pour la main gauche: Oceanides  1988 (Lemoine)
The title Oceanides is taken from Greek mythology - as described by Aeschylos in his Prometheus - and they were the 3.000 daughters of Tethys and her brother the Ocean. Well - incest was known in the old Greece just like in Wagner's Walküre - but 3.000? (Didn't they have anything else to do?).
Brenet's piece is in three sections of which the middle one is the longest and by far the strongest where all the furious forces of the ocean are let loose. It is uncompromising music with a strong theatrical side reminiscent of the old Greek tragedy and it calls for a pianist with good technique and sense of drama.

The Oceanides is recorded by Raoul Sosa Fleur de Lys FL 2 3080-1

Photo of Thérčse Brenet © Odile Haim

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Walter Bricht  Austrian-American composer

Vienna, 21.09.1904 - Indiana, 20.03.1970

Bricht was born into a very musical family: his mother (Agnes Pylleman Bricht) was a fine pianist and singer (who in fact became his first teacher) and his father (Balduin Bricht) was music critic of the Volkszeitung in Vienna. His formal training was taken care of first at the Akademische Gymnasium, and then at the Akademie für Musik where he became a pupil of Franz Schmidt (piano and composition) and at the same time Bricht began working as an accompanist.
From 1931 to 1938 he taught at the Vienna Volkskonservatorium and at the Horak Konservatorium in Vienna, teaching piano, composition and voice but in 1938 (Anschluss) the Nazi regime discovered that he had some Jewish background through one of his grandfathers and Bricht fled to USA. Here he at first settled in New York working as an accompanist and coach - but later he took up several posts of teaching in Charleston, West Virginia at the Mason College where he became chairman of music.
In 1944 he moved back to New York where he lived for the next 19 years teaching and working as a coach - at the same time teaching members of the US Army Chorus in Washington D.C.
In 1963 he was appointed professor at the School of Music, Indiana University - at first teaching piano and from 1967 to his death in 1970 teaching applied voice and song literature.
His pupils from  the Vienna Academy were from the golden age of history of that institution and his pupils now occupy strategic positions in the whole musical world. 
Most of his works were composed between the early 1920s and 1942 and they encompass 40 opus numbers and 25 works without any opus number. 

Variations on an Old German Children's Song for piano (left hand), flute and cello  (c.1942) (Octavian  Society Press, 2006).
This piece was among the many scores
in the Wittgenstein Archives now located in the Hong Kong University.

Four Pieces for the Left Hand Alone Op. 30  (June 17, 1933)
Paul Wittgenstein Archives, Octavian Society, Hong Kong. 

Fantasy on motives from Gounod's Faust WoO 15 (1936) (MS)  

Fantasy on Themes from Die Fledermaus WoO 16  (1937) (MS)

Fantasy on Themes from Tannhäuser  1936  (MS)
Paul Wittgenstein Archives, Octavian Society, Hong Kong.

Three pieces: 1. Lied ohne Worte, 2. Albumblatt, 3. Perpetuum Mobile (1937) (MS)
All the  works mentioned above were written for Paul Wittgenstein

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Frank Bridge  English composer, viola player and conductor

Brighton, 26.02.1879 - Eastbourne, 10.01.1941)

Bridge got his education at the Royal College of Music where he studied the violin and worked for four years mostly under Stanford. As a fine violinist he worked with three major ensembles: first the Grimson Quartet, for some years he was a member of the Joachim Quartet and of  The English String Quartet until 1915. 
At that time he became engaged in conducting the New Symphony Orchestra. As a composer he wrote many orchestral works that clearly indicated his experience as a chamber musician and his best known works are for the smaller ensembles. Among these are the first two string quartets (E Minor and G Minor), a piano quintet and a string sextet. He also wrote for the piano for instance a sonata in 1926. (And of course he is remembered as the first important composition teacher of Benjamin Britten.)

Three Improvisations: 1. At Dawn, 2. A Vigil, 3. A Revel 1919 (Rogers) 
Written for the pianist Douglas Fox who - like Wittgenstein - lost his right arm in WW I.
After completing the pieces during May and June 1818 Frank Bridge sent them to  Douglas Fox on April 12. 1919 with these charming words: Well, here they are at last. I do hope you'll like them. One of these days I hope to hear you play them.....I doubt whether you will be attracted when you play the pieces through at first, but just work at them a little and then I fondly hope they will stand up on their own legs and smile at you.

