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Louis Victor (Franz) Saar  Dutch-American composer and teacher.

Rotterdam, 10.12.1868 - St. Louis, 23.11.1937

After graduating from the Strasbourg Gymnasium (High School) Saar graduated with a degree in history and literature in 1885 and later from the Munich Conservatory where his principal teacher was Josef Rheinberger. After Munich he continued his studies in Vienna, Leipzig and Berlin. Saar settled in New York in 1894, where he for many years was accompanist at The Metropolitan Opera and later he was made teacher of theory at various institutions in that city and elsewhere in USA - for instance it was Antonín Dvorák who offered him a job to teach harmony and counterpoint at the National Conservatory from 1896 to 1898. 
In 1917 he joined the faculty of the Chicago Musical College and in 1934 he moved to the St. Louis Institute of Music, where he remained until his death. 
As a composer he is hardly remembered today - but if he were, it would be for his Psalm CXXVIII for solo, chorus and orchestra and other choral pieces. He also left an orchestral suite: From The King of the Great North West, Three Silhouettes, the suite Rococo op. 27 (1915) and other orchestral works, chamber music (Piano quartet op. 39; Violin sonata op. 44; Piano trio op. 97; Cello sonata, op. 121), violin and piano pieces and songs such as, Song of Consolation (1912), 
Once again I have been faced with the claim that Saar was a pupil of Brahms. Well - the great German composer did not - according to his only pupil Gustav Jenner - have any of the qualities that would make a good teacher, so I think this information should be taken with a little caution. But - it reminds me of a story about Carl Nielsen: One hot summer day with open windows an organ grinder began playing just outside the Royal Danish Conservatory making Nielsen very miserable because the man below turned the blessed ting in a most uneven manner. Finally Nielsen ran down and showed the man how to turn it in an even manner. The next day he saw the organ grinder again - and now with a sign on top of the organ: Pupil of Carl Nielsen.

Transcription of the song Believe Me, If all Those Endearing Young Charms  1933

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Cora Sadler  American pianist, teacher and composer

New Orleans, LA, 19.06.1909 - Denver, 16.11.1989 

Cora Sadler who was the older daughter of Cora Elizabeth Rosenberg and Robert McMahon Sadler first attended public Schools of her native New Orleans, graduating from Sophie Wright High School for girls. 
After this she entered the New Orleans Conservatory of Music and Fine Arts (now the Loyola University of the South College of Music where she got her Major in piano. For some time she gave private piano lessons in her home on Hickory Street, New Orleans and at the same time taught theory and piano at Loyola University. 
She earned her Masters' degree in Music from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on a thesis titled Creole Songs.  At that time she was also a member of the orchestra of the New Orleans Little Theatre - which is where she met her future husband, William Minor Payne,
who worked with the theatre lighting. 
They married on 9th January 1941 at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in New Orleans but the next many  years took the couple first to New Mexico and later to New York City. In 1944 the family (now enlarged by two daughters) moved to Buffalo, NY (increasing itself with a son) where William Minor Payne was employed by firms involved in the Manhattan Project (creation of the first atomic bomb). Cora Sadler herself
taught private piano lessons and played in the orchestra of the Kenmore Choral Club.
The next stop was St. Mary's, PA in 1954 where Sadler again taught privately and performed weekly on the St. Mary's local radio station, WKBI, and after two years here they came to Birmingham, AL, where she taught music in the public schools and substituted as organist for the Episcopal Church - though without the use of the organ pedals. 
In 1958 Cora Sadler and her family moved to Denver where she taught piano pupils and third grade in public school and where she died a widow in 1989 to be buried the following spring in her native New Orleans.

She published a number of piano pieces under the name of Cora Sadler (her signature piece was The Music Box) and again published under her married name, Cora Sadler Payne during the period of time she lived in Colorado. 

On the Lake  1943 (Schirmer)
This piece was composed for a student who could only use the left hand. It also exists in a version for two hands.

Biographic information and photo: Charlotte Elizabeth Payne Wright, Cora Sadler's older daughter

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(Charles) Camille Saint-Saëns  French composer, pianist and organist

Paris, 09.10.1835 - Algiers, 16.12.1921

Saint-Saëns showed extraordinary and indeed quite unusual musical talents already as a child even offering to give any of Beethoven's sonatas as an encore, when he was only ten years. Apparently things came to him as easily as they did to Mozart and Mendelssohn. 
He had studied piano with Camille Marie Stamaty (1811-1870), harmony with Pierre Maleden (born ca. 1800), in 1848 he entered the organ class of François Benoist (1794-1878) at the Paris Conservatoire and three years later the class of composition of Jacques Halévy (1799-1862). But strangely enough this great son of musical France failed twice to win the Prix de Rome, which during the years has been given to so many now totally forgotten musicians.
After this his real professional life began with posts as organist at Saint-Merry (1853-1857) and St. Madeleine and he also had a short term as teacher being in 1861 appointed professor of piano at Ecole Niedermeyer. This only lasted for four years but during that time his students included Gabriel Fauré, Eugène Gigout and André Messager.
Although he soon manifested his position in the theatre - culminating with the opera Samson and Delilah - Saint-Saëns kept composing instrumental works in spite of the very small recognition this art form enjoyed at that time in France. But his 5 symphonies (yes there are in fact 5) were played with success and especially his nine concertos (two for the violin, two for the cello and five for the piano) became standard works - as they are today. 

Saint-Saëns was a true virtuoso himself. In 1904 - at the age of 69 - he recorded some of his own music (one of them an improvisation), and what you hear is playing with neatness, brilliance, precision and elegance coupled with a somewhat dry tone and a tendency towards very fast speeds. He was not one of the few and greatest - neither as a composer nor as a pianist, but among the second greatest he excelled in both  capacities - and Liszt even called him The greatest organist in the world

Saint-Saëns at the organ

Saint-Saëns had fought for the new music in the 19th century championing Liszt and Wagner, although they were very far from his own ideals of music, but the advent of impressionism and other schools at the turn of the century was something he didn't like and which he fought assiduously. He was in very active opposition indeed against Debussy and Ravel, and the feeling were reciprocated - Ravel even saying, that it would have done a greater service to music if Saint-Saëns had assembled shells for the war.
Today he is played frequently and primarily remembered for his classic gallic romanticism and his brilliant musical language.

Saint-Saëns playing a Mozart concerto
with Pierre Monteux conducting - by all
evidence November 6. 1913, Salle Gaveau

6 Études op. 135: 1. Prèlude, 2. Alle fuga, 3. Moto Perpetuo, 4. Bourrée, 5. Elégie, 6. Gigue  1912
The six etudes were composed for the ubiquitous French pianist Caroline Montigny-Rémaury (1843-1913) - a good friend and often duet-partner of Saint-Saëns who had injured her right hand in an accident and was unable to use it after the operation. Saint-Saëns' idea with the six pieces were not in the first place to make an illusion of two hands playing, but just to explore the possibilities of what can be accomplished by one hand alone in ways of melody, harmony and counterpoint. Considering that Saint-Saëns was 77 years old the pieces are both lighthearted and youthful; but he also used to say: I write music like a tree produces apples.
(It was Montigny-Rémaury who commissioned Pierné to write his Poème Symphonique Op. 37 in 1901 - and Fauré dedicated his first Barcarolle in A Minor op. 26 to her).

The 6 Etudes are recorded by Michel Béroff EMI CDC 7 49079 2
 by Leon Fleisher, SONY Classics SK 48081
And by Raoul Sosa: Fleur de Lys FL 2 3080-1

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Gustave (Marie Victor Ferdinand) Samazeuilh  French composer and critic

Bordeaux, 02.06.1877 - Paris, 04.08.1967

Samazeuilh started his professional career by studying law but after taking his degree he turned to music and became a pupil of Ernest Chausson (1855-1899), Vincent d’Indy (1851-1931) and Charles Bordes (1863-1909) at the Schola Cantorum og of Paul Dukas (1865-1935). 
In his house at Ciboure Maurice Ravel became a regular guest on his summer holidays and the two became close friends. Indeed Samazeuilh's music resembles to a certain degree the early styles of both Ravel and Debussy - so much in fact, that one of Samazeuilh's themes from his Naïades au soir was used practically unchanged by Ravel for the theme of the Nymphs in Daphnis et Chloe. This story could very well be true since Ravel did not have a very good memory; there is a story about Ravel who at a party heard a pianist play a very nice little piece, after which Ravel with naïve sincerity asked about the composer - and it was in fact himself.
His output is not very large but among his works are orchestral pieces, chamber music and piano pieces. During his time Samazeuilh was actually better known as a critic at La République Française and other periodicals., translator and writer - making a French translation of Tristan und Isolde. In 1913 he wrote a study of Paul Dukas and later his own musical memoirs appeared: Musiciens de mon temps: chroniques et souvenirs (Paris, M. Daubin, (1947). 
His œvre his mainly for the voice and the piano. A list of the most important consist of the following: For orchestra: Naïades au soir and Nuits, L'appel de la danse and Fantaisie for violin and orchestra. Among his chamber music there is a string quartet, a string trio, Divertissement et Musette and Pièces breves for cello. The best known works for piano are Sonata, Suite en sol, Evocation, Deux Pieces Poche, Chanson a ma Poupée and Naïades au soir which he orchestred. A Sérénade for guitar should be mentioned and for soprano and orchestre he composed Le sommeil de Canope, Le cercle des heures, Deux Poèmes Chantés.

2 Esquisses ( Sérénade is for the left hand alone and Souvenir is for the right)  1948 (Durand)
Dedicated to Luciole.

Photo of Samazeuilh by courtesy of the French National Library

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Pierre Sancan   French pianist, conductor, teacher and composer.

Mazamet nr. Toulouse, 24.10.1916 - 

Sancan first studied at Meknès College of Music before coming to the Toulouse Conservatory, and finally to Paris as pupil of  Ives Nat (piano), Jean Gallon (Fugue), Henri Busser (Composition), Jean Estyle (Counterpoint), Charles Münch and Roger Désormière (conducting). In 1943 he won the Prix de Rome competition with his cantata "La légende d'Icare" (The Legend of Icaros) and from 1956 to 1985 he was professor of piano at the Paris Conservatory. He is largely known due to his career as a pianist and a professor but he wrote many compositions including 3 ballets, an opera and a symphony - all based on French modernist school and written in impressionistic manner with a flavor of contemporary compositional technique. 

Sancan at the piano

Caprice romantique  1949 (Durand)
Dedicated to Madame Vosco-Chaki

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John Sarkissian  Armenian-American composer

Born: Tehran, Iran, 09.12.1962

John Sarkissian was born to Armenian emigrants from Russia. Since very early childhood Sarkissian displayed a lot of interest towards the arts, in particular drawing, poetry and music. His parents, never considering an artistic future for their son, only encouraged his interest in drawing and painting, with the hope that it would lead into an interest in architecture. 
By the time he was 13, Sarkissian realized his true potential and practically forced his parents to provide him with music lessons. He studied piano with Isa Sarafian, and theory and harmony with Shaheen Farhat, the son of the well-known Iranian musicologist. After the Islamic revolution in Iran, Sarkissian continued his studies in Italy. In 1987, the entire family moved permanently to the United States, where John Sarkissian continued studying piano with Sheldon Steinberg, and later at UCLA with the legendary Johana Harris, widow of the American composer Roy Harris. He also studied composition Paul Reale, John Heiss and also for some time with John Corigliano. 

Sarkissian’s music shows the influences of his varied background, the Russian and Armenian elements being the most obvious. His predilection for polytonality and strong, albeit irregular rhythms give his music its particular Eastern-European flavor. 

“Why? You are just not afraid to write down notes!” was John Heiss’ response during a lesson to Sarkissian’s question whether his music was too dense. His music does not allow for a passive performance. Under its rather regular looking surface, the music contains constant subtle surprises that  keep the performers awake. His music often requires a solid technique from the performer, but it is always very idiomatically written for the instrument. Especially pianists and vocalists find Sarkissian’s music quite satisfying to perform.
John Sarkissian's compositions include art songs, song-cycles, chamber pieces for a variety of ensembles, choral works, including a choreographic one, a string quartet, solo piano music on the larger scale such as variations, shorter pieces and music for children. He is currently working on an historical opera and a piano concerto.

Toccata for Four Left Hands  (1993-1997) MS.
Formally, this Toccata -  with its highly motoric rhythms - is actually a very strict canon that becomes a palindrome. All four performers have the same identical material which they play with their left hands alone on two pianos, though in different octaves and times. Copies of Sarkissian's compositions can be obtained by contacting the composer at: composer@nii.net

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Arnoldo Sartorio  German composer of Italian extraction

Frankfurt on Main,  30.03.1853 - 1935 

Sartorio was an extremely prolific composer of salon pieces for piano. He is hardly known today, but 100 years ago he was very well remembered  - indeed - famously remembered for his Jagdszenen (Hunting Scenes) op. 173, Melodische Etüden (Melodic Studies) op. 214, Bilder aus der Märchenwelt (Pictures from the Fairy World) op. 205 and Aus der Jugendzeit (From the Youth) op. 233. etc. etc. etc. During his 83 years he exceeded 1200 opus numbers. Quite an accomplishment, you would say.
Well the first composer who took the "opus-numbering" serious, was Beethoven but before him there were Mozart, Bach, Vivaldi and others who were incomparably more industrious (No-one has yet counted Telemann's odd 500 operas and no-one has yet counted how  many times Vivaldi wrote the same violin concerto).
He composed many pieces for teaching purposes. and clearly in clear defined difficulties.

