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Josef Labor  Austrian composer, pianist and organist

Horowitz, Bohemia, 29.06.1842 - Vienna, 26.04.1924 

Three years old (in 1845) Labor contracted smallpox which resulted in total blindness. Thus his first education was at the Institute for the Blind in Vienna and having showed remarkable musical talent he went on to the Conservatory of Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde as a pupil of Simon Sechter (composition), who had also been Bruckner's teacher and Eduard Pirkhert (piano). 
After having ended his education Labor toured France, England, Russia and Scandinavia and at that time formed a lasting friendship with the blind King George V in Hanover (1819-1878), who in 1865 made Labor his Royal Chamber Pianist. (King George lost one eye due to illness as an infant and the second during a riding accident in 1834)
In 1866 Labor and King George settled in Vienna where Labor taught the piano to Arnold Schönberg, Julius Bittner and Paul Wittgenstein and even started to take lessons himself in organ working with a famous church musician in Gmunden (Upper Austria) - with the very appropriate name Johann Evangelist Habert.

Johann Evangelist Habert
18.10.1833 - 01.09.1896

In 1904 Labor  was given the title of Imperial and Royal Court Organist and soon his own works began to be published at Peters through the influence of the Wittgenstein family.
We can hear his music today but not his own playing and therefore we must rely on reviews like this  from Neue Berliner Musikzeitung, 1875:

Josef Labor who on German soil hardly can be called unknown held a concert as pianist and composer, where his piano quartet was performed. Though not satisfying in every aspect the work took up a very honorable place in the repertory. Labor's beautifully modelled playing of both spiritual and technical perfection as well as artistic understanding is already so well connected with the musical art, that one can only mention the obvious fact: He has played - he has conquered.
Wittgenstein later turned to Leschetizky for piano lessons but he stayed on with Labor - only now as  his pupil of composition. He also stayed a firm admirer of Labor's music and several times sent some of his best themes to Schmidt as suggestions for some kind of variations.

Concert piece in form of variations D Major  (1915)  
This was in fact the very work with which Wittgenstein made his come-back in Vienna - now as a one-armed pianist.
About this work Wittgenstein remembered the following: "Before I as an invalid was exchanged and via Sweden returned to Vienna, I was held prisoner of war in Omsk (Siberia). From there I had - through the Danish Consul, Wadsten, sent a letter to Austria asking my former teacher, Josef Labor to compose a concerto for the left hand and orchestra for me. A couple of weeks later I received an answer that he was already working upon it."

Concert piece F minor  (1917)  
Performed 26th October 1936

Concert piece E flat Major (1923)

Septet for flute, clarinet, bassoon, horn, violin, cello and piano (not finished and not dated)

Quintet (Divertimento) for piano, flute, oboe, viola and cello
Performed 18th March 1932

Piano Quartet C Minor  for piano, violin, viola and cello op. 6 (1916)

Trio in E Minor for piano, clarinet and cello  (1917)  

Trio in G minor piano, clarinet and cello  (1919
Performed 25th January 1932

Sonata for piano and violin in E Major (1916)  
Performed 9th January 1917

Sonata for piano and violoncello in  C Major (1918)

Fantasy for piano solo in F sharp minor  (1920)  
All the works above were composed for Paul Wittgenstein

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Théodore Lack  French pianist and composer

Quimper, 03.09.1846 – Paris, 25.11.1921 

He was organist in his home town from 1856 to 1860 before he began studies at the Paris Conservatoire where he became professor in 1864.
A very prolific composer (more than 200 opus numbers) of piano music mostly salon pieces, etudes etc.

The French pianist and composer, Théodore Lack, began to work as a musician early, when he was appointed organist of the church in his village at the age of 10. At 14 he entered the Paris Conservatoire, where he studied piano with Antoine François Marmontel, harmony with François Bazin and theory with Louis James Alfred Lefébure-Wély. A graduate of the Conservatory at 18 years, he was appointed assistant professor of piano and retain this position for 57 years (1864-1921), until his death, without leaving Paris.