Douglas Fox, pupil of Arthur Peppin
and later, as his concert career was
cut short by his unfortunate handicap,
Musical director of Clifton Colleague

No. 1 depicts the flickering  light of dawn with its mysterious shadows - and like No. 2 it is deeply influenced by the grim mood of the time  
No. 2 is a musical portrait of a friend of Frank and Ethel Bridge, painter and musician Marjorie Fass and of a rather pensive mood.
No. 3 is quite different in its puckish mood and a study in triplets with scales and arpeggios.

The Three improvisations are recorded by Peter Jacobs, Continuum CCD 1016
and by Ashley Wass on NAXOS 8.557921

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(No portrait)


Allan Brings 

Born: 1934

Three Studies for Piano Left-hand  (Mira Music Associations)

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Benjamin (Edward) Britten  English composer, conductor and pianist

Lowestoft, 22.11.1913 - Aldeburgh, Suffolk, 04.12.1976

Benjamin Britten's exceptional gifts were discovered very early and he started as a pupil of Harold Samuel (piano) and Frank Bridge (composition). After winning a scholarship at the Royal College of Music he continued his studies with Arthur Benjamin (piano) and John Ireland (composition).
As a composer he was quickly recognized as a major figure and was probably considered the most original English composer of operas since Purcell. His music doesn't follow any known kind of school but is totally original and unique. At the same time Britten managed to compose in some kind of contemporary language and still keep in touch with audiences throughout the world.                     

Diversions on a Theme for Piano and Orchestra op.21 1940 and revised 1954 (Boosey)
This piece was a commission from Paul Wittgenstein and was first performed with him as soloist and The Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Eugene Ormandy.
The collaboration between Britten and Wittgenstein did not always go smoothly. Britten was very eager and interested in the work and as a brilliant pianist himself he had his very firm ideas about the solo part, which did not always coincide those of Wittgenstein's.
The work consists of a Theme with 10 variations - each with its own title - and is of a certain difficulty  requiring a large and virtuosic hand.

Paul Wittgenstein and Benjamin Britten

About this work the composer has written: In no place did I attempt to imitate a two-handed piano technique, but concentrated on exploiting and emphasizing the single line approach.

The Diversions are recorded by Julius Katchen, Decca
And Leon Fleisher SONY Classics 47188 

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(No portrait)


Salvador Brotons i Soler  Spanish conductor and composer

Born: Barcelona, 17. 07. 1959

Brotons was a flute pupil of his fathers and continued his musical studies (composition, flute and direction at the Conservatorio de Música de Barcelona under Antoni Ros-Marbá, Xavier Montsalvatge and Manuel Oltra.
He was first flutist in the Orquesta del Gran Teatro del Liceo (1977-1985) and in the Orquesta Ciudad de Barcelona (1981-1985) an orchestra that premiered his first symphony in 1983. Later he became director of the orchestra of the Portland University, assistant conductor at symphony orchestra of the Florida State University (1986 - 1993) and titular director of Oregon Sinfonietta (1990 - 1993), Mittleman Jewish Community Orchestra (1989-1991) and titular director of Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Besides he is a co-owner of the publishing firm editorial musical .

Interludi per la mao esquerro op. 47 no. 2  (1988)  (Brotons & Mercadal)

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(No portrait)


Ackley Brower 

Born: 1884

Chaconne for the left hand alone  (MS)

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(No portrait)


Harriette Brower 

(1869 - 1928)

Piano Mastery, second series  (1917)  Fred. A. Stokers, New York

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(No portrait)


Philip Austin Browne  English pianist and composer


Philip Browne wrote many musical miniatures, f.ex. A Truro Maggot, for clarinet and piano and composed many arrangements,

Piece in F major
This piece was written for the pianist Douglas Fox who was also dedicatee of Frank Bridge's Three Improvisations

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Colin Brumby  Australian composer and pianist

Born: Melbourne, 18.06.1933

Colin Brumby started his musical career with piano lessons and courses in theory and also accompanying the local Church choir. In 1957 he graduated from the Melbourne University Conservatorium of Music, and studied advanced composition with Philipp Jarnach in Spain and Alexander Goehr in London.