  From Sartorio's collection of  fairly easy transcriptions of lieder and arias  

12 Studiesop. op. 1103  (1915) (Presser)

10 Melodic Studies op. 1092  (Presser)

Left Hand Proficiency 
23 pieces and transcriptions  (1821) (Presser)

Souvenir de Handel, Introducing the Celebrated Largo (Ombra mai fu) (1922) (Presser)

Lovely Dorothea: Vien qui Dorina bella  (1916)  (Presser)

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Gustav Satter  Austrian pianist and composer

Vienna, 12.02.1832 - Savannah, Georgia, USA1879


Satter whose father was a medical doctor got his academical education at the University in Vienna, but as a composer and piano virtuoso he seems to have been an autodidact. Perhaps for that reason his fame remained local, so he decided to try his luck in Amerika where he arrived in 1855 at the age of 23. He began his new career in Boston, New York (where he gave the American premiere of Beethoven' Emperor Concerto on March 10, 1855) and Philadelphia.
After some years in America he returned to Vienna (1862) only to be described by Edward Hanslick as an example of adventurous showman-ship and humbug which made him more notorious than famous. But this was only the beginning: as a critic he managed to ridicule all his colleagues making enemies wherever he went.
So once again he started on tour only to make a major scandal in Hanover where he stayed from 1866. Satter had quickly acquainted himself with the music-loving King but had managed to get the general public against him to an extent which led to riotous episodes which even the king could not overlook or prevent, and suddenly in March 1866 after he had been appointed leader of the Hanoverian Music Festival, Satter suddenly disappeared completely and the king considered it wise to withdraw the title of Royal Music Director and his salary as such, which he had earlier bestowed upon him.
Then Satter turned up in Berlin only to disappear as suddenly as he did in in Hanover and from this time his traces are rather elusive. In 1868 he appeared in Stockholm and from 1875 he lived in the Southern States of the U.S. f.ex. Richmond, Mobile, Atlanta and Savannah.
Now the question is - who and what was this peculiar man. As a musician and composer he was more or less an autodidact but during his first stay in America he helped to spread the knowledge of the works of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann and he was received with enthusiasm even in Paris.
As a composer he produced operas, pieces for orchestra and chamber music, but the lion's part of his work was for the piano including nine sonatas and a lot of smaller pieces. Many of these were salon pieces with titles that reflect his travels - e.g. Niagara and La belle de New York.

Gustav Satter signature

Etude No. 14 for the left hand alone from Etudes Universelles. Eine Sammlung von 30 Stücken für höchste technische Vollendung am Klaviere op. 84, Heft 2  (Leipzig: Kistner o. J.)  

Photo: Ernst Pauer: Östereichsiche Nationalbibliothek, Bildarchiv http://www.bildarchiv.at

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Emil (Georg Conrad) von Sauer  German piano virtuoso and composer

Hamburg, 08.10.1862 - Vienna, 28.04.1942

Sauer's first teacher was his mother who took care of his musical education when he was only five years old. When he was fourteen he was in Moscow where he played for Anton Rubinstein who was so impressed with the boy that he arranged for him in 1879 to become pupil of his younger brother Nicholas who was one of best piano teachers in Russia and who had founded the Moscow Conservatory in 1864.
But Nicholas Rubinstein's contracted consumption and in 1881 he had had planned to go to Nice for his health but he died - on his way - in Paris on 23rd March. Since this left Sauer without his great teacher he returned to Hamburg but in 1884 he went to Weimar and started as a pupil of Liszt who thought he looked more like a marathon runner than a pianist.
The two summers he spent there (until Liszt's death in 1886) of course had a certain influence on him but later he belittled it - even saying in an interview to a newspaper in 1895: "It is not correct to regard me as a Liszt pupil, though I stayed with him for a few months. He was then very old and could not teach me much. My chief teacher has undoubtedly been Nicholas Rubinstein".
To some extent this was obvious since Sauer never displayed any of the typical things that could be heard from a Rosenthal, a Reisenauer, a Friedheim or any other "typical" Liszt pupil. Sauer was a great virtuoso - perhaps lacking in breadth - but with beauty and a smooth refinement that gained him respect among colleagues - and Josef Hofmann even calling him "A truly great virtuoso".

Emil von Sauer sweating it out at a concert with Arthur Nikisch
Humoristic silhouette by Otto Böhler

After the months with Liszt Sauer was on his own as a virtuoso with a steadily growing fame. Even if he was no longer a young man at that time his art has been preserved through c.30 recordings - among these both Liszt concertos with his intimate friend Felix Weingartner as conductor.
For two periods he taught at the Vienna Conservatory (1901-1907 and again from 1915) but besides this he was active as composer writing two piano concertos, E minor and C minor, two sonatas, 24 concert studies (most of this being recorded by Oleg Marchew on Danacord), many small pieces for the piano and in 1901 he published his memoirs Meine Welt (My World).

Waldandacht (Ceremony in the Wood) Nr. 28 in A flat major from Etudes de concert. Dedicated to Géza Zichy

Waldandacht is recorded by Oleg Marchew: Danacord DACOCD 488

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(No portrait)


Maya Sauter  Swiss pianist and composer

Bienne, 1910 - 

Klaviermusik; Divertissement  1971 (Pelikan)

Improvisationen zum transponieren (nr. 4, 6 & 7)  (Pelikan)

Ein- oder Mehrstimmigen Studien  (Pelikan)

Impromptus nr. 1 and 3  (Pelikan)

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Robert Saxton  English composer

Born: London, 08.10.1953 - 

Robert Saxton started composing at the age of six and his earliest acknowledged work - Ritornelli and Intermezzi - was written and performed before he was twenty. At the age of nine he began corresponding with Benjamin Britten, and he became a pupil of Elisabeth Lutyens in 1970. 
From 1974 to 1975 he studied with Robin Holloway,  from 1975 to 1976 with Robert Sherlaw Johnson and also with Luciano Berio. He has won many prestigious prizes and awards: in 1986 he was awarded the Fulbright Arts Fellowship to the USA, where he was in residence at Princeton and also taught at Tanglewood as assistant to Oliver Knussen. He has held the post of Head of Composition at both the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal Academy of Music. In October 1999 he took up the post of University Lecturer and Tutorial Fellow at Worcester College, Oxford. 
In addition to his teaching commitments, Saxton has composed vast amounts of music and has had commissions from The Fires of London, the London Sinfonietta, the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Cheltenham, Aldeburgh and Huddersfield Festivals, BBC Promenade Concerts, BBC Radio and Television
Robert Saxton is also working on a series of essays concerning the relationship between composition, philosophy, and logic. 

This piece was composed in 1988 to the Aldeburgh Festival and for Leon Fleisher, who played it publicly for the first time there on 20th June that year.

Photo (to the left) of Saxton: Misha Donat: 25 St. Albans Road, London, NW5 1RG. Tel 01-485 4900  

The Chaconne is recorded by Leon Fleisher: SONY Classics SK 48081

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Anthony  Louis [Antonio Luigi] Scarmolin

Schio nr. Padua, Italy, 1890 - Union City NJ, 1969

Scarmolin received his first musical training (violin and probably also piano) from his father who worked at the local textile factory, and in 1900 the family emigrated to the US settling in New Jersey.
Having showed clear musical talents the young Anthony enrolled in New York’s German Conservatory of Music, where he continued his piano studies with Bertha Cahn. Although more or less an autodidact on the matter Scarmolin also began to compose and in a style which chocked his teacher with his obvious departure from tonality. It seems a qualified guess that the criticism he received for this disvuaded him from further attemts to compose in this style and instead he focused on his piano playing. Sadly, as fate would have it, a debilitating hand condition forced the cancellation of a planned Carnegie Hall début recital - and thus his piece Marigolds  - mentioned below - may have been autobiographical to some extent.
Having now abandoned the idea of a performing career he threw himself into the composition of sacred and light classical songs, pedagogical and salon music for piano and simple choral works. On the other hand he did not 'leave' the 'serious' music but continued to compose operas - among these
The Interrupted Serenade which Benjamino Gigli submitted for him to the Metropolitan Opera but to no avail.
After having served with the US Army during World War I, Scarmolin resumed his career as a composer of 'marketably' music and as band and orchestra director at Emerson High School in Union City, New Jersey - a post he held for thirty years until auditory problems forced him into an early retirement in 1949. During the thirties he seemed to return to 'serious' music with the composition of his 1st symphony but as a composer of other works than pedagogical piano music, as well as pieces for student ensembles of all kinds he is practically forgotten. 

Marigolds  1929 (Presser)

Portrait: A. Louis Scarmolin Trust

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John W. Schaum American pianist, composer and editor

1905 - 1988

Founder and director of the Schaum Music School in Milwaukee, John W. Schaum was the composer of internationally famous piano teaching materials including over 200 books and 450 sheet music pieces. He was president of the Wisconsin Music Teachers Association and a soloist with the Milwaukee Philharmonic Orchestra
He held a Master of Music degree from Northwestern University, a Bachelor of Music degree from Marquette University and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.
His editorial business is carried on by his son and grand son.

Wesley Schaum

Jeff Schaum

Composer, editor, publisher and clinician, Wesley Schaum has written, arranged and edited over 180 books and sheet music pieces for piano, organ and keyboard teaching since 1959. He has presented numerous workshops to teacher groups across the United States. His music is available in special editions distributed in England, Germany and Holland. A member of two honorary fraternities, Mr. Schaum was an honors graduate and soloist with the university band and orchestra at Northwestern University where he earned Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees. He was a piano instructor and registrar of the U.S. Navy School of Music.

Teacher, arranger and editor, Jeff Schaum has contributed piano arrangements to ten albums published by Warner/Belwin in addition to books and sheet music published by Schaum Publications, Inc. Jeff was a scholarship student at Arizona State University and a member of the symphonic bands, orchestras and brass ensembles at both A.S.U. and the University of Illinois. He has performed with the Champaign-Urbana Symphony and Sinfonia da Camera. He has coached instrumental music students at high schools in Illinois, Arizona and Wisconsin. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Illinois and a Master of Music degree from Arizona State University.

Schaum Publications, Inc. is a family owned business. Founded in 1959 by John W. Schaum, company operations are growing under his son Wesley and grandson Jeff, both accomplished musicians. The company publishes quality piano materials integrating music appreciation, theory, sight reading and technic into a comprehensive education for tomorrow's musicians.

Our building houses a successful music school with over 130 piano students. The teaching experiences at this school are reflected in the publication of music that is practical and appealing. Offices, production, music printing, sales, advertising, warehousing and shipping activities are also located in the same facility.

Left Hand Studies for the Piano (arrangements of pieces from standard repertoire) (Schaum)

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Peter Schickele  American composer, musician, author and humorist

Born: Well - Presumably!  (in fact:  Ames, Iowa, 17.07.1935)

Although Peter Schickele primarily is known to people of musical interest and intelligence (the number of which can still baffle me!) - his name is known to many more as the man who fabricated the character P.D.Q.Bach; a ficticious composer who happened - according to his tombstone - to live backwards. Perhaps Schickele realized what the great Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard once said: Life is lived forwards - but understood backwards. P.D.Q.Bach is mentioned below as a tribute to the fact that humor in music still exists - in spite of numerous attempts from 'professional hired assassins'  to assure that it jolly well doesn't.
Peter Schickele was, indeed, born in Ames, Iowa 17.07.1935, and brought up in Washington, D.C. and Fargo, North Dakota, where he studied composition with Sigvald Thompson and in 1957 he graduated from Swarthmore.
By that time he had already composed and conducted four major orchestral works, a great deal of chamber music and some songs. He subsequently studied composition with Roy Harris and Darius Milhaud, and at the Juilliard School of Music with Vincent Persichetti and William Bergsma.
Schickele's 'serious' music covers practically all genres and his works have been commissioned and performed by major organizations, ensembles and orchestras in and outside the US.

As a lecturer, he has appeared in cities coast to coast; the Smithsonian Institution presented him in a series of four integrated lectures in 1997.

Two miniatures for piano, left hand   (1998) (Bryn Mawr, Pa. Elkan-Vogel)

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The story of one Music's most astonishing personalities

1807-1742 !

In the 17th and 18th centuries the name Bach was synonymous with fine music making:  Johann Sebastian, certainly the biggest twig on the family tree, was both preceded and followed by many accomplished and well known musicians, some of whom were in the service of royalty.  It is easy to understand, therefore, why the Bach clan was loath to admit the existence of a member who was called a “pimple on the face of music,” “the worst musician ever to have trod organ pedals,” “the most dangerous musician since Nero,” and other things not quite so complimentary.  They even started a rumor that P.D.Q. Bach, without a doubt Johann Sebastian’s last and least offspring, was not really a member of the Bach family—the implication being that he was illegitimate, or, even better, an imposter.  Although P.D.Q. Bach was born on April 1, 1742 and died on May 5, 1807, the dates on his first tombstone (before he was moved to an unmarked pauper’s grave) were inscribed “1807-1742” in a transparent attempt to make it appear that he could not have been the son of J.S., who died in 1750.  Nice try, Bach family—close, but no cigar: Some of us, or at least one of us, are not fooled, or at least, is not fooled. 
P.D.Q. Bach once said that his illustrious father gave him no training in music whatsoever, and it is one of the few things he said that we can believe without reservation.  His rebelliousness was such, in fact, that he avoided music as much as possible until he was well into his thirties (as a teenager he did assist in the construction of the loudest instrument ever created, the pandemonium, but he wisely skipped town before the instrument’s completion, having sensed with uncanny accuracy, that the Pavilion of Glass was perhaps not the most felicitous location for the inaugural concert).  But by the mid 1770s he realized that, given his last name, writing music was the easiest thing he could do, and he began composing the works that were to catapult him into obscurity.
This most mini musical life has been divided into three creative periods:  the Initial Plunge, the Soused Period, and Contrition.  The middle period was by far the longest of the three, and was characterized by a multiplicity of contrapuntal lines and a greater richness of harmony due to almost constant double vision.  It was during this period that he emulated (i.e., stole from) the music of Haydn and Mozart, but his pathetic attempts to be au courant were no more successful than his pathetic attempts to be passé had been during the Initial Plunge;  having to cope with the problems that accompany immense popularity was something P.D.Q. Bach managed to avoid.  It has been said that the only original places in his music are those places where he forgot what he was stealing.  And, since his memory was even shorter than his sightedness, he was in point of fact one of the most original composers ever to stumble along the musical pike.
When you come right down to it, which is something we should all do every once in a while (As Plato said, —or was it Aristotle? —the unexamined life isn’t worth a hill of beans.  Maybe it was Socrates.), P.D.Q. Bach was perhaps not as pitiful as we are often led to believe:  he was, by all accounts, intimately acquainted with all three components of the proverbial wine/women/song life style, he died a wealthy man (due to a little patent medicine thing he had going on the side), and he can now boast 17 record albums and annual concerts in New York City (in December) devoted almost exclusively to his own music.  How many of us can say that?  Well, can you?

And in the Definitive Biography of P.D.Q.Bach you can read:

At the age of five, the boy still had not been given a name, and it was only after repeated exhortations by his eldest brother, Wilhelm Friedemann, that his father bestowed upon him, not a name, but--at least--three initials: P.D.Q.  When Wilhelm Friedemann asked what the initials stood for, the father said they stood for nothing, which indeed could be said of P.D.Q. himself later in his life.  Old Johann Sebastian added something about using up all the available names on his first twenty children, and years later P.D.Q. Bach wrote to a friend, 'In all truthfulness I can say that to this day I have no idea as to what, if anything, my name represents.'  In the same letter he attributed his frequent headaches to the fact that he had been christened in a shipyard rather than in a church. 