Théodore Lack wrote many salon pieces for piano (Tarentelle, Boléro, Etudes élégantes, Valse espagnole, Scčnes enfantines, Souvenir d'Alsace, Polonaise de concert ... etc.). He undertook to annotate and fingered the book Les classiques favoris that was published in 1916 (perhaps even earlier), and which is still used today by piano students. He published other collections of sheet music for piano beginners, such as mademoiselle Didi. It is for his Méthode de piano (Ed. Leduc, 1909) that Debussy composed a ragtime-style piece The Little Nigar with the subtitle Cake Walk. Debussy completed and revised the piece for his Children's Corner under the title Golliwogs'cakewalk.

Théodore Lack was known to the people of Mauritius (Indian Ocean), but now forgotten, because at a party or festival on April 12, 1900 music composed by Lack was played.


12 Etudes op. 75  (Durand & Cie; U. M. P.)

Valse op. 118  (C. Fischer / G. Schirmer)

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Louis Trouillon Lacombe  French pianist and composer

Bourges, 26.11.1818 - St. Vast-la-Houghe, 30.09.1884

Lacombe  got his education at the Paris Conservatoire where he worked with Zimmermann and in Vienna where he studied with Czerny, Sechter and Seyfried. His first major tour was undertaken in 1832 where he was accompanied by his sister and in 1839 he settled in Paris living as piano teacher and composer.
His works include L'Amour (1859), La Madone (1861), Madame Boniface (1883), Winkelried (which wasn't performed untill 1892), Le Tonnellier de Nuremberg (1897), La Reine des Eaux (1901), Corrigane (1901) and Le Festin de Pierre (1902). Among his orchestral works there are dramatic sympgonies, Manfred (1847) and Arva (1850). In 1878 he has his melodrama Sapfo performed, and then there is som chamber music f.ex. a piano quintet, many piano pieces and songs. He also wrote a book about Philosophie et Musique. 

Études: (No. 3 pour la main gauche)  (Gallet)

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Gerhard Lampersberg [Lampersberger]  Austrian composer and author

Hermagor, Kärnten, 05.07.1928 - Klagenfurt, (ibid), 29.05.2002 

As a composer Lampersberg worked according to the principles of the twelve-tone-technique as laid down by Anton Webern. His works include orchestral music, chamber music, songs and Masses and a number of works for the stage: Die Rosen der Einöde, 1958,  Köpfe, 1959 (both after T. Bernhard), Der Knabe mit dem Brokat, 1963 (after H. C. Artmann), Kleopatra und das Krokodil, 1984 (after P. Scheerbart); Liebesarithmetik, 1984 (after M. Benn); Lelia, 1993 (after G. Sand).
At his estate, Tonhof, at Maria Saal in Kärnten Lampersberg acted as patron of literature with various writers living there during the 1950es and 1960es: C. Lavant, Thomas Berhard, Peter Turrini, Gert Jonke and H. C. Artmann.
Lampersberg later broke with Bernhard when he found himself portrayed unfavorably in Bernhard's scandalous provocative key novel Holzfällen - and later Lampersberg took revenge upon Bernhard.
To Lampersberg music and literature were very closely connected and beside compositions based on the classics like Sappho and Shakespeare, he often used the works of his protégées. 

Carneval (Three Dances for Piano left Hand and Bells right Hand)  (1979)

Photo: Österreichisches Literaturarchiv Bestände

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Walter Lang  Swiss pianist and composer

Basel, 19.06.1896 - Baden, Aargau, 17.03.1966

Lang began his education as pupil of Emile Jacques-Dalcroze (1865-1950). Later he turned to Munich to study with Friedrich Klose (1862-1942). and back in Switzerland again he studied with Volkmar Andrea and W. Frey in Zürich. From 1922 to 1941 Lang worked as teacher at the Zürich Conservatory after which he became conductor at the Monte Ceneri Radio. From 1848 he taught at the conservatories in Basle and Bern and formed the Lang Trio with Walter Kägi, violin and Friedrich Hindermann, cello.
His works include some orchestral pieces - among them the symphony Jour de fęte - works for solo instrument and orchestra, chamber music, piano pieces and songs.