Philipp Jarnach

Alexander Goehr
(Born: 1932)

After his return to Australia, he joined the staff of the Music Department at the University of Queensland. This early period resulted in such works as his Fibonacci Variations for Orchestra (1963), his Christmas cantata Stabat Mater Speciosa for mixed chorus, soloists, string quartet, wind quartet, harp and timpani (1965), and his String Quartet (1968).
As Musical Director of the newly­formed Queensland Opera Company from 1968 to 1971, he helped lay the foundations of permanent opera in Queensland.
This period also saw such works as his cantata Charlie Bubbles' Book of Hours (commissioned in 1969 for a UNESCO Seminar on Music Education) and his Litanies of the Sun (commissioned in 1970 for the National Youth Orchestra of Australia).
In 1971 Brumby received his Doctorate of Music from the University of Melbourne and the following year he undertook further studies in advanced composition with Franco Evangelisti in Rome. 

Franco Evangelisti 

Back in Australia again he was commissioned by Musica Viva (Australia) to compose a work for the 1974 tour of the Academy of St Martin-­in-­the-­Fields under Neville Marriner The result, The Phoenix and the Turtle for string orchestra and harpsichord, marked the composer's return to tonality.
Many of his works are commissioned for specific occasions such as his Paean, which served as a show­piece for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra during the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's 50th Anniversary Celebrations in 1982, and his South Bank Overture for the opening of the Concert Hall in the Queensland Cultural Centre in 1984. The variety of these, and many other commissions explains something of considerable diversity of his output, which represents nearly every form in the musical catalogue. His larger works include operas, concerti for violin (2), piano, guitar, flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, trumpet, horn,7 viola and cello; two symphonies; several orchestral suites and overtures; chamber works, such as his wind quintet The Seven Ages of Man (1981), piano quartet, bassoon quintet, and sonatas for flute, clarinet and bassoon.
In addition there are numerous choral works, such as his Victimae Paschali for SATB chorus and string orchestra (commissioned in 1978 by Pro Musica in Brisbane), and his Three Baroque Angels for SATB and orchestra (commissioned for the 30th Intervarsity Choral Festival also in 1978).
Among his other works are concertos for cello, for bassoon, concertino for oboe, Australian Ouverture, Concerto for flute and orchestra, Concerto for horn and strings, Concerto for organ and strings Schifanoia, Eine Kleine Streichmusik, Essay for strings, Festival mass, Haydn down under for bassoon and string quartet, Two symphonies and many other works.

Reverie  (ca.1984) (Published published in "Piano Music for One Hand' by Allan's Music Australia (no. 21) Pty Ltd, Australia in 1984)
This piece was
commissioned by Shirley Harris who simply recognized a need for suitable material for students who had  temporarily or permanently injured right hands. (for Shirley Harris se also Don Kay)

Photo and information: Australian Music Center http://www.amcoz.com.au and Colin Brumby himself
Photo of Alexander Goehr: Betty Freeman

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Thüring Braem (Bräm - German spelling)  





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Christian Traugott Brunner  

(1792 - 1874)

Blumenkörbchen op. 308 no. 32



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Sas (Ernst Alexander) Bunge Dutch composer and pianist

Amsterdam, 09.07.1924 - Utrecht, 17.07.1980

Bunge came from a very musical family; already during school he composed a piano piece inspired by the painter Watteau. From 1942 he studied  at the Amsterdam Conservatory with George van Renesse and Nelly Wagenaar finishing with the Prix d'Exellence after which he continued in Paris with Marguérite Long. 
After his pianistic education Bunge became a student of composition with Kees van Baaren and Hendrik Andriessen.     

              Kees van Baaren

Hendrik Andriessen

After this he pursued a career as a concert pianist with affinity to both the great romantics like  Schumann, Chopin, Liszt etc., the impressionists Ravel and Debussy and to lesser known composers like Alkan, Arensky and Gottschalk. He also made a commendable job of letting his public hear composers like Frank Martin and his countrymen Willem Pijper and Rudolf Escher.
Apart from this Bunge was lecturer at the Utrecht Conservatory where his talks about structural analysis were of special interest.
Beside songs and chamber music Bunge has composed much for the use of education.
Bunge composed many songs to the texts of Ronsard, Louise Labé, Ben Jonson and others, and in 1944 he won the Johan Wagenaar Prize for his Ballade des Pendus (text: Francois Villon) for mezzo soprano and orchestra. 