And so it was that on that cold, dark, wet night [April 1st] in Leipzig, there came into this world one of the most curious figures in the entire history of music in Western Civilization:  a man who did not change the course of music one iota, a man who defined definitively the doctrine of originality through incompetence, a man who triumphed over the most staggering obstacle ever placed before a composer: absolute and utter lack of talent.  In the years that followed, P.D.Q. Bach steadfastly ignored handicaps that would have sent other men into teaching or government, resulting in a body of works that is without parallel."

Having tried to avoid any kind of originality on this site - and being myself altogether very low-brow - I have simply stolen this text from Mr. Schickele which I think will pass unnoticed as he would rather have me act as his 'right hand' than read about my left hands.
Should he - on the other side - discover the stealth, I urgently encourage him to file a complaint and post it unstamped into Michigan Lake on a moonless night. Then I can go on enjoying P.D.Q.Bach, Gerald Hoffnung, Victor Borge and Anne Russell as the summits of musical humor - which - like other examples of genuine and intelligent humor - carries moments of truth. (If his mane leaves you without any clue I have "Googled" it and - of course many explanations. But the "oldest" is from The Maltese Falcon with Humphrey Bogart and here it stands for Pretty Damn'd Quich - whatever that means in connection with this strange of that fictitious but funny invented composer.

Photo of Schickele: Peter Schaaf

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Dmitri Schirin  Russian composer and pianist

Born: ?

Dmitri Schirin is a faculty member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Culture. He invited Assistant professor Annemarie Schuessler to give a lecture about left hand playing only two years after the stroke that paralyzed her right hand, 

Ein Gedicht für Klavier (A Poem for Piano) 
The work is "typical" Russian and in a Neo-romantic style. Written for Annemarie Schuessler, see under Jody Nagel from whom Schirin got his inspiration to the work.

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Franz Schmidt   Austrian composer, cellist, organist and pianist

Pressburg, 22.12.1874 - Perchtoldsdorf nr. Vienna, 11.02.1939

Schmidt had to overcome many hardships in his youth to become a musician, but in 1889 he managed to enter the Vienna Conservatory where he studied composition, organ and cello. After his studies he was appointed cellist in the Vienna Court Opera Orchestra in 1896 and he stayed on that post for 14 years playing opera performances and concerts under the direction of conductors like Richard Strauss and Gustav Mahler.
In 1910 he was offered a professorate of piano playing at the Vienne Music Academy and in 1925 he was appointed director.
Attacked by a mortal disease he retired from the post in 1937 to devote his remaining time to composition.
For more than half a century his music was only known to very few even though his greatness as a composer was never questioned. His most important works are the opera Notre Dame (after Victor Hugo), the oratorio Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln (after St. John), 4 symphonies, 2 piano concertos (for Wittgenstein), chamber music, songs and organ pieces. His style is that of highly sophisticated late romanticism with roots in the music of Brahms.


Franz Schmidt at his piano

Concertante Variationen über ein Thema von Beethoven (Piano concerto nr. 1)  1924 (Kugel)
This work was finished on 22nd August 1923 and was premiered in the Wiener Konzerthaus on 2nd February 1924 conducted by Julius Prüver (
1874-1943) from Weimar. The Theme - or rather themes are from Beethoven's Spring Sonata; violin sonata no. 5 in F major op. 24, third movement Scherzo (main theme and trio theme).

Piano concerto nr. 2 in E flat major  
Written for Paul Wittgenstein 1934.

Piano quintet in G major
Written for Paul Wittgenstein in 1926 og premiered in  1927. The main theme of the second movement is one of Schmidt's most beautiful - almost a nocturne or a lullaby. In the archives of Paul Wittgenstein (located in the Hong Kong University) an addition has turned up: It is a solo cadenza just before the final movement as an "introduction ad lib" and published by Octavian Society Press, 2006. 

Quintet for piano, violin, clarinet, viola and cello in B flat major
Written for Paul Wittgenstein in 1932 og premiered 1933. Both this and the next quintet have never been published in the original version but due to the opening of Wittgenstein's own archives it may now be possible - see the link after the A major quintet.

Quintet for piano, violin, clarinet, viola and cello in A major  
Written for Paul Wittgenstein in 1938. The work was premiered in 1939 but as Wittgenstein had fled Austria and settled in USA it was premiered by Friedrich Wührer in his own edition for two hands   see appendix.

Written for Paul Wittgenstein 1938.

(Variations on a theme by Josef Labor) 
This is in fact the fifth movement, Finale of the quintet in A major but it was frequently performed by Wittgenstein as a separate work due to its length.

Although the style and character is different, Schmidt shows an ingenuity that resembles Korngold's when it comes to incorporating the piano as an equal of the other instruments especially in the chamber works showing that one hand is more than enough - the piano being the only instrument that plays chords and not single tones. These works are highly recommended. 

The piano concerto nr. 1 is recorded by Karl-Andreas Kolly on PAN Classics 510 115
The piano concerto nr. 2 is recorded by Karl-Andreas Kolly on PAN Classics 510
The piano quintet in G major is recorded by Karl-Andreas Kolly on PAN Classics 510 115

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(No portrait)


Hans H. Schmitt 

(1835 - 1907?)

5 Etüden  (Vienna: Doblinger)
Mentioned in
Hofmeisters Handbuch der Klavierlitteratur 1892-1897, 754

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(No portrait)


Jacob Schmitt  German pianist and prolific composer

Obernburg, Bavaria, 02.11.1803 - Hamburg, ?.06.1853

Schmitt came from an old family of musicians who were descendants of a cantor in Obernburg. Both his brother Aloys (1788-1866) and Aloys' son Georg Alois (1827-1902) became well-known composers, pianists and organists.
It was a true family tradition for Aloys was a pupil of his father and Jacob was a pupil of Aloys before he settled in Hamburg where he wrote more than 300 works: 3 books of studies, variations, and sonatas for piano and for piano with violin. Six of his solo sonatas opp. 51-56 "à l'usage des elèves avancés"  (for the use of advanced pupils) were reviewed already in 1828 by J. A. G. Heinroth as models of the type. And this gentleman was not just any other soft critic - indeed he warned piano students against studies and sonatas that claimed to be of sound use but by closer acquaintance were not: They spray from the composers like mushrooms, that one cannot distinguish the edible from the inedible - or even the dangerous ones - at first glance. But obviously Schmitt's sonatas were edible. His brother Aloys was not that lucky with the critics for he was accused of being just another composer giving in to the deadening requirement of the public taste.
Jacob Schmitt is hardly remembered today but his nephew Georg Alois' name may turn up now and again since he - as director of the Mozartverein at Dresden - edited and completed Mozart's unfinished Mass in C minor KV. 427 in 1901.

Etude de concert.  (Peters).

Etude de chant.  (Peters)

Tremolo.  (Peters)
The last two pieces appear in Adolf Ruthardt's collection Album fur die linke Hand für Pianoforte (ca. 1900 ) 

Quatre études des concert op. 330 no. 3 & 4  (Hamburg: Schuberth & Co)
Mentioned in Hofmeisters Handbuch der Klavierlitteratur 1844-1851, p. 154

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(No portrait)


Susan Schmitt  

Born: ?

3 Easy Studies: 1. The Merry Swiss By, 2. Barcarolle (transcription of The Mermaids' Song from Weber's opera Oberon), 3. Tom Thumb Waltz  1921 (Boston Music)

The Left hand Polka  (Boston: Boston Music Co)

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Else Schmitz-Gohr  German pianist, composer and teacher

Cologne, 12.08.1901 - Cologne, 13.12.1987  

Else Schmitz-Gohr grew up as a child progedi and already as a small girl she performed with her equally gifted sister Ria who played the violin and sang. Else's first teacher was professor Dr. Otto Klauwell and then Fritz Hans Rehbold who had studied with the Liszt pupil Bernhard Stavenhagen. Her first notable performance was when she was 17 and played Liszt's A major concerto with the Kölner Gürzenich Orchestra conducted by Generalmusikdirector Hermann Abendroth. She finished her studies with Professor James Kwast who had a direct cultural link to Beethoven and was a friend of Max Reger.After the WWI she she was teacher at the Staatsliche Hochschule in Cologne where she adsvanced to be Professor and among her pupils there were many who later made a name for
themselves e.g. the Kontarsky brothers.

  Ria Schmitz-Gohr, violinist and singer  

That she also composed was not well known. Her  teachers in this field were in Cologne professor Dr. Otto Klauwell and professor Franz Bölche. In Berlin she attended the classes of Wilhelm Klatte.
Among her belongings she found during her grown years many pieces that she had composed in her youth from her 13th year and onwards.


Elegie für die linke Hand allein (1927) (Published in: 22 Klavierstücke des 18.-20. Jahrhunderts published by Eva Rieger & Käte Walter  2nd edition, Mainz: Schott, 1985). This Elegy is in fact counted among her best pieces.

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(No portrait)


Pierre August Schnecker  German-American pianist and composer

Hesse-Darmstadt, 1850 - New York 1903

Romance in A flat  1904 (Ditson)

Three Piano Solos (Ditson)
Mentioned in BBC, Music Library; Piano and organ Catalogue

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Avi Schönfeld  Dutch-Israeli pianist and composer

Born: Lodz, 15.12.1947

Schönfeld was born in Poland where he gave his first concert before going to Israel to become a pupil of the Bartók-disciple Ilona Vincze. After having won several national and international prizes (including the Leo Kestenberg prize and one with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra), Schönfeld made his début with the Israeli Radio and Television Orchestra before embarking on a concert career that was to take him round the world, embracing also his gifts as composer and teacher. At the invitation of the French government, he undertook further studies with Vlado Perlemuter, Yvonne Lefébure, Arthur Rubinstein and Marcel Ciampi, as well as with Nadia Boulanger and Alexandre Tansman in composition. After a period of teaching at the Royal Brussels Conservatory, Avi Schönfeld was appointed to a post at the Maastricht Conservatory, in the Netherlands, where he still teaches. In addition to his work as artistic director and founder of EPRIM (European Pianistic Research Institute of Maastricht), he is also artistic adviser to the Anglo Dutch Piano Platform and the Académie Pianistica of the Maastricht Municipal Theatre.
Schönfeld has received several commissions for compositions and he has participated in a number of competitions for composers.
Among his compositions for piano are: Animato, Sphinx, Labyrinthe, Ombres and Tango-Etude (all published by Max Sechig (Durand), Agitato and Jeu (Henry Lemoine), Légende (Editions Combre), Sonatine Mediterranean - furthermore five piano
sonatas (nr. 3: Notturno, nr. 4: Hommage a Chopin, nr. 5: C minor).
Among chamber works are a violin sonata and a Ballade for violin and piano, cello sonata, a clarinet sonata, a suite fir two piano and an almost finished piano converto.   

Un défi (A Challenge), piece for the left hand  (2000) (Combre, Paris)
In a letter to this author Schönfeld has described his work such: Un défi was first planned as  a part of a larger composition of which one of the parts I wanted to be written for the left hand alone so as to interpose a full-scale piano sound with the more limited, more 'fragile' [one] which was produced by the left hand alone. 

Photo of Schönfeld: © Foto Artica Volderstraat, Meerssen.

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Hermann Schroeder [Schröder]  German composer, teacher and organist

Bernkastel-Kues, 26.03.1904 - Bad Orb, 07.10.1984

On his mother's side Schroeder had common ancestry with Beethoven (on this composer's mother's side). He got his education at Musical High School in Cologne from 1926 to 1930 as composition pupil of Heinrich Lemacher and Walter Braunfels, of Hermann Abendroth in conducting and Hans Bachem, organ.
After his education Schroeder became teacher at the Rheinische Music High School at Cologne from 1930 to 1938 and two years later he was appointed cathedral organist in Trier, where he also became director of the Trier School of Music in 1940. 
In 1946 he returned to the High School at Cologne as teacher of theory and becoming professor in 1948 and lecturing at the same time at the Universities in Bonn  and Cologne - and being director og the Bach Society at Cologne from 1947 to 1962.
His music concentrated on catholic church music, which he tried to reform - much in common with Hindemith's music.
His output includes 17 masses and a requiem - all for mixed chorus with different accompaniments. Among his orchestral works are a symphony in D minor (1942) and several concertos for several combinations: cello, violin (two), piano, two violins, cello, organ, trumpet and clarinet. 
Beside these works Schroeder composed for most of the chamber music combinations and many organ works.

Capriccio for violin and piano (right or left hand)

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Franz Schubert  Austrian composer



(Menuett, D major für eine Hand allein) arr: Hans Jelmoli  (Zürich: Holzmann)
Mentioned in Hofmeisters Handbuch der Klavierlitteratur 1919, p.87

(Erlkönig) arr Géza Zichy  (Paris Heugel)
Mentioned in
Hortence Parent: Répertoire Encyclopédique du Pianiste, vol. I. p. 281

(Sérénade de Schubert - les deux premières pages pour la main gauche seule) arr: Henri Ketten  (Paris: Lemoine)
Mentioned in Hortence Parent: Répertoire Encyclopédique du Pianiste, vol. II, p. 148

(Auf dem Wasser zu singen)
(Der Doppelgänger from Schwanengesang)
(Du bist die Ruh)
(Impromptu op. 90 nr. 3)
(Marche militaire no. 1)

(Trockne Blumen from Die schöne Müllerin)
(Das Wandern from Die schöne Müllerin)
All transcribed by  Frédéric Meinders

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Erwin Schulhoff  Czech composer and pianist 

Prague, 08.06,1894 - Wülzburg, 18.08.1942

He was a great-grandnephew of the piano virtuoso Julius Schulhoff (1825-1898) who impressed both Leschetizky and Chopin.

Julius Schulhoff

Erwin Schulhoff was educated at the Prague Conservatory under Kàan from 1902 to 1904, in Vienna under W. Thern from 1904 to 1908 and Leipzig from1908 to 1910 where Max Reger was one his teachers. He finished his education at Cologne from 1910 to 1914 after which he settled in Prague as pianist and teacher.  
From 1929 he taught at the Prague Conservatory and from 1935 he was on the staff of the Czech broadcasting station. At the same time Schulhoff was a very successful interpreter of modern music - giving concerts in Germany, France, England and Russia and specializing in quarter-tone works.
As a composer he was very prolific showing a very skilled and elastic style - influenced by the most modern tendencies: Schoenberg, jazz, Soviet realism etc.

Erwin Schulhoff with his 
daughter before the war.

During the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia he was imprisoned due to his Jewish origin and his political sympathies, sent to concentration camp in Wülzburg nr. Prague and tortured to death.