Sonata (Sonatine) in E minor op. 4  1918 (Ries & Erler)

Nr. 5 from 10 Klavierstücke op. 74  (Hug)

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Siegfried (Victor) Langgaard  Danish pianist and composer

Copenhagen, 13.07.1852 - 05.01.1914

Langgaard was a pupil of Franz Neruda and Gebauer (composition) and Edmund Neupert (piano). In 1873 he was enrolled at the Royal Danish Conservatory where he had Niels W. Gade and J. P. E. Hartmann as teachers of theory.  
He made his debut in Kasino in Copenhagen in 1878 and after that he studied for a year with Liszt in Weimar. Back in Denmark he was made teacher at
the Royal Danish Conservatory. During the following years he often gave concerts and he composed numerous piano pieces, songs and a piano concerto which Langgaard sent to Franz Liszt - receiving the following letter.

Franz Liszt's letter to Langgaard
The English translation follows

Most honored sir.
Owing to the increasing weakness of my eyesight, I can hardly read notes any more, but an excellent pianist Mr. [Bernhard] Stavenhagen played the concerto to me - a powerful heroic piece, whose success is sincerely wished - by 
F. Liszt - 7th May 86, Budapest

Bernhard Stavenhagen
Greiz, Germany, 25.10.1862 - Geneva, 26.12.1914

Siegfried Langgaard wrote a second piano concerto, which was completed by his son under the title From Arild (Arild being the family's summer resort in Sweden).
Siegfried was a man of a very frail nervous disposition - in time he gave up public performances concentrating on teaching, and staying on as teacher at the Conservatory until his death. At the same time he suffered from rather peculiar religious contestations of somewhat sectarian nature which isolated him to a certain degree from society. But his piano pieces bare witness of a major musical talent - being both brilliant, virtuosic and idiomatically written and with great melodic character. 

He is - though - today entirely remembered as the father of the composer Rued Immanuel Langgaard - one of the strangest and most talented Danish composers.

Siegfried Langgaard with his son Rued Immanuel - ca. 1912.
At that time Rued was already an established composer, and in 1913 his fist symphony was performed by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Max Fiedler.

Studie für die linke Hand für Pianoforte (Study for The Left Hand)  (1893) (Wilhelm Hansen)

All photos from the Det kongelige Bibliotek (Royal Library), Copenhagen  www.kb.dk  
The two piano concertos are recorded by Danacord DACOCD 535 

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H. Langley  

Born: ?

The Mill  (Brainard)
Mentioned in BBC Music Library, Piano and Organ Catalogue, vol. I

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Théo Langois

Born: 1909

A une main ... pičce pour la main gauche  (New York: Associated Music Publishers 1936 and Paris: Eschig)
Mentioned in US Library of Congress: Library of Congress Catalogue, Music and Phonorecords 1963-1967 p. 10.

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Joan (Mary) Last  English pianist and composer

Littlehampton, Sussex, 1908 - London, 09.10.2002

Professor of piano at the Royal Academy of Music

Joan Mary Last (b. 12 Jan 1908, d. 9 Oct 2002) was an English music educator, author and composer born in Littlehampton, Sussex, England. She studied piano with Mathilde Verne and made her debut as a pianist at the Aeolian Hall in London in 1926. After an injury to her hand ended her performing career, Last turned to teaching and composing. She taught music at the Royal Academy of Music and was awarded an OBE in 1988 for services to music education.[1] She never married.[2

”The Circus” (6 Pieces)  (Augener / Stainer & Bell)

Introduction to the Suite  (Bosworth)

Rhythmic Reading  (Bosworth)

Right Hand Left Hand  a course of training in independence of touch when playing with one hand  1967 (Freeman) 

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Gustav Lazarus  German pianist and composer

Cologne, 1861 - Berlin, 1920

A very successful piano teacher in Berlin. Among his works are the opera Mandanika, the choral work Die gefangenen Frauen (op. 37), a Cello sonata (op. 56), an Elegy for cello and piano (op. 72), a Piano trio in E Minor (op. 55) and 15 Melodic Studies for piano (op. 139) .

Etude op. 19 nr. 5  c.1888 (Dietrich)

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Ramon Lazkano  Basque (Spanish) composer and pianist

Born: San Sebastian 1968

Ramon Lazkano (San Sebastián, 1968) attended piano and composition classes at the San Sebastian Higher Conservatory of Music, where he obtained a Higher Degree in Composition. He studied composition and orchestration with Alain Bancquart and Gérard Grisey at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique of Paris, and was awarded a First Prize of Composition in 1990. A Sasakawa Foundation Scholarship allowed him to follow the studies of composition and analysis in Montreal with Gilles Tremblay. Once back in Paris, he studied orchestra conducting with Jean-Sébastien Béreau and Arturo Tamayo, and received a DEA degree (PhD Evaluation Degree) in 20th Century Music and Musicology from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales .

In 2007 Lazkano was awarded the Georges Bizet Prize by the French Academy of Fine Arts. His piano concerto Hitzaurre Bi earned him, at the age of 26, the prestigious Prince Pierre de Monaco Foundation Prize and shortly afterwards, in 1997, a jury chaired by Luciano Berio gave him the Jerusalem Leonard Bernstein Composition Prize for his Auhen Kantuak. He was also a prizewinner of the Institute of Music and Drama Arts, the Colegio de Espańa, and the Gaudeamus Foundation. His residence in Rome (at the Spanish Academy of History, Archaeology & Fine Arts in 1995-96, then at the Villa Medici Academy of France in 2001-02) allowed him to carry out a reflection on what composition is and what it means today, focusing mainly on thoughts about intertextuality and the saturation, silence and experience of sound and time, all of which giving birth to emblematic pieces such as Ortzi Isilak (2006, commissioned by the Orquesta Nacional de Espańa), Lur-Itzalak (2003, commissioned by the Printemps des Arts of Monte Carlo) and Ilunkor (2001, commissioned by the Euskadiko Orkestra Sinfonikoa). In 1998-99, while resident with the Joven Orquesta Nacional de Espańa, he had the opportunity of composing several pieces which were performed, among others, at the Auditorio Nacional de Madrid and Berlin Konzerthaus. Stanford University invited him in 1999 to introduce his music and that same year he was appointed, along with Luis de Pablo, resident at the Musica Festival and the Strasburg Conservatoire.

His works have been played in many countries (France, Germany, Holland, Israel, Spain, Italy, Ukraine, Denmark, United Kingdom, Russia, USA, Austria...) in the framework of prestigious festivals such as: Musica (Strasbourg), Ars Musica (Brussels), Présences in Radio-France, Philharmonic Green Umbrella New Music series (Los Angeles), Gaudeamus Muziekweek (Amsterdam), International Society of Contemporary Music (Copenhagen), Festival of Contemporary Music (Alicante, Sp). His music has been played by renowned orchestras and ensembles - among which: the Philharmonic Orchestra of Radio France, the Symphony Orchestra of Jerusalem, the National Orchestra of Spain, Soloists of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Symphony Orchestra of Euskadi, the Symphony Orchestra of Bilbao, the Spanish Broadcast Symphony Orchestra, the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra, String Ensemble of the National Orchestra of Russia, the Ensembles Recherche, Ictus, Wiener Collage, and Accroche Note, the Ensembles Barcelona 216 and Taller Sonoro, the Conjunto Ibérico de Violoncellos - and he has been commissioned by the Ministry of Culture (France), the Basque Government, Warsaw Autumn Festival, the CDMC (Spain), Radio France, ABRSM of London, the Orchestra of Cadaqués, the Orchestra of the Community of Madrid, ...

Ramon Lazkano gave orchestration lessons at the Strasburg Conservatoire and composition lessons at the Higher Academy of Music of Catalonia in Barcelona. By the time being, he is professor of orchestration at the Higher Academy of Music of the Basque Country "Musikene".

Ekhiez (Sun)  1988 
Premičre: Albert Nieto - 1989



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Jeffrey Leask  Australian composer and teacher

Born: Melbourne 1944

Fifths and Thirds  

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Elaine Lebar

Waltz for Left Hand  (Willis)

Scherzo Chromatico  (Willis)

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Ton de Leeuw  Dutch composer

Rotterdam, 16.11.1926 - Paris, 31.05.1996

De Leeuw studied with Louis Toebosch, Henk Badings, Olivier Messiaen and Thomas de Hartmann. In 1959 he became teacher of contemporary music at the University of Amsterdam, where he studied earlier himself with Jaap Kunst. He also taught lessons in composition at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam. 
His first works were influenced by Bartók, but in the sixties he turned to serial techniques. De Leeuw's ethno musicological interests resulted in tours to India and Japan which became of  great influence to his way of composing and it lead to an idea of a World Music, which he propagated in his lectures and writings,  and in which different cultures blend into a new kind of music.
These ideas again lead de Leeuw to an interest in the eastern of way of thinking. In the Eastern philosophy experiencing the moment itself in music is more important than experiencing a formal development of growing and diminishing tension, and so a lot of de Leeuw's music has a static character and often using microtones. 
Until his death de Leeuw was Director of the Amsterdam Conservatory.