10 Etudes 1977 (Donemus)

Mazurka 1977 (Donemus)

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(No portrait)

Mark Almazan Buntag  


Quasi Passacaglia for piano (left hand)  (MS)

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Jarmil (Michael) Burghauser [Mokrý]  Czech composer, pianist, musicologist, conductor, chorus master, author, scholar and administrator

Písek, Bohemia, 21.10.1921 - Prague, 19.02.1997

Burghauser studied privately from 1933 under Jaroslav Kricka and from 1937 with Otakar Jeremias from 1937. Later he entered the Prague Conservatory studying conducting with Metod Dolezil and Pavel Dedecek, graduating in 1944 and afterwards, at the Senior School, with Vaclav Talich, from which he graduated in 1946. 
His compositions of that period were being performed on the Czechoslovak Radio from 1933 and at two independent concerts of the composer's works in Prague in 1942. The full-length cantata, Utrpeni a vzkriseni, was performed in 1946 fn Prague by the Prague Symphony Orchestra conducted by Vaclav Smetacek. Burghauser interrupted his studies in musicology and psychology at the Charles University in 1948 and was appointed as a chorus master and conductor at the National Theatre in Prague (1946-1950). Since 1953 Burghauser has devoted his practical musical activity mainly to composition and musicological research. In 1991, he received the degree of PhD.
Perhaps his firsts great success at that time was the three-act opera The Miser to a text of Moličre and L'Avare produced at Liberec 20.05.1950 and later followed the ballet Sluha dvou panu which was premiered at the National Theatre in 1957, with twenty productions in various countries up to 1990. 
In the early sixties, Burghauser’s style changed from his earlier neoclassicism to a transformation to those of Musica Nova adopting its own technique which Burghauser calls harmonic serialism. On this topic he wrote a study in the miscellany Cesty nove hudby (Ways of New Music, 1964). Using this technique with a functional application of aleatorics, he wrote the opera Most, which was performed at the National Theatre in 1967. He could not travel abroad and all recordings by the radio of his compositions were destroyed. 
In spite of this, he continued working as an editor; he prepared the principles and directions for the critical edition of the works of Leos Janacek, together with Milan Solc and the Janacek editorial board in Brno; with Ludvik Kundera he prepared the volume of Janacek's piano compositions. Adopting the pseudonym Michal Hajku, he was able to create audiovisual presentations for exhibitions abroad; under this fictitious name he also composed a series of works in the style of earlier periods of music, Storie apocrifa della musica Boema. Burghauser worked for many years in the Dvorak Society and has been its Chairman since 1984. From 1978 until 1989, he was choir-master at the St. Margaret s church at Brevnov in Prague. His most lasting non-musical activity is in the Czech Boy Scout organization, Junak.
Among his other works are an early opera Aladina and Palomid after Maeterlinck (1944), three cantatas, film music, 3 symphonies, several orchestral pieces, a concerto for fine wind instruments, a string concerto, 5 string quartets (1934-1944), four wind quintets (1935-1945), a Nonet (1939), piano sonatas, songs ad melodramas.

Drevoryty (Woodcuts) for piano, left hand and organ (1953)
Written for Otakar Hollmann. (Vienna, 29.01.1894 - Prague,09.05.1967), one-armed invalid from WW I). Burghauser still composed other parts of work, so that the last version in his autograph has five movements (parts). No. 3 is for piano solo only (Alla polka) and Trio. No. 5 (Marcato e ritmico) too. All five movements together take about 25 minutes.

Ciacona for for piano, left hand and organ
Composed for and dedicated to Otakar Hollmann and first performed 17 October 1954 in Prague by Burghauser and Hollmann

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(No portrait)

Hans Bussmeyer  German pianist and composer

Braunschweig, 29.03.1853 - Pöcking, 21.09.1930

Bussmeyer studied the piano with Liszt in Weimar and later composition with Josef Rheinberger in Munich. In 1872 he a tour of two years to South America before he returned to Munich as teacher at the Royal Music School of which he became director in 1904. From 1879 to 1884 he led the choir: Münchener Chorverein. 
Among his most important work is Germanenzug for choir and orchestra.