An improvised choir in a Nazi concentration camp

Suite nr. 3  for piano left hand (1926)
Written for Otakar Hollmann. (Vienna, 29.01.1894 - Prague,09.05.1967), one-armed invalid from WW I). The suite has five movements: 1. Preludio, Allegro con moto, 2. Air, Andante, 3. Zingara, Allegro, 4. Improvisazione, Andante molto rubato, 5. Finale, Molto maestoso - Allegro.

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(No portrait)



Born: ?

Album of Classical Piano Music - One Hand Alone: 17 Well-Known Pieces by Classical Composers, Arranged to be Played by Either Left or Right Hand  (Peters)

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Robert (Alexander) Schumann  German composer

Zwickau, Saxony, 08.06.1810 - Endenich Asylum nr. Bonn, 29.07.1856

(Linke hand soll sich auch zeigen) ?

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Eduard Schütt  Austrian pianist, conductor and composer 

St. Petersburg, 22.10.1856 - Obermais nr. Meran, 26.07.1933

At first Schütt was destined for a mercantile career but soon his interest in music took over and he entered the St. Petersburg Conservatory where he passed the final exams with honour in 1876.
He then studied  at the Leipzig Conservatory for two years before settling in Vienna where he was appointed conductor of the Akademischer Wagner-Verein in 1878. 
In 1882 his first piano concerto (G minor op. 7) was performed with success in St. Petersburg and London and later followed a second concerto in F minor op. 47 and a comic opera Signor Formica (after E. T. A. Hoffmann), which was produced at the Vienna Court Opera .
Among his other works are a piano concerto in F minor, a serenade for strings op. 6, Variations for two pianos, numerous piano pieces, songs and transcriptions.

Paraphrase for piano and orchestra 1929 (MS Octavian Society, Hong Kong)
Written for Wittgenstein and performed 27th June 1929.

Photo: Östereichsiche Nationalbibliotek, Bildarchiv http://www.bildarchiv.at

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Ludvig (Theodor) Schytte  Danish composer, piano virtuoso and teacher

Aarhus (Jutland), 28.04.1848  - Berlin, 10.11.1909

Schytte was first educated as a Pharmacist but abandoned this career for the music and in 1870 sought Edmund Neupert as instructor (piano) and Niels W. Gade (composition). With a grant from the Anckerske Legat he was able to go to Germany in 1884 to become a pupil of Liszt in Weimar and later to study in Berlin. In 1886 he settled in Vienna where he taught at Horák's Conservatory from 1895 to 1907. The rest of his life was spent in Berlin as teacher at Stern's Conservatory.
Among his compositions are a number of songs but he is primarily remembered for his piano works. He was very prolific as a writer of smaller forms: Impromptus, character pieces, album leaves etc. but he also commanded larger forms: Sonata op. 53, concert paraphrase and a beautiful romantic virtuoso piano concerto in C sharp minor op. 28 (which is due to be recorded by Danacord this year with the brilliant Oleg Marchev as soloist). 
His minor works became very popular indeed and one particular piece: Over Stepperne (Over the Plains) was successfully performed many times by the great Russian pianist Sophia Menter.

Sophia Menter: 1846-1918

But perhaps his most important works were the educational compositions of which he composed a lot that are used to this day.
Schytte's music is marked by an elegant style where his profound knowledge of the pianistic and virtuosic possibilities of his instrument comes clearly through.


The composer's association The Fermata in 1883
Schytte is seen to the right just left of a gentleman
with a cylinder hat. Number two from the bottom
 right is August Winding. Oh - how they loved this 
kind of illustrations then!

Ludvig's (much) older brother Henrik Vissing Schytte was a talented cello player who often appeared in Copenhagen at concerts with chamber music. But it was as a music critic he made his name known with his keen (although conservative) ears and his sharp but sound and fair pen with a special dash of humor. He became the first in Denmark to publish a music encyclopedia (1888-1892).

Henrik Vissing Schytte
(04.05.1827 - 22.02.1903) 

Ludvig Schytte's daughter Anna (born 22.11.1880) also became a pianist. She was a pupil of her father, Ove Christensen, Franz Neruda, Julius Röntgen in Amsterdam, the Liszt pupil Alfred Reisenauer (when he was sober - according to Harold C. Schoenberg - he had learned something with cognac from Liszt) and the Leschetizky pupil Ignaz Friedman. She toured extensively in Denmark and Germany giving concerts in Leipzig (Gewandhaus under Nikisch), Vienna, Amsterdam (Concertgebouw), Stockholm, Warsaw etc.

Spezialstudien op. 75  10 volumes in which there are both pieces and exercises for the left hand alone.

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Alexander (Nicolayevich) Scriabin  Russian composer and pianist

Moscow, 06.01.1872 - Moscow, 27.04.1915

Prelude and Nocturne op. 9 nr. 1 & 2: C sharp major and D flat minor 1895 (Belaïeff)
Apart from the Ravel concerto these are probably the most famous left-hand pieces. The story behind them has already become a legend - and legends often have moments of truth: Three of the most talented piano students at the St. Petersburg Conservatory (Scriabin, Rachmaninoff and Josef Lhévinne) were trying to see who would be the first to master the Don Juan Fantasy by Liszt. During his attempt - Scriabin contracted tendonitis of his right hand and his depression was so great indeed, that he thought he would never be able to play again. 
But he did - and the incident inspired him to write these two pieces for the left hand alone - and their popularity is well deserved. Scriabin used two Russian folksongs as basis for his work ("I Don't Know Why I am so Sad" and "Dream Under a Birch Tree.") - and created this beautifully matched pair which are not that difficult to play. 
During a tour of USA in 1906-07 they turned out to be his most successful works, and they earned him the nickname "The Chopin of the Left hand".

Actually Scriabin composed another piece for the left hand alone when he suffered from tendonitis: Waltz in the manner of Johann Strauss (in some sources it was referred to as a fantasy on Strauss' "Wine, Women and Song"). Whether it was ever written down we shall probably never know - but we do know that he performed it in New York in 1907. According to Scriabin himself it contained all kinds of virtuoso stunts and it was an enormous success. But Scriabin obviously had two sides - and he knew it himself: the serious composer of magnificent sonatas etc. - and - a cheap showman. The waltz belonged to the latter part, and even though he must have enjoyed it (with very unsuccessfully hidden shame) - he called it ghastly! Anyway - what a shame that this ghastly work has never been found - and probably never will. Scriabin played it several times during his visit to America and every time he played it became more elaborate which could point to the fact that it had not yet been committed to note paper and only existed in his head - and since he never played it again after the tour - he probably gave up the idea.


Scriabin at the piano

The Prelude & Nocturne is recorded by Leon Fleisher, SONY Classics SK 48081
Michel Béroff EMI CDC 7 49079 2
and - by Raoul Sosa: Fleur de Lys FL 2 3080-1

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Henry Selbing  (The original name until 1950 was Ernest Schlesinger, when it was officially changed to Henry Selbing)  Romanian pianist and composer

Hermannstadt, Romania, 06.08.1912 - Hermannstadt, 15.02.2000

Hermannstadt was part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire but has since 1918 belonged to Romania where it lies in the region once called Sieberbürgen but now better known as Transylvania the home of Count Dracula.

The "role model" of Dracula: Count Vlad III (1431-1476) who earned a reputation as a cruel leader, and it is believed he executed up to 40,000 civilians, including political rivals, criminals, as well as women and children. He earned the grisly nickname Tepes, meaning The Impaler, because tradition has it that his favourite method of dispatching his victims was impaling them on a sharp pole. Since then he has been a popular character of horror movies connected with vampires in form of bats.

 Dr. Albert Sassmann visited Selbing's widow, Mrs. Professor Ileana Selbing, shortly after his death and interviewed her about his life and was shown various documents etc. about him. All this were publisied in the Allgemeine Zeitung für Rumänien. 16. 7. 2004, page 4 and with his kind permission the following is an translation and extraction from this:
Selbing was the son of
Mauri Ńiu and Etel Gottesmann and already as an infant he showed remarkable musical talents. He soon received his first musical piano instruction. From 1923 to 1930 he  attended the Liceul Confesional Timisoara, where he also at first  was chosen as solo singer and later became leader of the choir. 
In 1929 he was a victim of a tram car accident at which he tragically lost his right arm. In spite of this Selbing decided to carry on his musical education and - with the role model of his later teacher, Paul Wittgenstein - pursue a career as a musician and pianist, but until his tragic accident he had also played the violin, which was not possible more. 

In 1930  he enrolled at the Neuen Wiener Konservatorium where he became a student of Hans Gál, Walter Bricht, Robert Kantor oder Carl Lafite. Having a beautiful voice he also sang in different Jewish synagogues during his first educational years in Vienna, then in the Radio choir and some other formations. Later he also did a lot of musical arrangements for popular music.
But it was the work with Wittgenstein, which had the greatest influence on him. Selbing played for him and applied so much pathos and emotion to impress the famous one-armed pianist - to no avail. 
Wittgenstein's attitude was simply, that Selbing's playing would only impress a waiter, and the result was that Selbing walked out in protest. Obviously Wittgenstein was influenced by the student's reaction and encouraged him to return
Wittgenstein, who held the post as professor at the Vienna Conservatory, decided to take on Selbing as the only pupil, who was in his same position: Having only the left arm and due to this fact Wittgenstein was drawn to this pupil which he became to like and admire - according to later correspondence. In fact - after the Anschluss Wittgenstein continued to train Selbing privately in his house - as Wittgenstein wrote: I don't want the political disturbances to interrupt the training of my pupils. These educational séances continued until Wittgenstein himself emigrated in fall of 1938.
With that  the relationship as teacher and pupil ended, but the two men stayed on contact through letters on most friendly tone indeed.
Selbing was a musician of many talents and was in the 1930s a member of a musical group called The 7 Fellowers whose style had many similarities with the more famous Comedian Harmonists. Besid
es he was active and the Vienna Opera Ball Orchestre and as conductor at the Austrian Radio - mostly with smaller ensembles, but for different reasons he chose the pseudonym Erich Heinrich to hide his true identity which with his Jewish ancestry became increasingly dangerous. Indeed in 1939 he felt it safe to leave Vienna for Hermannstadt in Romania with a letter of recommendation from Hans Gal (July 1938) - in which this this emphasized Selbing's clear musical thoughts, his clear musical thoughts, which were roles models for his fellow colleagues.
The journey was not without trouble as it had to be done in secret, home in Hermannstadt he was protected the Orthodox Romanian Church and  thus survived the war.
After the war Selbing was able to resume his musical activities and was instrumental in forming the   
Asocia Ńia Simfonică Sibiana which later became the Filarmonica de Stadt with Selbing as director until his retirement in 1976. Under his "new" name; Henry Selbing he took the orchestra on tour to Eastern Germany, The Soviet Union, Poland, Austria, Japan, Italy and Czechoslovakia and received several honors as "Artist emerit" in 1964, Honorary member of Uniunea Interpre Ńilor, Coregrafilor si Criticilor Muzicali din România and the honorary medal of the city of Frankfurt( Oder) in 1970.
In fact all this gives a picture of a musician and conductor dedicated to music and dedication to the truth of the true understanding of the structure of music and to win the public for it. In all every statement shows a conductor of extraordinary skill and understanding for winning the public for "new music". 
The same went for his own music like the Song cycle on texts by Johannes Robert Becker, Choirs, Accidental music and the Eight easy and instructive and melodic pieces for the left hand alone. Besides. Further there are Lyric Pieces in the romantic style of Mendelssohn, Brahms and Grieg.
After his retirement Selbing made several appearances in other foreign countries but never more in his own town of birth, Hermannstadt. 

Acht leichte und mittelschwere, instruktive und melodische Vortragsstücke für Klavier linke Hand allein (Eight easy and medium difficult, instructive and melodic pieces for piano - left hand alone)

My gratitude to Dr. Albert Sassmann for supplying photo and information about Henry Selbing
And also thanks to Henry Selbing's nephew, Ari Schlesinger for additional information.

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Gisela Selden-Goth  Hungarian-Israeli Pianist and composer

Budapest, 1884 - 1975 

Selden-Goth was a student of Bartók and as a writer she has written the biography The Life of Busoni and edited his letters.

Quattro brevi studi (Four Short Studies) (1958) (Israeli Music Publication)

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Frank Shawcross  

Born: ?

Nine Carols for Christmas  1985 (Disabled Living Foundation)
The carols are: Angels from the realms of glory,  As with gladness, Away in a manger, Ding dong! merrily on high, Good King Wenceslas, Infant holy, I saw three ships, Silent night and While shepherds watched.

Nine More Carols for Christmas  1986 (Disabled Living Foundation)
The carols are: God rest ye merry gentlemen, God rest ye merry gentlemen (alternative version), Hark! the herald angels sing, O come all ye faithful, O little town of Bethlehem, Once in royal David's city, See amid the winter's snow, The first nowell, The holly and the ivy and It came upon the midnight clear.
Both sets are meant as accompaniment for the 18 Christmas Carols

Fifty popular hymns arranged for one hand  1989

Music to relax to arranged for one hand  1991

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Rodion Shchedrin    Russian composer and pianist

Moscow, 16.12.1932 

Both Shchedrin's parent were professional musicians but as a child he was not much interested in music. Only after the war-evacuation of the family did the boy begin to appreciate the art that was to become his future and he was accepted as a pupil of the Central School of Music of the Moscow Conservatory. The turning point was in 1944 when Alexander Sveshnikov inaugurated a choir school and invited Shchedrin's father - Konstantin - to teach musical history and theory. This he agreed to but asked that his son be accepted as a pupil, and the boy was soon completely captured by choir singing. From 1945 to 1950 Shchedrin attended the Moscow Choral College and the Conservatory from 1950 to 1955 where his most influential teachers were Shaporin (composition) and Flier (piano). Shchedrin finished his studies as a postgraduate during the years 1955 to 1959.
Already in 1947 Shchedrin won a contest of composition with the jury being headed by the famous Soviet composer Aram Khachaturian.
In 1950 Shchedrin joined the Moscow Conservatory teaching both piano and composition and for more than a decade he was chairman of the Composers Union, being elected at the request of the founder Schostakovich.
Today Shchedrin lives in Germany working there as a member of the Bavarian Music Academy and in the season 2001-2002 he was chosen Composer of the Year as a member of the Pittsburgh Symphonic Orchestra.
During his career Shchedrin has gone through several stylistic stages beginning in the accepted Soviet idiom. This changed in the 1960s where he began to incorporate other styles like Neoclassicism, pop music and jazz leading in the 1970s to a personal synthesis which he himself describes as post-avant-garde with a clear sign of his attraction to the Russian folklore.
He has composed in all genres but his most important works are for the stage (operas and ballets) and for the piano (f.ex. 5 piano concertos).