Linkenhand en Rechterhand  1976 (Donemus)

Nr. 3 from Cinq Etudes  1951 (Donemus)

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Franz Lehár  Hungarian-Austrian composer

Komárom, 30.04.1870 - Ischl, 24.10.1948

Lehár studied violin and composition at the Prague Conservatory and began his professional career as a conductor of military bands in Losoncz, Pola, Trieste, Budapest and finally Vienna but his aim was to become a composer of "serious" music. So during this time he made his first attempt at an opera Kukuska which was also produced in Leipzig and Budapest - he later revised it (1905) under the new title Tatjana and as such it was produced in Brno, Vienna and other towns.
But already in 1902 he had written his first operetta (Wienerfrauen) which should become his future calling. The total of his operettas exceeds thirty and secured him international fame with The Count of Luxembourg (1909), Land of Smiles (1923) and - his greatest success The Merry Widow (1905). 
Lehár did not write anything for the left hand alone, but a few of his serious compositions ought to be remembered: two piano sonatas (F Major and D minor), a Fantasy for piano in A flat major, a collection of song and a rather refined orchestral work Fieber (Fever from 1917) under the impression of his brother being seriously wounded during WW I and which interpolated the Radetzky March I as some kind of protest against the war.

(Waltz from The Merry Widow) Arranged by Felix de Cola

(Dein ist mein ganzes Herz)  Arranged by Frédéric Meinders

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Kurt Leimer  Austrian pianist and composer

Wiesbaden, 07.09.1920 - Vaduz, 20.11.1974

Leimer got his musical training from his grand-uncle the famous pianist Walter Gieseking and continued his studies (1936 - 1937) with Wilhelm von Keitel in Wiesbaden. In 1938 (after his first public concert appearance in Berlin at the age of 18 he received a scholarship  from the Reichskulturkammer (which was a cultural institute started by propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels to promote the cultural policy of the Third Reich) to study the piano in Berlin with Wladimir Horbowsky (a Rachmaninoff student), Winfried Wolf and Edwin Fischer and composition with Kurt von Wolfurt. 
Towards the end of WW II Leimer was enlisted, captured and sent to Prisoner of War Camp in Livorno. But after the war he resumed his career as a pianist and composer, but in such a way that he had Kurt Overhoff (1902-1986) partly to realize Leimer's ideas, make the actual finished composition and instrumentation. Overhoff was general musical director in Bayreuth and furthered Leimer's works to the extent that even made Wilhelm Furtwängler interested in them. Among others who were impressed by Leimer were the conductor, Carl Schuricht and Richard Strauss, who dedicated his left hand work Panathenäenzug op. 74  - originally composed for Paul Wittgenstein - to him. Kurt Leimer had performed this piece with his own cadenza (sanctioned by Strauss) and Strauss' Burleske for piano and orchestra which Leimer played conducted by Ernest Ansermet during the Salzburg Festival in 1947. Richard Strauss' enthusiasm for the young pianist was captured in his letter of April 21, 1947 in which he said: Leimer is a first class virtuoso, outstanding musician and his techniques sensational.
But furthermore Leimer was very active as a teacher and took over the post as leader of the master classes in piano at the Mozarteum in Salzburg from 1953 until his death. For his achievements in this and other capacities received several German awards, distinctions and was entitled Hochschulprofessor (Academy professor). 

Piano concerto nr. 2 (in one movement)  (Schott)
The concerto was composed between 1944 and 1948 and instrumented by Kurt Overhoff in 1951 (remade in a chamber version in 1955). The premiere was given by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra - conducted by Herbert von Karajan and issued on CD in 2005 by EMI.