Minuetto, Fughetta and Burletta  1885 (Schmid)

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(No portrait)

Maria Theresia Büttner-Grahsner  Austrian composer and pianist

Neulerchenfeld, Alservorstadt, 11.08.1901 - Pensionistenheim, Aserzeile, 01.06.1990 

Maria Theresia Büttner was the youngest of five children of the xylograph Dominik Büttner, a man  of rather modest  means. Most of her brothers and sisters died during infancy and Maria was thus taken care of with special care. Already at the age of six "Mizzi" (as she was called) Maria developed a keen interest for the piano and began her education with a pianist friend of her father's. Her talents proved so  obvious that she did not have to take part in the daily domestic duties so she could practice.
After five years of public school she enrolled in the Akademie für Darstellende Kunst in Vienna.  (1918). 
The same year her father died but a grant from  the Ministry of Education and her own efforts as piano teacher (20 pupils pr. week) made it possible to continue her studies. But her mother insisted that she did not teach in their own home so Maria had to travel to her pupils home even though the cost to tram-way tickets were so high, that she often had to walk. This limited her own practice and made it impossible to meet the requirements of practicing for the Academy.
She managed nevertheless to meet the demands for being accepted with high success at the Academy.
From 1925 to 1928 she made a pause in her studies and devoted herself once again to teaching privately but from 1929  to 1832 she assumed her professional studies at the Fachhochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst - a study which she ended with Diploma exams 14. June 1932. During the following years she taught privately and acted as coach at different institutions of concerts, 
In 1943 she married the engineer Karl Stephan Grahsner who due to health problems could hardly contribute much to their  income which resulted Maria's work to be their major source of income in their new apartment in Richard Wagner's Platz 9/32 in Vienna.
Maria was pensioned in 1961 and on 16. June her husband died and she moved to a home for the aged in Alterzeile where she died 89 years of age.
Apart from two pieces for mixed choir her compositions are entirely for the piano (character pieces), chamber music (violin and piano, cello and piano and violin, cello and piano) and songs where she worked together with Lilly Taubner who wrote the music to Büttner's texts.

Etude für die linke Hand  

Etude, F sharp minor, für die linke Hand (Ibis Vienna, 1935)
In the Diplomenarbeit von Ulrike Seewald (1994) the two etudes are listed as two different works - and in fact a third etude for the left hand is mentioned with a certain  tentativeness.

6 Österreichische Tänze (6 Austrian Dances for the left or right hand alone)  1946 (Doblinger)
This set of pieces were dedicated to the soldiers wou nded in WW II.

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(No portrait)


Carl Buttschardt 


Studien  (Leipzig Rühle)
These studies of which one or more are for the left hand alone is mentioned in Adolf Ruthardt: Wegweiser durch die Klavierliteratur p. 66 

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Dietrich Buxtehude [Diderik Hansen Buxtehude]  Danish composer and organ virtuoso.
(his name is pronounced "book - ste - hooo - de; the "de" is a "soft Danish" "d" - like "th" in "the")

Helsingřr (Elsinore), ?.?. 1637 - Lübeck, 09.05.1707

Much of this great man and his life has been enigmatic - foremost how he looked. Below you will see a painting by the Dutch painter Johannes Voorhout (Musiziende Gruppe)

The man with his hand under the chin  - next to the lute playing lady was supposed to be Buxtehude. But later other pictures has emerged, so in fact we know a little more about how Buxtehude looked. By now it is generally agreed upon that the man to the left playing the gambe is in fact the real Buxtehude leaving only four other guesses from this picture since we must assume that he was neither a little black boy or a woman (or transvestite). Besides - why would a master musician at a musical gathering just appear as a listener and not as a participant?. 
The man playing the harpsichord has rightly been identified as the organist, Johann Adam Reinichen, who according to several encyclopaedias lived to the incredibly age of 99 (1623 - 1722). According to recent research he was born in 1643 which made him an old man at that time - but 99 ? hardly. 

During the Baroque period Buxtehude was one of the major composers - at least when it came to organ music. Much of his history is rather dim but the house of his birth still stands less than 14 miles from my house.