Prelude and fugue in G minor (from 24 preludes and fugues)

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F. M. Sheldon



Triplets in the left hand

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Percy Sherwood (German-English composer and pianist)

Dresden, 23.05.1866 - London 15.05.1939

Percy Sherwood (23 May 1866 - 15 May 1939)[1] was a German-born composer and pianist of English nationality.

Sherwood's father was a lecturer in English at the Dresden University.


He was born in Dresden, the son of John Sherwood, a lecturer in English at Dresden University. His mother was a German, Auguste Koch, who had been a successful soprano.
After his studies with Felix Draeseke (1835–1913), Theodor Kirchner (1823-1903) and Herman Scholtz (1845-1918
), Sherwood became a major figure in the music life of Dresden before the First World War. In 1889 he won the Mendelssohn Prize for his Requiem. He was first a teacher, then professor, at the Dresden Conservatory from 1893 and 1911 respectively. His own students included Dora Pejačević. Shortly before war broke out in 1914 he and his wife abandoned their Dresden villa and returned to England where he was almost unknown. Thereafter he made a living as a private teacher in London and travelling weekly to Oxford and Cambridge.[2][3] He died in London.


Percy Sherwood (1866-1939)
Anglo-German composer and pianist. His father, John Sherwood, was an English university lecturer in Dresden, and his mother, Auguste Koch, was a German singer. His uncle was the organist and composer Edward Lawrance (b.1836). Percy Sherwood studied piano and composition at the Dresden Conservatory (1885–8) with Felix Draeseke (1835–1913) and Theodor Kirchner (1823-1903) and in 1889 he was awarded the Mendelssohn Prize for a Requiem for solo voices and orchestra. He was appointed a teacher at the Dresden Conservatory in 1893, and professor in 1911. He made a name for himself as a pianist, composer and lecturer/teacher in Germany; in Dresden the Villa Sherwood was apparently a centre of musical life and hospitality. A particular speciality of his was the piano sonatas of Beethoven, all thirty-two of which he could play by heart. A group of students formed a ‘Beethoven-Bund’ to study the sonatas under his direction.

He and his wife subsequently moved to Hampstead, London where they found themselves at the outbreak of war in 1914 (whether by accident or design is unclear). After the First World War, as well as continuing to compose, Sherwood seems to have earned a living by giving private lessons in piano, harmony and counterpoint, advertising himself as visiting Oxford and Cambridge weekly (Musical Times, 1 August 1931) and, in his later years, stayed in Nayland, Suffolk.

Sherwood’s compositions include five symphonies (two of which are lost) and several concertos, including two apiece for piano and cello, one for violin (dedicated to Marie Hall) and one for violin and cello. He also wrote a considerable amount of chamber music. The majority of his published works appeared in Germany; they contain a large proportion of small-scale character-pieces for piano, although he is better represented by two substantial cello sonatas.

In general his music belongs to the German tradition of his time. His Symphony no.3 gives evidence of a first-class, professional composer, using the harmonic vocabulary of the period with its Wagnerian overtones, but also showing a certain reserve. A collection of about 40 autograph manuscripts by Sherwood (also copyist’s full scores of his Requiem and Piano Quintet) was deposited in the Bodleian Library, Oxford in 1978, allowing a reassessment of his work

1887 Piano Concerto No.1 in C minor***
1887 Symphony No.1 in C major***
1889 Requiem for Soli, Chorus and Orchestra**(*)
1889 Sextet for Piano, Horn, 2 Violins, Viola and Cello*** (Dresden)
1890 Konzertouvertüre***
1890 rev. 1893 Cello Concerto No.1***
1891? (pub. 1897) Cello Sonata No.1 in D major, Op.10~
? (pub. 1892) 10 Miniaturen für das Klavier, Op.1
1892 Symphony No.2 in B minor*** (Dresden)
? (pub. 1893) Sechs Lieder, Op.2~
? (pub.1894) Walzer, Op.3
1897 Serenade for Orchestra No.1 in F major**
1898 (pub. 1906) Violin Sonata No.1 in F major, Op.12~ (Dresden)
1899 (?) String Quartet in G major (lost)+
? (pub. 1899?) 3 Romanzen, Op.11
1900 (pub. 1908) Cello Sonata No.2 in A major, Op.15~
? (pub. 1900) Humoresken, Op.20
? (pub. 1900) Nachtgesang und Nachtstück, Op.21
1901 Trio for Piano, Oboe and Horn***
1901 Sonata for 2 Pianos in C minor***
1902 Violin Concerto in F major (ded. Marie Hall)** (Appenzell, Switz.)
1902 Cello Concerto No.2 in D minor***
1902 Violin Sonata No.2 in G major*** (Taufers, Tirol - Italy)
1905 Piano Sonatine in B flat major (ded. daughter: Therese
Sherwood)*** (Dresden)
1905-7 Symphony No.3 in E flat major*** (Highcliffe, UK/Dresden)
1907 Piano Quintet**(*)
? (pub. 1908) Songs from the Golden Treasury, Op.16
? (pub. 1908) Elfin Song, Op.17
1908 Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra*** (Dresden)
1908 Viola Sonata in C major*** (Highcliffe)
? (pub. 1913) 2 Sonatine (unclear if x2 or No.2), Op.22
? (pub. 1913) Suite for 2 Violins, Op.23
1920 Idyls (for piano)*** (London)
1920 Serenade No.2 for Orchestra*** (Bournemouth/London)
1920-1 Violin Sonata No.3 in C minor*** (Bournemouth/London)
1922 Episode for Violin and Orchestra*** (London)
1922-30 String Quartet ‘No.6’ in A major*** (Nayland, Suffolk)
1925-6 Suite for String Orchestra with Flute, Oboe, Clarinet & Horn***
1931-2 Piano Concerto No.2 in E flat major** (Nayland, Suffolk)
193? String Quartet in B minor***

**Autograph manuscript (reduction) in Bodleian Library, Oxford, UK
**(*) Copyist’s full score in Bodleian Library
*** Autograph full score (bound, or all parts intact) in Bodleian Library
~ Published score in Bodleian Library
+ See www.humanities.mcmaster.ca/~admv/1899.htm

(* 9. Juni 1845 in Breslau; † 13. Juli 1918 in Dresden)

Suite für linke Hand allein

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Tryphon Silyanowski  Bulgarian composer and pianist

Sofia, 1923 - Sofia, 2005 

At first Silyanowsky studied law and graduated from Law Faculty of Sofia University and only after this he began to study music at the State Academy of Music majoring in Composition under Professor Pancho Vladigerov (1899-1978), founding members of the Bulgarian Contemporary Music Society (1933), which later became the Union of Bulgarian Composers and in piano under Professor Dimitar Nenov (1901-1953). 
During WW II he
studied History of Art and Stylistics with Hans Sedelmayer in Vienna (1941-43) and in 1948 he won the first Bulgarian Singers' and Instrumentalists' Competition, an event that resulted in a number of recordings for the Bulgarian National Radio's Golden Fund.
With the advent of the communist regime in 1944 0his promising career was interrupted and his music banished up to 1959. Meanwhile he was persecuted and he was even sent to a concentration camp from 1949 to 1951. At times he was sent to prison and then exiled from Sofia during which he earned his living from playing the piano at restaurants and teaching Latin and ancient Greek.
In 1959 he was allowed to return to Sofia
to work as an accompanist at Sofia Opera and in 1973 he and the director Plamen Kartalov founded the Blagoevgrad Chamber Opera where he worked as music director until 1982.
After this he taught score reading
at Plovdiv Academy of Music and Dance Art (1982-91). After the fall of the communist regime at the end of 1980s he joined the staff of the State Academy of Music in Sofia and was made professor extraordinary in 1997.
Among his compositions are three symphonies; three concertos for string orchestra, a piano concerto and other orchestral works like Prelude, Aria and Toccata (1946); Variations on a theme B-A-C-H (1952); Variations on a theme by Gluck (1970).; choral works the most important of which are Missa Ordinaria (1954); Te Deum (1956; revised, 1996); Stabat Mater (1963), chamber music and solo songs. His thematic material is often related to Orthodox chant. His works are distinguished by an individual style, rigorous structural clarity, dense textures and complex polyphony and beside this he wrote books, studies and over 70 unpublished research works in the field of philosophy, aesthetics, theology, art history, political sciences, but also on problems related to music interpretation.

Lieder (nach Rainer Maria Rilke) for high voice and piano left hand (Edition Dobrev 2007)
The songs are: Der Tod der Geliebten, Abschied, Pieta, Liebeslied and Der Abend

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Rennie Simmons

Born: ?  

Three Little Dances for the Left Hand Alone: 1. Minuet, 2. Gavotte and Musette, 3. Gigue  ca. 1939 (Allan & Co)

Source: National Library of Australia

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Larry Sitsky  Australian composer and pianist

Born: Tianjin (Tientsin), China, 10.09.1934

Larry Sitsky, born in China of Russian-Jewish parents, traveled to Australia in 1951 and settled in Sydney. He studied piano from an early age and was granted a scholarship to the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music, where he studied piano and composition, graduating in 1955. In 1959 he won a scholarship to the San Francisco Conservatory, where he studied with Egon Petri (pupil and friend of Busoni) for two years. Returning to Australia, he joined the staff of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. A grant from the Myer Foundation in 1965 enabled him to conduct research into the music of Ferruccio Busoni, on whom he has written extensively. In 1966 he was appointed Head of Keyboard Studies at the Canberra School of Music, was later Head of Musicology and is now (2000) Head of Composition Studies.
Larry Sitsky was the first Australian to be invited to the USSR on a cultural exchange visit, organized by the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1977. He has received many awards for his compositions, including the A.H.Maggs Award (twice), the Alfred Hill Memorial Prize for his String Quartet in 1968, a China Fellowship in 1983, a Fulbright Award in 1988-89, and an Advance Australia Award for achievement in music (1989). He has been awarded the inaugural prize from the Fellowship of Composers (1989), the first National Critics’ Award, and the inaugural Australian Composer’s Fellowship presented by the Music Board of the Australia Council. This last award gave him the opportunity to write a large number of compositions (including concerti for violin, guitar, and orchestra) and to revise his book Busoni and the Piano, and to commence work as a pianist on the Anthology of Australian Piano Music. Sitsky has also published the two-volume The Classical Reproducing Piano Roll and Music of the Repressed Russian Avant-Garde, 1900-1929, and has recorded a number of CDs of Australian piano music, including the complete sonatas of Roy Agnew.
Sitsky has had works commissioned by many leading Australian and international bodies, such as the ABC, Musica Viva, the International Clarinet Society, the Sydney International Piano Competition, Flederman and the International Flute Convention. His collection of teaching pieces, Century, has been published by Currency Press, and he also has an open contract to publish anything he wishes with his New York publisher, Seesaw Music Corporation.
In recognition of his various achievements, he was made Professor (Personal Chair); the Australian National University also awarded him its first Higher Doctorate in Fine Arts in 1997. In 1998, he was elected Fellow of the Academy of the Humanities of Australia. A biography of Sitsky was published in the USA in 1997.

Comic Song (Russian), from Folk Songs from Century

Photo and information: Australian Music Center 

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Lucijan Marija Škerjanc  Yugoslav composer, pianist, conductor, writer on music and critic

Graz, 17.12.1900 - Ljubljana, 27.02.1973

Although born in Graz, Austria his parent were Slovene and when he was two years old the family moved to Ljubljana where he got his first musical training. Later followed studies in Prague, Vienna, Basle and Paris and here the three most formative teachers on his development were Joseph Marx (Vienna), Vincent d'Indy (Paris) and Felix Weingartner (Basle).
After his education he occupied several important post: professor at the music Academy in Ljubljana, conductor of the Musical Society and finally from 1945 to 1947 he was leader of the Music Academy and from 1950 to 1956 director and artistic director of the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, before he retired to devote himself entirely to composing.
Among his many works are incidental music to plays by Shakespeare and Molière, symphonies, concertos, choral works (cantatas), chamber music f.ex. string quartets, songs and many piano pieces.
Škerjanc's style is not easy to define since it is based on several influences. One thing that should be noted is that there are certain elements of impressionism which may be caused by two important things. First of all that Slovene artists painted in that style many years before the famous French painters and this style spread to the entire Slovene culture very early in the 19th century. Of course Škerjanc's years of study in France enhanced this effect but his mastery of symphonic form was not something that he learned in France but probably in Vienna and his harmonic idiom is closer to that of Scriabin's. At the same time his music has an unmistakable national romantic Slav tone which is entirely his own.

Sest Klavirskih Skladb Za Eno Roko (Six Piano Pieces for one Hand): 1. Etude, 2. Canzonetta (Andante), 3. Scherzo (Vivace)  1952 (Slovenska Akademija)
Number 4-6 in the collection are for the right hand alone.

Piano Concerto   1963 (Ljubljana  S.A.Z.U.)
There are three movements:
1. Lento, 2. Calmo et sentito, 3. Moderato rapsodico - Allegro ruvido
Now - don't be sorry if you have never heard the word  "ruvido" - it means "course" or "rough". 
Mstislav Rostropovich once told a wonderful story about strange music expressions: As a very young man he traveled the USSR with an opera troop and one afternoon they were giving a performance in some small town. The performance was a disaster and no one really cared about the opera or anything else for that matter. Suddenly the conductor leaned over the orchestra and hissed enthusiastically: Lampetuoso and then the performance was saved: Everybody in the orchestra played for their lives and it was a great success. After the performance someone in the orchestra got the bright idea of trying to find out what Lampetuoso really meant, and - of course - the word did not exist at all!

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Stanislaw Skrowaczewski  Polish/American conductor and composer

Born: Lwów, 03.10.1923 

Skrowaczewski began his musical education as a child studying the violin and the piano and making his debut with Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3. The intended career on this instrument was however brought to an end as he was a victim of a hand injury.
Instead Skrowaczewski now focused on conducting and composing both of which he studied at the Lwów Music Academy and at the Crakow Conservatory. In 1949 he became music director of the Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra and the next year he won the Szymanowski Composition Prize and went to Paris where he completed his studies under Arthur Honegger, Paul Kletzki and the famous teacher Nadia Boulanger who was responsible for the musical training of more than a generation of distinguished composers from Europe and America (in fact it is easier to mention the composers from this period who weren't pupils of hers than those who were). 

Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979)

From then he moved on to the increasingly more important orchestras: Krakow Philharmonic and finally the Warsaw National Orchestra and in 1956 he won the Santa Cecilia Competition for Conductors.  
It was conductor George Szell of the Philadelphia Orchestra who invited
Skrowaczewski to America and in 1960 he was appointed music director of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra (which during his tenure was renamed the Minnesota Orchestra in 1968) thus succeeding Antal Dorati. He stayed with the orchestra until 1979 after which he travelled as a guest conductor. 1984 saw him back as steady job - this time with the Hallé Orchestra with whom he stayed till 1991.
Skrowaczewski's output as a composer is not large but comprises 5 symphonies, concertos and other orchestral music much of which was written for the Minnesota Orchestra and soloist from this body. 