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G. Leo  xxx

Op. 25, no. 11: Étude of Chopin arranged for the left hand  (Petersburg: Bessel & co.)
Mentioned in Hofmeisters Handbuch der Klavierlitteratur 1886-1891, p. 119

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Theodor Leschetizky  Polish-Austrian pianist, composer and piano teacher

Lancut, Poland, 22.06.1830 - Dresden, 14.11.1915

Like Liszt he was a pupil of Czerny and while heading the Piano Department at the St. Petersburg Conservatory he was a close associate of Anton Rubinstein. In 1878 he settled in Vienna and here Leschetizky became the most important piano teacher. Among his pupils were such different artists as Arthur Schnabel, Paderewski, Ignaz Friedman, Ossip Gabrilovich, Paul Wittgenstein and Annette Essipoff. 
He sometimes had a very peculiar approach to his pupils - often dismissing them at first and advising them to go seek some other trade of work, and then on second thought - taking them on as pupils and turning  them into very great artists indeed. 
He also had very strong opinions which not always were popular. One of these was his remark, that it was more difficult to play six bars well on the piano than to conduct Beethoven's 9th, symphony. His musical interest was very romantic: Das wohltemperiertes Klavier - ? - well go ahead and play it if you find it interesting, but why waste time on it when there is all Beethoven, Schumann, Chopin, Liszt and Brahms to master!
Much speculation has been given to the so-called Leschetizky Method, but the only thing his pupils were agreed upon was his insistence on a very loose wrist. So perhaps it was not that mysterious after all: The whole secret probably was his unique ability to modify his teaching to the individual pupil - and this alone was quite a feat when you consider pupils as different as Friedman and Schnabel. Read more about Leschetizky in the appendix.

Andante Finale (The sextet from Lucia di Lammermoor) op. 13 (Schlesinger) Dedicated to Alexander Dreyschock.

The Donizetti/Leschetizky arrangement is recorded by Peter Ritzen: Marco Polo 8.223525

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H. Lichner  

(1829 - 1898) 

Heinrich Lichner (6 March 1829 – 7 January 1898) was a prolific German composer, best known today for his teaching pieces - simple piano works written for students. He was born in Harpersdorf, Silesia. His sonatinas, including Opp. 4, 49, and 66 (among others) are in a light, fluent classical style, although the harmony occasionally betrays the influence of romanticism. He was also a director and organist - he worked as organist at the church of the 11,000 virgins, and spent a part of his life as the director of a saengerbund (choral festival) in Breslau, where he died. 

3 Romanzen op. 267  (Siegel)

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Emil Liebling 

(Pless, Silesia, 12.04.1851 - Milwaukee, 20.01.1914) German born American music teacher

After a course in piano at the Neue Akademie der Tonkunst in Berlin, he studied music and the piano with Alfred Heinrich Ehrlich (1825 - 1896, himself a pupil of Czerny and Simon Sechter), Heinrich Dorn (1804 - 1892) and Theodore Kullak in Berlin. In Vienna he became a pupil of Josef Dachs (1825 - 1896) and the next year he left Europe for USA where he settled as a music teacher, teaching in Kentucky until 1871. Upon a subsequent visit to Europe, he studied under Franz Liszt at Weimar. After 1872 he was identified with the musical life of Chicago.

Liebling served as visiting director of piano at the Frances Shimer Academy in Mount Carroll, Illinois, from 1904 to 1913.The position involved visiting the school several times per year to perform a concert and inspect student progress. He also held a similar position at Milwaukee-Downer College in Wisconsin.
Liebling has played in New York, Chicago, and other cities, and has made concert tours with Wilhelmj, Miss Cary, Miss Kellogg, and others.

The following are a few of Liebling's principal compositions: "Gavotte Moderne," Op. 11; "Florence Valse," Op. 12; "Albumblatt," Op. 18; two romances, Op. 20 and 21; "Cradle Song," Op. 23; "Canzonetta," Op. 26; "Mazurka de Concert," Op. 30; and several songs - among these "Spring is too late".

Among his piano works is the Gavotte below for the left hand. It was never published but he performed it himself at a concert on July 6 1912.

Gavotte for the left hand   (Unpublished)

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Dinu Lipatti  Rumanian-French pianist, composer and teacher

Bucharest, 19.03.1917 - Geneva, 02.12.1950

When Dinu Lipatti died at the age of 33, music lost one its most divine and talented exponents. Seldom had a pianist been able to move his audiences in such a profound way, and his last recital in Beçanson (fortunately recorded) was something that simply tore one's heart out. Only the tragic fate of the English contralto Kathleen Ferrier can be compared to that grief the musical world felt. The French composer Francis Poulenc called Lipatti An artist of divine spirituality, and hearing about his death - the great German pianist Wilhelm Backhaus said, All that is left for us is to remember the beauty of what he gave us - and to mourn.