Organ of Sct. Maria Church, Elsinore (Helsingřr)

His parents were Hans Jensen Buxtehude og Helle Jespersdatter. Already at a very early age he showed extraordinary musical talents and at the age of 20 he overtook his fathers job as organist at Sct. Maria Church in Elsinore (where Shakespeare's play Hamlet took place).

Buxtehude's house (to the right) behind 
Sct. Mary's Church in Elsinore (Helsingřr)

He later accepted a post as organist at the Sct. Mary's Church in Lübeck where his Abendmusiken (Evening Music) became famous all over Germany. Many pieces for different ensembles were performed -  but it was his organ playing which attracted most listeners. And up until present times he is considered the father of the Northern German Organ Style - inspirering a host of major organ players - even the greatest - Bach. The motto of the latter was: Soli Deo Gloria (Alone God has the honour) and Buxtehude's was: Non hominibus but Deo (Not for man but for God).

Buxtehude's house in Lübeck

The young Johann Sebastian Bach walked 248  miles on his feet to Lübeck just to hear the Great Buxtehude and get inspiration. The great Danish musician in Lübeck functioned not only as regular organist and cantor but every Friday he arranged what was called Abendmusiken (late evening concerts) where he was able to show his supreme facility as a composer and in many ways Bach's organ music is directly inspired by him and these concerts.
Bach was impressed the famous man to such a degree that he in fact was offered the post as his successor at Sct. Mary's Church in Lübeck - but - on one condition; that he married one of Buxtehude's two daughters (a rather common practice then). Now - we don't have any portrait of them - but it is enough to say that Bach packed in a hurry, put on his fastest boots and made the 248 miles back faster than he came.

Buxtehude's signature

As said above Buxtehude's life and origin was rather enigmatic, but today he is accepted as Danish - but none the less this discussion prompted a colleague of mine and a well known Danish poet to write the following poem:

Beware of Buxtehude -
... he is a German spy.
He hides the secret messages
behind the soprano's cry.

(Buxtehude: Suite no. 12, E minor for harpsichord; BUX 237) See James Marchand

Photo of Buxtehude's house in Helsingřr (Elsinore), Denmark: Kirsten Borges Hornemann

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Daniel Börtz  Swedish composer

 Born: 08.08.1943, Osby, Sweden.

Education: Studied violin with John Fernström in Lund and composition with Hilding Rosenberg; attended Royal College of Music in Stockholm, studied violin with Charles Barkel and Josef Grünfarb; studied composition with Karl-Birger Blomdahl, 1962-65, and Ingvar Lindholm, 1965-68; studied electronic music with Gottfried Michael Koenig in Bilthoven, Netherlands, 1967.

Taught orchestration at the Royal College of Music in the 1970s and 1980s; Royal Swedish Academy of Music, president, 1998-2003

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Selected compositions
11 Monologhi (solo instruments), 1966-84.
String Quartet No. 2, 1971.
Nightflies (mezzosoprano voice, clarinet, trombone, percussion, piano, organ, cello), 1973.
10 Sinfonias (orchestra), 1973-92.
Landskap med flod [Landscape with a River] (opera), 1974.
Night Clouds (string orchestra), 1975.
Concerto grosso (2 clarinets, 2 trumpets, piano for 4 hands, violin, cello, string octet), 1977-78.
October Music (strings), 1978.
Winter Pieces (tuba, piano, percussion), 1981-82.
Winter Pieces 2 (wind quintet), 1982.
Winter Pieces 3 (brass quintet), 1982-83.
Summer Elegy (flute and strings), 1983.
Cello Concerto, 1985.
String Quartet No. 3, 1986.
Oboe Concerto, 1986.
Parados (orchestra), 1987.
Backanterna [Bacchae] (opera), 1991.
Mörka sĺnger om ljset [Dark Songs of the Light] (voice and piano), 1992-94.
Sĺnger om döden (soprano voice and orchestra), 1992-94.
Canto desolato (organ), 1993.
Strindberg Suite (orchestra), 1993-94.
Trumpet Concerto, 1994-95.
Bilder [Images] (clarinet and string quartet), 1996.
Gryningsvind [Dawn Wind] (male chorus), 1997.
Marie Antoinette (opera), 1998.
Hans namn var Orestes [His Name Was Orestes] (oratorio), 2001-02.

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