Concerto Nicolò for Piano Left Hand and Orchestra  2002 
The work was commissioned by Herbert R. Axelrod for Gary Graffman and premiered by him, February 9, 2003 in Reading, Pennsylvania with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra conducted by the composer himself. (Herbert R. Axelrod was co-author, with Leslie Sheppard, of a biography of - - - Nicolo Paganini published in 1979 by Paganiniana Publications). 
The concerto is in four movements: 1. Lento: Languido, 2. Largo: Come improvisazione, poco rubato, 3. Presto Tenebroso 4. Finale: Moderato and the title refers to the legendary violin virtuoso Nicolo Paganini whose 24th capprice, in A Minor. Opus 1 for solo violin has inspired composers like Brahms, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, N.V.Benzon, Lutoslawski, Szymanowski, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Philip Wilby,
Boris Blacher, Poul Ruders, Gary Wain, Alberto Ginastera and others. But instead of using the theme as a series of variations Skrowaczewski has used the Caprice theme only as a point of departure - - - not as a basis for the form. The five-note rhythmic motif recurs throughout the four movement concerto, sometimes in a permutation and often passes among the soloists and sections of the orchestra. There are two major cadenzas  in the first and third movements and the concerto is scored for large symphony orchestra with an augmented percussion group, glockenspiel, celeste, chimes, vibraphone and marimba. 

Passages with italics in the text about the concerto are quoted from the booklet of the CD mentioned below with the kind permission from Reference Recordings and written by Laura C. Kelly, Sandra Hyslop and Richard Freed. 

Graffman, Minnesota Orchestra, Skrowaczewski: Reference Recordings: CREF 103 (premier recording)

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Nicolas van Slyck  American composer

Philadelphia, 1922 

Slyck got his education at the Harvard University and as pupil of Walter Piston. In 1962 he was   Director of the Longy School, and spoke to that year’s graduating class about the school’s eminent past and warned them of commercialism, haste, and jealousy in music.

Laments and Processional Music  1960 

Toccata  1967 (American Music Center)

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Sune Smedeby  Swedish composer

Eskilstuna, 03.04.1934 -17.12.1998

Smedeby studied at the Ingesund School of Music (1954-1957) and at the Uppsala University (1957-1963 B.A., majoring in musicology). He studied composition at the State Academy of Music in Stockholm between 1958 and 1962, his teachers being Lars-Erik Larsson, Åke Uddén and Karl-Birger Blomdahl and also György Ligeti, during Ligeti's visits to Sweden. In 1974-1975 he studied with Miklós Maros at the Electronic Music Studio. Smedeby also qualified as an organist and choirmaster in Uppsala in 1959.
Between 1963 and 1977 he taught music theory and contemporary chamber music at Framnäs Community College. He was also on the music staff of Örebro College of Music and Kävesta Community College.
The composer has supplied the following characterization of his style. The main emphasis is on choral compositions, most of them in a traditional, relatively plain style. The instrumental music varies immensely in structure, from exactly notated works to pieces affording a great deal of scope for improvisation, from a single instrument to 7,140, from flute to double bass. One of the electronic compositions is an adaptation of instrumental music, while the other is pure computer music. 

Musens gråt (The Weeping of the Muse)  (1998)

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Gerrit Smith  American organist and organizer (American Guild of organists)

Born: ?

Walzer op. 26  1905 (Leipzig: Arthur P. Smith)
Mentioned in Hofmeisters Handbuch der Klavierlitteratur 1904-1908, p. 743

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Sidney Smith  English pianist and composer

Dorchester, 1839 - London, 1889

Com' è gentil: Fantasy-Etude on Ernesto's Serenade from act 3 of the opera Don Pasquale by Donizetti  1869 (New York: G. Schirmer)
Mentioned in New York Public Library, Reference Department. Dictionary Catalogue of the Music Collection, 1964: vol. 24, p. 129

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Warren Story Smith  American pianist, teacher and Music Editor (The Boston Post)

Born: 1885

Impromptu-Valse op.23  1917 (Boston: Arthur P. Smith)
Mentioned in BBC, Music Library; Piano and Organ Catalogue, vol. I

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Augustin Charles Soler  Spannish pianist and  composer

Born: Manresa (Barcelona, Spain), 07.12.1960

His early teachers were Angel Soler, Miquel Roger, Albert Sardà. Later, he has studied composition with Josep Soler and worked in other courses with Villafranca del Bierzo (León, Spain), Vilanova y la Geltrú (Tarragona, Spain), Accademia Chigiana (Siena, Italia), Avignon (France), Eastman School of Music (USA), with teachers like Franco Donatoni, Luigi Nono, Samuel Adler, Cristóbal Halffter, Joan Guinjoan, etc. He also studied Orchestra Conducting with Antoni Ros Marbà.
In 1985 his compositions began to make an impact and he won several prizes like  the Young Musicians in Barcelona (Spain) (Three years, 1985-1986-1987), awarded in the Tribuna of the Fundación Juan March (Madrid, Spain, 1985), . He has Awarded Frances' Civil Prize (Gerona, Spain, 1988 and 1993), Award in the "City of Valencia Price" (Valencia, Spain) ( 1988- and 1989), the prix SGAE (1987-1988-1989), The prix of the Arpista Ludovico (1990), the Prix Reina Sofía of composition for orchestra (1988), the Prix of the JONDE for orchestra (1990), the Award Oscar Esplà for composition for orchestra (1991), the Award Fundació of the Balears for composition for orchestra (1991), the WDR Colonia (1991),the Award of the Andalucia Price (1993), Luis de Narváez, Granada (1995), Ciutat de Tarragona (1996), etc.

Preludi (per la mà esquerra)
 1989 (Fundación  Juan March, Madrid)

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Léon Soli-Devère

Born: ?

Légende Livonienne  1889 (Brussels: Schott)
Mentioned in Hofmeisters Handbuch der Klavierlitteratur 1986-1891, p. 747

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Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji (Leon Dudley Sorabji ) English composer, pianist and music journalist

Chingford, Essex ; now greater London, 14.08.1892 - Dortet, 15.10.1988

To write a biography about Sorabji is close http://cdncache3-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png to the impossible; very few fact are available and he was recluse to the point of a hermit - even on the door of his house The Eye in Doset putting a sign saying: Visitors unwelcome!. Reminding me og Paul Newman's sign on his door: All peope are wonderful; som when they come - and some when thay leave!
His attitudes were radical and his tongue just as sharp; 
A book is on its way  which might cast light on his enigmatic light and work - (but let's see).
He even denied his name  Leon Dudley
because of his fater's origin as a wealthy Parsi businessman from Mumbay and his mother a Spanish-Sicilian opera singer, Madeine was born a British Subject by parentage and was 37 years old on that day, living at 4 Hill Road, London NW8 9QG a house of eight rooms in the St, Johns Wood District of London. About his parentage He wrote:
Who was it said that the English were the silliest race in Europe after the Swedes? How long is it going before they get it in their goddam silly heads that Parsi is not never was and never could be Indian. That those born in the  confines of India are citizens of that beastly place is their misfortune and not their fault.
One thingabove all else infuriates me  and that is to be called English or British for no better reason than I happen to have ben born here. Is a kitten born in a dog kennel a puppy I ask you?????
He is probably self-taught since there there are so far no mentions of teachers and how he came to play http://cdncache3-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png the piano or even compose: but he did so to the point of redundancy. His works are long, extremely complicated to perform and borders on an imagination which had no contact with the reality the reality then.
Later pianists like John Ogdon,
March-André Hamelin, Geoffrey Douglas Madge, Kevin Boyer, Tellef Johnson, Carlo Grante, Fredric Ullen, Charles Hopkins and a few others have proved that Sorabji was not the only one who could play http://cdncache3-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png his works - although Sorabji toyed with the idea of composing pieces of such difficulties that only prefabricated piano-rolls would be able to play http://cdncache3-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png them.
His output is enormous and cover every genre except church music and stage works.
His most talked about work is his Opus Clavicembalisticum and perhaps the piano work Symphonies Variations (1935-1937 and later orchestrated) and which is arguably his longest work, approx. 7-9 hours!
Largely self-taught as a composer, he derived his style from his study of the works of composers for whom he had a great admiration, among others Liszt, Busoni, Reger, Scriabin, Godowski, and Szymanowki. He wrote more than a hundred works totalling some 11,000 manuscript pages, many for piano or giving the piano an important part. Several of his works, most of which are unpublished, are written on systems of four and five staves and sometimes as many as seven. His most often cited work, Opus clavicembalisticum (1929–30), consists of more than 250 pages and lasts four and a half hours. In the 1930s,
following http://cdncache3-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png an inadequate performance of the first part of this work, he decided not to allow further performances of his works to prevent them from being disfigured. In 1976, however, he was convinced by friends to allow carefully chosen pianists to give public hearings of some of his works. Recent publications and recordings are now giving proofs that Sorabji, a unique personality in the history of twentieth-century music, is a major creative force in his own right.


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Raoul Sosa  Canadian pianist, conductor, composer and teacher

Born: Buenos Aires, Argentina, 27.07.1939

Raoul Sosa's talent began to manifest itself early when he revealed rare musical abilities at the age of five. From the time he began writing music early in his adolescence, he was hailed as a persuasive and convincing composer. His output includes works for piano, orchestra and a variety of instrumental groups. He has been a prize winner in numerous international competitions.
Among his principal teachers have been Sergiu Celibidache (conducting) in Munich and the renowned pianists Magda Tagliaferro in Paris and Salzburg and Stanislas Neuhaus (piano) in Italy. 

As a conductor, Sosa has been the musical and artistic director of the St. Leonard Symphony Orchestra in Montreal and guest conductor of other orchestras. 

Raoul Sosa conducting

A skilled chamber player, he has appeared with artists like the violinists Pina Carmirelli and Max Rostal and today he is a highly respected pedagogue and Professor at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal in piano and chamber music and in demand as a jury member in competitions and festivals, and as a clinician in technique and interpretation in master classes. 
Due to various unanticipated circumstances Sosa is to today only able to play with his left hand but as a true musician he has rightly felt it his responsibility to exploit the various resources of his talent, even in the face of adversity - thus becoming one of the top four left hand players active today.
He has appeared in numerous recitals and as soloist with orchestras in leading musical centers in Europe, the Americas and Asia always highly acclaimed by critics. Since 1990, he has been regularly invited to China, Japan and Korea, for extensive tours as both conductor and pianist and to give piano and chamber music classes. In Japan, critics describes him as the pianist with "the golden left hand."
Mr. Sosa has also proven himself a major and very ingenious arranger for the left hand.
Unfortunately Canada to choose other much less experienced player for performances, which should rightfully go to Sosa for his technique and his musicianship. The people who decide those things cannot see beyond their own nose and ears - if any - and are secured a permanent place in the musical Hall of Blame!

Raoul Sosa in concert

Original compositions (for piano left hand):

Concerto for piano left hand with string orchestra  1989 (the Canadian Music Centre)

Sonata for violin and piano left hand  1992 (the Canadian Music Centre)

Sonata for cello and piano left hand  1995 (the Canadian Music Centre)

Sonata for viola and piano left hand  2000 (the Canadian Music Centre)

Sonate No. 1  1984 (the Canadian Music Centre)

Sonate de chambre  1984-85 (the Canadian Music Centre)

Two Etudes  1984-85 (the Canadian Music Centre)

Valse 35”  1985 (the Canadian Music Center)

Sonate-Fantaisie  1987 (the Canadian Music Center)

Poem  1988 (the Canadian Music Center)

Variations on the Engelkonzert by Paul Hindemith (from Mathis der Maler) 1988 (the Canadian Music Center)

Capriccioso (on Paganini's Capriccio No. 24)  1995 (the Canadian Music Center)


Invention (Sinfonia nr. 14 in B flat major BWV 800) Arranged from J. S. Bach by Sosa in 1988

Chromatic fantasy and fugue BWV 903  Arranged from J. S. Bach by Sosa in 1989

La Valse  Arranged from M. Ravel by Sosa in 1993
As basis for this arrangement Sosa has used not only the orchestral version of La Valse but also the two versions Ravel wrote for piano (2 and 4 hands).

L'Oiseau de feu (The Firebird) Arranged from Stravinsky by Sosa in 1996

Il lamento d' Orfeo (Orpheus' Lament) Arranged from Gluck by Sosa in 1997

Raoul Sosa

The Chromatic Fantasy & fugue and La Valse are recorded by Raoul Sosa: Fleur de Lys FL 2 3080-1
performances that amaze even trained and experienced players for the left hand alone!
This double set of CDs also contain:
Bach/Brahms: Chaconne,
Chopin/Godowsky: 10 etudes,
Moszkowski: six etudes from op. 92,
Saint-Saëns: Six etudes op. 135,
Scriabin: Prelude and Nocturne op. 9,
Lipatti: Sonatine,
Tisné: Lac, and
Brenet: Oceanides.

Pictures and information kindly supplied from Raoul Sosa's homepage 

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Woiciech Adalbert (Albert) Sowiński  Polish/Frenchhttp://cdncache3-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png pianist, composer and teacher

Lukaszówska, Podolia, ?.1803 - Paris, 05.03.1880

Sowiński was born was born in Podolia in Ukraine and first taught by his father Sebastianhttp://cdncache3-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png Sowiński who was a former member of a military band. After his death in 1816 Albert went on to become a pupil of Carl Czerny, Maximilian Joseph Leidesdorf (05.07.1787 - 27.09.1840)  and Ignaz Xaver, Ritter von Seyfried (15.08.1776 - 2708.1841) in Vienna. After this he embarked on an extensive tour in Europe and in 1830 he settled in Paris where he made his living as a pianist and teacher.

Etude for the left hand alone op.60 no.5
This piece of x pages is the fifth of 12 Etudes de Concert published in two volumes of which the first is dedicated to Sigismund Thalberg.

This pattern of arpeggios with a melody in f sharp majorhttp://cdncache3-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png incorporated over the accompaniment which is played "Over" with the (left) thumb and is repeated and elaborated like figural variations. Not the world's most complicated piece to playhttp://cdncache3-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png.