Lipatti's mother was an fine pianist herself, and his father was a music amateur who had studied the violin with Pablo Sarasate; so when the boy showed extraordinary musical talents at an early age, he was much encouraged by his parents. He never had any formal academic training, but he did study piano intensively with Flora Musiccescu in Bucharest and, at the age of four, was giving concerts and even composing piano pieces under the watchful eye of his godfather, the composer Georges Enescu. 

Dinu Lipatti with his violin - and with Enescu
placing a laurel wreath on his head.

In time he was admitted to the Bucharest Conservatory and, by 1934, was ready to enter an international competition in Vienna. One of the judges, the famous French pianist Alfred Cortot, was so impressed by Lipatti that he resigned from the jury in protest when Lipatti was awarded only second prize. Cortot then invited the young pianist to come to Paris for further study with him at the Ecole Nationale de Musique. At he same time he studied composition with Poul Dukas and Nadia Boulanger.
From 1936 on, Lipatti's reputation as a pianist, and later as a teacher, continued to grow. In 1944, he was made a professor at the conservatory in Geneva, where he remained until 1948. During this time, he began preparations for a concert tour of America; but it was discovered that he was suffering from leukemia, and the tour was canceled.
Hopes for his recovery rose when he received expensive cortisone treatments -- for which Igor Stravinsky, Charles Munch and Yehudi Menuhin to name but a few, contributed large amounts of money -- but the improvement in his condition proved temporary. On 16th September 1950, at the age of thirty-three, Dinu Lipatti played his final concert - which was never played to the end of the intended program. Everybody present knew that this would probably be Lipatti's final testament to music - and even though his powers did not allow him to finish this testament - he signed it though - like all his recitals with his special musical signature: Bach-Hess: Jesus Joy of Man's Desiring.

Sonatine  1941 (Salabert)
The work is composed over Rumanian folk songs and there are three movements: 1.Allegro, 2.Andante espressivo, 3.Allegro


Lipatti's hands on the keyboard.
See also Lipatti's last essay

Lipatti's Sonatine is recorded by Raoul Sosa: Fleur de Lys,  2 3080-1

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Franz Liszt  Hungarian-German composer and piano virtuoso

Raiding, Hungary, 22.10.1811 - Bayreuth, 31.07.1886

After showing unique signs of his musicality he became pupil of Carl Czerny - who also introduced him to his own teacher - Beethoven in 1823.

Beethoven kisses the young 
Franz Liszt on the forehead

This took place in the Redoutensaal in Vienna on the 23rd April, and the kiss that Beethoven placed upon the young boy's forehead after he had played is one of the great legends in the history of music but I have always wondered why. At that time Beethoven was totally deaf - he had not heard one tone of the 12 year-old Liszt's playing. Perhaps Beethoven just trusted his own pupil Czerny's claim, that this boy was something very special. And indeed he was - he became one of the greatest virtuosos in the history of music. But it is a wonderful story; though there is another more likely version of it - see appendix

One would expect that Liszt had written some noteworthy work for the left hand alone, since he had one pupil with only one arm: Géza Zichy. But - no - the only work Liszt wrote for this media was a very short and easy piece - and one of his most boring ones at that: Ungarn's Gott (Hungary's God). He probably only wrote it for political reasons. It was inspired by a poem by Sándor Petöfi, whose participation in the Hungarian revolution 1848/49 made him the most famous poet in his country and a symbol of the freedom fight. Today there is not a city in Hungary without a Petöfi street. 
His heroic death also became a symbol to his people - although no one really knows what happened to him. The legend says that he was stabbed to death by the Russian bayonets, but all that is known for fact is that on 31st July 1849, he participated in the battle at Segesvár (Siebenbürgen) against the Russians who had joined the Honvéd troupes. In the afternoon on that day Petöfi simply disappeared from the face of the earth - of course fuelling all kinds of rumors.

Well - Petöfi's life and death certainly is much more exiting than Liszt's piece, which of course was dedicated to the pupil and friend Géza Zichy. Later Liszt rewrote the piece for two hands - and - just to make matters worse - even for harmonium.