            12 studies in 2 books

1.   Étude d'extension (A major)

2.   Étude de notes doubles (E minor)

3.   Étude de cadence brisée (B major)

4.   Étude de style lié (E major)

5.   Étude pour la main gauche seule (F♯ major)

6.   Étude d'octaves liées et detachées (F major) 

7.   Étude des passages du pouce (C major)

8.   Étude d'imitations (E major)

9.   Étude toccata (E minor)

10. Étude d'arpèges (G major)

11. Étude d'egalite (B major)

12. Étude de velocité (G minor)


The second volume is dedicated to Mr le Baron Anatole de Cambray

Sowinsky was not a very prolific composer, but among his works three operas; Leonore (Lyric Drama by E. Anglemont) for 4 voiceshttp://cdncache3-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png, 2 choruses and orchestra, Le Modèle 1 act  with libretto  by P. de Saint-Georges) Ouverture performed at Lille 1857 and Une Scène sous la ligne, opera buffa op. 99, composed for The Choral Society Cécilie at Bordeaux.
Among his choral works are Six Religious Songs op. 57 (in Polish), Missa Solemnis for three equal voices  and organ op. 61 (words by K. Ostrowski) op .66 - published in Paris 1845. Saint Adalbert, Oratorio in three parts (Text by K. Ostrowski) op. 66, Missa Brevis C-major op. 71 for four voices and organ, Le Sacrifice d'Abraham, biblical oratorio (text by Èdouard d' Anglemont) for four voices and organ, Veni Creator, hymn for three voices and organ, Salomon's Judgement motet for three voices chorus and orchestra, Missa Solemnis, f-minor for four voices, chorus and orchestra op. 83, Tota Pulchra es Motet for chorus and orchestra (1857).
Among other works mentioning are his e minor symphony and the three ouvertures: Queen Jadwiga op. 58, Mazeppa op. 75 (obvious a favourite topic in many countries inclusive in Denmark) and Jan Sobiesca.
To his favourite instrument he wrote: Concert variations op. 14, Grande Polonaise op. 16, Heroic March op. 24,  The song of the Legions op. 31 and a concerto op. 36 dedicated to Moscheles.
Among the rest are an early piano quartet op. 3, a trio in D major op. 76 and a Quintet in E major op 87.
For piano he wrote variations, waltzes, rondos, fantasias, caprices, polonaises, studies, impromptus and and mazurkas and a
singlehttp://cdncache3-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png duet for four hands op. 33 which he performed with Liszt.
Beside music Sowinski published many articles in French periodicals  and in 1857 a dictionary (in French) about Polish and Slave music - a book which was much admired and the best
guidehttp://cdncache3-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png to this music for many years.

(Many thanks to James Marchand for making me aware of Sowinski)

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(No portrait)


George L. Spaulding  American composer

Newburgh, NY, 26.12.1864 - Roselle Park, NJ, 01.06.1921

Spaulding got his first musical education from local piano teachers but at the age of sixteen he moved to Brooklyn where he studied harmony with a local organist there. After that he seems to have taken care of his further musical development himself. 
At the same time he earned his living in the music publishing business. His first published works were popular songs like the Volunteer Organist and Two Little Girls in Blue which sold very well. At the same time he cultivated his original talent for composing simple piano pieces with catching tunes and natural harmonies like Just a Bunch of Flowers, Child's Good Night, Dollie's Dream, June RosesMountain Pink and numerous others which became much used in collections of easy piano pieces.
Spaulding also wrote two operettas for children.
A Day in Flowerdom and The Isle of Jewels and he was lucky enough to have a talented poet as his wife, Jessica Moore who wrote many of his verses.
Finally he also wrote a good deal of educational works on the elementary level - indeed he was an
extraordinarily prolific composer with thousands of works on his conscience and primarily published by Presser.

Two Pieces: 1. The Artist's Dream, 2. Triumphal march  1912 (Witmark & Sons)

Three Pieces: 1. Fairies' Nuptial March, 2. Valse Sentimentale, 3. Waltzing Nymphs  1915 (Philadelphia: Presser)

Monarch of All  1917 (Philadelphia: Presser)
Mentioned in BBC, Music Library; Piano and Organ Catalogue, vol. I

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(No portrait)


Alan Spencer  American composer

Fair Haven, VT, 1870 - Chicago, 1950

Etude  1935 (FitzSimmons Co)

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(No portrait)

Fritz Spindler  German pianist, composer and teacher

Wurzbach, Lobenstein, 24.11.1817 - Niederlossnitz, near Dresden, 26.12.1905

Spindler was was originally intended for the ministry, and studied theology with that in mind, but eventually gave it up in favor of music. He was educated in Dessau by (Johann Christian) Friedrich Schneider (1786-1853) but lived in Dresden from 1841 as teacher and composer. and seems to have found his surroundings congenial, as he remained there for the rest of his life.
As acomposer he was very prolific, and published considerably over four hundred compositions, most of which are in the nature of teaching pieces and often of less technical demanding nature.
Many of these have proved exceedingly popular, and  among his 418 opus numbers which
are mostly salon pieces - often with instructive purposes and with poetic titles are the most widely known  mentioned Bubbling Spring, The Butterfly,  and  especially Husarenritt,

  Husarenritt (Charge of the Hussars)    

Among his larger works are symphonies, a piano concerto, some chamber music and a Childrens' Symphony (with toy instruments). Among his most popular pieces in his time were: Wellenspiel op. 6, Schneeglöcklein op. 19, Silberquell op. 74 and Six Dance Themes.
He also a made some very excellent transcriptions of operas, and other works, which are of medium grade and very popular e.g. from Wagner's Tannhäuser and Lohengrin.
Spindler did not confine himself solely to writing music of the simpler kind, however, but produced trios, sonatas, two symphonies, a concerto for piano and orchestra and other works in larger forms. While not, perhaps, a musician of transcendent ability, Spindler was a musician of a type which has done much to establish the German reputation for thoroughness in musical art.
His compositions are for the most part tuneful in character, well constructed, and well adapted to the purpose for which they are intended.

  Fritz Spindler  

3 Romanzen op. 156  c.1864 (New York: C. Fischer and Leipzig: Siegel)
Mentioned in Carl Fischer: Complete Catalogue of Piano Music and in Hofmeisters Handbuch der Klavierlitteratur 1860-1867, p. 256

3 Brilliante Klavierstücke: 1. Ländler, 2. Trauermarsch (Funeral March), 3. Serenade op. 350

Spindler was prolific in other ways: His eleventh (!) child with his wife Emmeline was Erwin Spindler, who also became a great artist - but in quite another way. Five years old he contracted scarlatina which rendered the boy deaf. But artistic disposition will always find its way.  


  Erwin Spindler  

From 1875 to 1880 he was a student the Königlich-Sächsischen Akademie for pictorial Art in Dresden where he advanced to the master classs of landscape painting under of Paul Mohn and got a special prize for his picture From the Ostragehege“
In 1889 he married the equally deaf  Elisabeth Crone with whom he had five. children and produced a multitude of landscape paintings proving what a man can achieve if given the proper peace!

Rural idyll by Mobschatz  

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Adolf Heinrich Sponholtz  German composer pianist and organist

Rostock, 12.03.1803 - Rostock, 23.11.1852

Sponholtz - who was organist at the St. Mary Church in his home town Rostock - is hardly remembered today except for his song Anfangs wollt' ich fast verzagen op. 15 no. 2 to a text by Heinrich Heine.

St. Mary, Rostock

Op. 14 no. 4, Scherzo; from 2me bouquet musical  (Leipzig: Schuberth & Co)
Mentioned in
Hofmeisters Handbuch der Klavierlitteratur 1860-1867, p. 256

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(No portrait)


Charlotte Sporleder  

Impromptu op. 18  (Leipzig: Behrens)
Mentioned in Hofmeisters Handbuch der Klavierlitteratur 1904-1908, p.754

Die Cascaden von Wilhelmshöhe; Idylle für die linke Hand allein op. 19  (Leipzig: Behrens)
Mentioned in Hofmeisters Handbuch der Klavierlitteratur 1904-1908, p.754

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(No portrait)


Charles Gilbert Spross  American composer

Poughkeepsie, NY, 1874 - Poughkeepsie 1961

Album Leaf (Song Without Words)  1913 (John Church)

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Daniel Stagno


Daniel Stagno was born in Hjo, Sweden in 1982.

He studied piano at the Academy of music in Malmö, under the guidance of professor Hans Pålsson.
He received his Bacherlor's degree in 2004 and his Master's degree in 2007. He has also studied at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland, under Hamsa Al-Wadi Juris.

He has participated in numerous masterclasses with among others prof. Liisa Pohjola, prof. Charles Rosen, prof. Petras Geniusas, prof. Thomas Schumacher, prof. Matti Raekallio, prof. Staffan Scheja and prof. John Humpreys.

He has received many scholarships.

He is also a devoted chamber musician and composer.

Fra: "Daniel Stagno" <daniel@stagno.net>
Til: <hans-bro@webnetmail.dk>
Emne: Works for left-hand alone
Dato: 10. september 2008 21:18

Dear Sir,

I came across your web site through my close friends Tomas and Monica Tranströmer. Being very interested in as well as composing left-hand piano music I found your web site extremely educative and interesting.

I also could not escape noticing that you have put two of my works on your list of left-hand piano music. From where did you get the information about these pieces? There are three more pieces: Kyrie based on the poem with the same name by Tomas Tranströmer as well as two etudes, which actually were the first pieces I composed for left-hand alone. Would you be interested in these pieces I would gladly send the scores to you.

With all best wishes,

Daniel Stagno


Hemligheter på vägen (Secrets on the road) for piano, left hand  (2006)  (MS)

Spår (tracks) for piano, left hand  (2007)  (MS)

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Alphonse Stallaert  Dutch composer

Helmond, 01.03.1920 - Fréjus, France, 15.12.1995

Stallaert began his studies at the Utrecht Conservatory with Hendrik Andriessen (composition) and Bertus van Lier (conducting). After his final exams, he went to England, where he worked for several months in Manchester with Sir John Barbirolli, the conductor of the Hallé orchestra.
In 1946 he moved to Paris to further his education, studying counterpoint for one year at the Paris Conservatoire and conducting with André Cluytens from 1949 to 1951 and composition with Arthur Honegger.

  Alphonse Stallaert  

During his time in France he formed a string orchestra, L'Orchestre à Cordes de Paris. He also conducted several French orchestras Lamoureux, Pasdeloup, Orchestre du Festival de Vichy, Orchestre Symphonique de Nice and later a number of Dutch orchestras Brabant's Orkest, Overijssels Filharmonisch Orkest and Nederlands Kamerorkest. As of 1960 he worked solely as a composer. 
Stallaert's first composition, Concerto for piano and orchestra, was performed at the 1949 Beçanson Festival by the Orchestre National under Rafael Kubelik, with Daniël Wayenberg as soloist and his  Concerto for two pianos and string orchestra with timpani was premiered on French television . His style of composition had its roots in the classical tradition, using a contemporary notation. Literary texts were often the starting points for his works, e.g. for his two operas: Myrdhinn and Elkévir.

2 Croquis: 1. Pour la main Gauche (For the Left Hand)

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Vincenc Šťastný  Czech composer and teacher

Brno-Bystrc, 21.01.1885 - Brno-Tuřany, 26.01. 1971

Šťastný came from a family of teachers. The father, Vojtěch Šťastný was not only teacher in Bystrc but also the local organist and a renowned grower of fruit among other things; Vincenc had 12 brothers and sisters - all with literary or musical talents - but 6 of them died young. 
Like most of his brothers and sisters Vincenc soon chose to become a teacher and enrolled at the Teacher's Institute in Brno where he spent four years (1905-1909), but at the same time he took organ lessons from Max Koblížek and piano lessons from Marie Kuhlová.
Showing a major talent he continued to study
at the Janacek’s Organ School in Brno from 1909 to 1910 where he was taught by Janáček himself and managed the normal three year's' education in only one year. Janáček then even offered the talented young man a job as a teacher but  Šťastný  had stuck to his family tradition and already in 1905 became a school teacher in Tuřany nr. Brno where he later was made leader, and this double life (school teacher and composer) he led for the rest of his life. 
Together with his wife, Marie Havelková whom he married in 1911 he vigorously studied and collected folkloristic musical material from  Tuřany which resulted in a very popular and quickly sold-out edition of local folk songs which were used by practically all the local choirs and resulted in  great admiration of his former teacher Leoš Janáček.
But the piano remained his favorite instrument and as a virtuoso he was one of the first pianists to perform in the Brno Radio - either alone or with the violinists Váša Příhoda and Rudolf Hájek with whom he played the premiere of Janáček's Romanze. But for several years he was also associated with the Brno Quartet and he often performed with his wife who was a brilliant violinist and pianist too. 
Šťastný's oeuvre counts more than 250 pieces mostly for piano (préludes, studies, polkas, dances and fantasies) but he should also be remembered for his organ music, chamber music and choral music. 

Composer for and dedicated to Otakar Hollmann

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Leon Stein  American composer, conductor and teacher

Chicago, 18.09.1910 - Chicago, 09.05.2002

Stein studied conducting with Frederick Stock and Hans Lange together with studies at DePaul University and became associated with the musical life of Chicago for half a century where he was a teacher for 47 years - first as a professor and later as dean of the School of Music
As a conductor he worked with the DePaul University Orchestra from 1965 to 1977 but already from 1945 to 1965 he had become director of the Community Symphony of Chicago. From 1964 to 1984 he was director of the City Symphony of Chicago, and Music Director of Niles Township Jewish Congregation in Stokie.
As a composer his oeuvre comprises more than 100 published works - among these four symphonies, solo concertos for cello and violin, two operas, five string quartets and numerous solo and chamber music works

Toccata no. 3  1981
Commissioned by Norman Malone who was the victim of a childhood injury at the age of ten. Never the less he continued his piano training by taking private lessons and finally entered DePaul University.

Here Malone majored in piano and voice and received his Batchelor and Masters in Music Education after which he taught in the Chicago Public School systems for thirty years.

Picture of Dr. Stein used by permission, Sigma Alpha Iota Philanthropies, Inc.
I am indebted to Mr. Norman Malone for supplying me with information about Dr. Stein 
and the information about himself, his education and career and of course his portrait

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(No portrait)

Russell Steinberg American composer, Conductor, Performer, and Lecturer

Ph.D. in Music from Harvard University, M.M. from the New England Conservatory, B.A. from UCLA


Duo for violin and piano, left hand 

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Russell Steinberg

Composer, Conductor, Performer, and Lecturer——(Scroll down for Catalog)

Ph.D. in Music from Harvard University

M.M. from the New England Conservatory

B.A. from UCLA.

My defining moment occurred in a master class as a teenager when I plucked the courage to perform an

composition for legendary guitarist Andres Segovia. The Maestro had only negative things to say about al

students. But for me, Segovia lifted his scowl. He remarked that "the composer showed genuine talent”

structure, urging me to carefully study the scores of Mozart. Trembling from my audacity as well as excit

master's tentative approval, I immediately left the guitar for serious score study.