Sándor Petöfi
01.01.1823 - 31.07.1849
(Daguerreotype from 1844)

On his score of the left-hand version Liszt put Petöfi's poem Hungary's God:

Away you faint-hearted that still today
In anxious doubt bros over the future
Who do believe that a mighty God is with us
Who lovingly protects the people of Hungary!
The God of Hungary: He lives! He guards our country
In his true arms, with the hand of a father.




This picture by Danhauser has really nothing to do with this site - I just feel it a shame that it is so often shown on the net in the wrong cutting. So - here it is - with Liszt playing for Rossini, Paganini, Victor Hugo, Alexander Dumas, George Sand and Marie d'Agoult. What a bunch of people in the same room!




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Ulysses Loken




Piano piece without title for the left hand  (San Francisco 2008) 

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(No portrait)


Hans Lorenzen

Born: ?

Klaviermusik für Einhander allein und mit partner (Vol. I-III) (Stiftung Rehabilitation Heidelberg)

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(Carl) Albert Löschhorn  German pianist, teacher and composer

Berlin, 27.06.1819 - Berlin, 04.06.1905

Löschhorn was a pupil of Ludwig Berger and subsequently studied at the Royal Institute for Church Music in Berlin where he joined the staff as piano teacher in 1851. In 1858 the title Royal Professor was conferred upon him and for many years he carried on concerts of chamber music with great success. Through his conscientious as disciplined teaching he was instrumental in the advancement of classical music in Berlin and many of his pupils became distinguished pianist.
Löschhorn's works are mainly of educational character and comprise 200 opus numbers: Etudes, sonatinas, daily exercises and special studies for octave playing, scales and trills.
Among his more serious works are some String quartets, Piano sonatas, 6 Bagatelles op. 18, Leichte sonatinen opp. 101 & 180, Album für die Jugend op. 80, 10 Kindersücke for four hands and many salon pieces.

Left Hand Étude in G minor (London: Augener)
Mentioned Franz Pazdirek: Universal-Handbuch der Musikliteratur 1904 -1910

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Alain Louvier  French composer keyboard player and conductor

Born:  Paris, 13.09.1945  

Louvier who also studied mathematics was a remarkable student of music winning no less than nine first prizes. He studied composition with Tony Aubin, analysis with Olivier Messiaen, keyboard accompaniment with Henriette Puig-Roget, music history with Norbert Dufourcq, conducting with Manuel Rosenthal and harpsichord with Robert Veyron-Lacroix.
In 1968 he won the Premier Grand Prix de Rome, the Prix A. Honegger in 1975 and the Prix G. Enescu in 1986.
In 1972 he became
director of the Ecole Nationale de Musique in Boulogne-Billancourt where he tried to renew the instrumental repertory in music schools. From 1986 to 1991 he was director of the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris where he was appointed professor of musical analysis in 1991 and from the following year he taught orchestration at the Conservatoire Supérieur de Paris.  
Louvier's interest and knowledge of mathematics is evident in his music where he uses different mathematical and geometrical patterns as basis for the compositions. At the same time he is very interested in new ways in piano technique which he explores in his many Etudes pour aggresseurs and the Clavecin non tempéré for harpsichord tuned in micro-intervals.

Etude pour agresseur nr. 37 (Study for an assailant)  1973 (Leduc)
This can not be called an "average" left-hand work since it employs not only the left hand's fingers but palm, fist, wrist and even forearm. Written for the French pianist Lelia Gousseau.

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(No portrait)


Joan Lovell  

Born: ?

6 Pieces: The Circus  1957 (Augener)

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(No portrait)


C. Lück 

Gedanken der Sehnsucht (Thoughts of Longing) (Juchen: Brandt)
Mentioned in Hofmeisters Handbuch der Klavierlitteratur 1886-1891, p.463

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(No portrait)


Ernst Ludwig

Born: ?

Professor at the Vienna Academy

24 Klavierstudien zur Förderung der Gewandtheit und Ausdrucksfähigkeit der linken Hand; 2 volumes  (Wien: Doblinger)
Mentioned in
Adolf Ruthardt: Wegweiser durch die Klavierliteratur, 43 

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(No portrait)


Litta Lynn

Born: 1880 - 1959

A Night Song op. 10  1913 (Wood)

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