Years and many Mozart scores later, I'm now a highly active composer, performer, conductor, and lectur

instrumental studies in Los Angeles with Dorothy Compinsky and composition training with Kenneth Klaus

piano with Earle C. Voorhies and Salome Arkatov, classical guitar with Ronald Purcell, and composition m

with Leon Kirchner, Arthur Berger, and Elaine Barkin.

Recent commissions include the world music ensemble MANY AXES, the UCLA Wind Ensemble, Los Angele

violinist Mitchell Newman, the Jewish Center for Culture and Creativity, the Music Conservatory of Westc

the Daniel Pearl Foundation. The Daniel Pearl Foundation commission, Stories From My Favorite Planet, w

Home Music Bio/Catalog Calendar Lectures/Press Muse Pics Buy Guestboo

Join the email list! your@emai

Russell Steinberg - Concert Music—Film Music— Education Change the Way You Hear ... Page 1 of 7

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featured on “Global Village,” the KPFK radio program hosted by John Schneider and given its East Coas

Baltimore. The Westchester Symphony in New York and the Hopkins Symphony in Baltimore jointly comm

symphony CityStrains. My music has been performed in the United States and abroad, including concerts

Colorado Springs, Boston, New York, Baltimore, Aspen, Connecticut, San Francisco, New Jersey, Vermon

Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and recently Israel. Awards include an ASCAP Young Composers Grant, C

and NACUSA prizes, MacDowell and Aspen Fellowships, and First Prize in the New World String Quartet co

I'm actively involved in education. I am Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra, a group that

students from over 60 schools in the LA area. I'm also Director of the Stephen Wise Music Academy spons

Stephen S. Wise Temple of Los Angeles. Recently I've been appointed to the UCLA Faculty where I'm a Le

theory and composition. The Los Angeles Philharmonic includes me as a regular speaker for Upbeat Live


Available recordings include "Stories From My Favorite Planet," produced by the Daniel Pearl Foundation

www.danielpearl.org), "Desert Stars", a recording of Steinberg’s music for piano and classical guitar (ava

Baby), and my "Flute Sonata" on New Voices; chamber music for flute performed by Michelle Stanley ava


I've created an unusual approach to music listening called AudioMaps™. I maintain that I can teach a novi

comprehend and follow a Beethoven symphony in less than 20 minutes of explanation of an AudioMap™.

Masterwork Journeys published both the first volume of my AudioMaps to the Beethoven Symphonies (Sym

the first volume of a video lecture series titled Classical Vienna.

Russell Steinberg



Want to perform one of these works or have questions?

Send Email

Composition Catalogue


Genre Title Instrumentation Duratio

Orchestra Symphony #1 "CityStrains" Winds 3, 3 Perc. 18 min.

Orchestra Symphony #2 "What is a Jew?" 3 Narrators and Orchestra (Winds 2) 45 min.

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Large Chamber


Orchestra Fanfare for Orchestra Winds in 2 5 min.

Orchestra Sabbath Fantasy #1 Winds in 2 15 min.

Orchestra Sabbath Fantasy #2 Winds in 2 12 min.

Orchestra Ruby Overture Winds in 2 3 min.

Orchestra Lights On! A Hanukkah Celebration Winds in 2 24 min.

Orchestra Arabesque Winds in 2, no perc. 4 min.

Orchestra Vienna for Youth Orchestra Winds in 2 4 min.

Orchestra 405:8AM for Youth Orchestra Winds in 2 6 min.

Chorus Contrary States (William Blake) SATB and Children's Chorus, Fl. Ob. Pno. 18 min.

Chorus Lirkod (To Dance) SATB, Pno. 4 min.

Chorus Lirkod (To Dance) Chamber vers. SATB, 2 vln, 2 vc, pno 4 min.

Nonet Ruby Overture 2 Fl, Ob, 2 Cl, 2 Vln, 2 Pno. 3 min.

Octet Song in Dark Times fl, ob, cl, b. cl, vl, vla, vc, pno. 4 min.

Octet Song in Dark Times vc solo, fl, 2 cl, vl, vc, db, pno. 4 min.

Septet Strange Attractors string quartet and world music trio (2 winds, 1 perc) 36 min.

Sextet War Piece fl, tpt, string quartet 15 min.

Sextet Subterranean Dance fl, cl, vl, pno, perc (marimba, vibraphone) 8 min.

Sextet Ocean Scherzos Piano and Woodwind Quintet/td> 25 min.

Sextet City Strains fl, cl, vl, vc, pno, perc. 25 min.

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Quartets and Trios




Quartet String Quartet #1 2vl, vla, vc

Quartet Mulholland Fantasies vl, vla, vc, pno

Quartet Clarinet Quartet fl or vl, cl, vc, pno

Quartet Woodwind Quartet fl, ob, cl, bsn

Quartet Change of Heart (txt Wordsworth) baritone, vc, harp, organ

Trio Stories From My Favorite Planet

(Daniel Pearl Tribute) vl, pno, narrator

Trio Rings of Saturn fl, vl, pno

Trio for Clarinet, Cello, Piano cl, vc, pno

Trio Fanfares for 3Trumpets 3 tpt

Trio Furnace Creek Nocturne 2 winds, 1 perc (for cedar flute, howler, shof

waterphone, dijeridu, udu, chimes

Trio Piano Trio #1 vl, vc, pno

Trio President's Dinner Trio vl, vc, pno

Duo Flute Sonata fl, pno 13 min.

Duo Six Duos for Violins 2 vl 15 min.

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Solo Piano


Solo Guitar


Duo Maitri vl, pno left-hand 7 min.

Duo Fantasy for Flute and Piano fl, pno 9 min.

Duo Rhapsody for Violin and Piano vl, pno 9 min.

Duo Sonata for Violin and Piano vl, pno 10 min.

Duo Song for Dark Times vc, pno 4 min.

Duo Songs of Wind soprano, pno 14 min.

Solo Sequoia Sonata pno 15 min.

Solo Periods of Luminance pno 17 min.

Solo Desert Stars pno 15 min.

Solo Small Rain pno 11 min.

Solo Four Floating Preludes pno 8 min.

Solo Four Pieces for Piano pno 11 min.

Solo Arabesque pno 4 min.

Solo Joy in Sea pno 3 min.

Solo Five Finger Pieces pno 8 min.

Solo Amazing Grace Variations pno 12 min.

Solo America Variation pno 2 min.

Solo Atonal Variations pno 12 min.

Solo Sonic Sonnets pno 5 min.

Solo Dichroisms (Spatterings) pno 7 min.

Solo The Difference pno 5 min.

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Solo Various



Russell Steinberg



Feature Films

SWEET LOVE AND DEADLY (thriller) Director: Paul Clinco

FATAL CHARM Director: Fritz Kiersch

(psychological drama starring Christopher Atkins)

Short Films

SOMETHING TRUE (dramatic short) Director: Thor Gold

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT (comedy short) Producer: UCLA Extension

STOLEN GLANCES half-hour psychodrama Director: Jason Kinchen

MIGRATION SONGS (dance performance art film) Director: Norah Zuniga-Shaw

Documentary Films

PAPER FLOWERS Producer/Director: John Bishop Media Generation

THE LAST WINDOW Producer/Director: John Bishop Media Generation

THE ART OF PRESERVING HISTORY (Aired on PBS) Producer/Director: John Bishop Media Generation


(Film celebrating UCLA World Arts and Cultures Department and the new Glorya Kaufman building)CHARL

Director: David Slaughter

Solo Five Preludes for Guitar 15 min.

Solo Maui Slack Key Preludes guitar 8 min.

Solo Guitar Memorials: From Center, Last Waltz guitar 6 min.

Solo Cello Tropes cello 12 min.

Solo Organ-Aum organ 7 min.

Solo White Crane Study violin 9 min.

Russell Steinberg - Concert Music—Film Music— Education Change the Way You Hear ... Page 6 of 7

http://www.russellsteinberg.com/bio.html 12/11/2007

(Film on Oil/real estate magnate who founded Chapman College)

DRESSAGE FREESTYLE (competitive sport routine/video)


© 2007



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(No portrait)


Eric Steiner 

Born: ? 

One hand Only for the Young Pianist  (Belwin-Mills)

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Halsey Stevens  American composer and pianist

New York, 03.12.1908 - New York, 20.01.1989 

Stevens was born in Scott as the seventh of eight children of Horace B. and Mary Colenia (Churchill) Stevens and received his musical education at Homer (NY) Academy, Syracuse University where he studied composition with William Berwald and piano with George Mulfinger (1926-31, 1935-37), and the University of California Berkeley where he studied composition with Ernest Bloch (1944).
After graduation Stevens returned to
Syracuse University as a faculty member and also taught at the Dakota Wesleyan University from 1937 to 1941 and the Bradley University from 1941 to 1946 (only interrupted from 1943 to 1946 for service in the United States Navy Reserve.
In 1946 he taught at the University of Redlands and from one year later and till his retirement he was professor at the University of Southern California. He also held appointments as visiting professor at Pomona College in 1954, the University of Washington in 1958, Yale University from 1960 to 1961, the University of Cincinnati in 1968 and Williams College in 1969.
Stevens large oeuvre covers works for orchestra, chamber music, piano music and choral works - often receiving commissions and having his works performed in more than thirty countries. Among his most notable works are Triskelion (1953), Trio No. 3 (1954) The Ballad of William Sycamore (1955) Sinfonia Breve and Septet (both 1957) Symphonic Dances (1958) Threnos (1968) Clarinet Concerto (1969) A Testament of Life (1959) In te, Domine, speravi (1962) Magnificat (1962) Te Deum (1967) Double Concerto (1973) and Viola Concerto (1975).

For the Left Hand 
This piece is written in 1953 for the composer's oldest son Christopher 

Photo of Haley Stevens by George Hoxie

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(No portrait)



Twilight Waltz  (New York: C. Fischer)
Mentioned in Carl Fischer; Complete Catalogue of Piano Music, p. 64

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Ronald Stevenson  English (Scottish) composer and pianist

Born: Blackburn, Lancashire 1928

Stevenson was Celtic of heritage and this influenced him from the very beginning just as his acquaintance with the piano music of Busoni, his  personal friendship with Percy Grainger and John Ogdon also became a major influence just as his
Stevenson is a Fellow of the Royal Manchester College of Music, where he was a student and from which he graduated with special distinction in 1948. He studied piano with Iso Elinson (a pupil of Felix Blumenfeld). Later, he studied orchestration at the Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia in Rome with the Busoni pupil Guido Guerrini.
During the years 1962 to 1965 he taught composition at the University of Cape Town and the following year he was awarded the Harriet Cohen International Music Award for his Busoni centenary radio programme and received a Living Artist's Award from the Scottish Arts Council - indeed Stevenson has during the decade from 1970 to 1970 given 26 BBC radio programs of Busoni's music and performed as piano soloist in a Busoni TV documentary on BBC2.  
In 1984 he worked as a visiting Professor at the Shanghai Conservatory, in 1987 he gave seminars at the Juilliard School, New York and all through the 1980s he paid repeated visits in the 1980s to the Universities of Melbourne and Western Australia
Among his celebrated appearances as a composer-pianist have included: his Passacaglia on DSCH (the musical signature of Dmitri Schostakovich and translated into English musical language: D, E Flat, C, B) in Cape Town, 1963; the song cycle Border Boyhood with Sir Peter Pears at Aldeburgh in 1971; the Piano Concerto No 1 with the Scottish National Orchestra conducted by Sir Alexander Gibson in Edinburgh, 1966; his Piano Concerto No 2 with the New Philharmonia Orchestra under Norman Del Mar at the Proms in London, 1972. 
In 1992 Sir Yehudi Menuhin, who commissioned Stevenson's Violin Concerto (The Gypsy), conducted its world première with the Chinese violinist Hu Kun and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in Glasgow. A more recent commission has been a Cello Concerto In Memoriam Jacqueline du Pré, which was commissioned by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and was premièred in Glasgow in 1995, with Moray Welsh as soloist.
Stevenson is Vice-President of the Workers' Music Association, a Patron of the Art song Collective and of the European Piano Teachers' Association, a member of the Royal Society of Musicians of Great Britain, and of the Composers' Guild of Great Britain, a Doctor honoris causa of the Universities of Aberdeen, Dundee and Stirling and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland.
His output as a composer includes chamber works, many hundreds of works for solo piano and his vast work in song.
There are reasons for not attributing the work below as Stevenson's own, since it in fact was composed by his daughter Savourna Stevenson (born 1961); an artist  who has recorded many works on the Scottish harp - but Ronald Stevenson's contribution to piano music and to the interest in playing with the left hand alone - e.g. in a piece where he combines Rimsky-Korsakov's Bumble-bee with Chopin's Étude op. 10 nr. 2 is sufficient reason for including him on this site.

(Savourna Stevenson:Lament for a Blind Harper - transcribed by Ronald Stevenson)  (Fand Music)

Waltz in A flat, Op. 34, No. 1,by  Chopin transcribed for left hand alone

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(No portrait)


Paul Stoye 

1879 - Palos Verdes Estades, CA, 1971

Concert Valse  1925 (Youngman Music Co.)

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(No portrait)


W. Strepnitz 

Born: ? 

In The Greenwood (Valse-Idyll)  1922 (Arthur B. Schmidt)

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Maurice Strakosch  Austrian-American-French pianist, teacher and impresario

Gross-Seelowitz, Moravia, 15.01. 1825 - Paris, 09.10.1887

In 1828 his family moved from Moravia to Germany, and young Maurice began the study of music there. With the proper tuition he soon achieved a reputation as an excellent pianist, and was well received in all the European countries which he toured.
In 1848 he came to the United States, where he for the next twelve years was active in New York as pianist and teacher.
In his great book Men, Women and Pianists Arthur Loesser cites a wonderful satire on Strakosch in The Knickenbocker: - Herr Smash began by raising his hands three feet above the keys, keeping them there for three minutes, then coming down with a furious crash that wrenched the brass plate off the piano and sent one of the legs  scurrying across the floor. Women waved handkerchiefs, infants bawled at the breast, sober men boohooed out of enthusiasm. The reporter glumly sucked his cane and applauded a little with his thumbnails.
This satire is very much in the tone of the famous George Bagby recitation about Anton Rubinstein's playing during his tour of America: Jud Brownin hears Ruby Play. Well - music criticism has certainly gained a great deal in seriousness - but lost equally much in humor. And, as Sir Thomas Beecham once said: I have not yet decided that it is more interesting to be truthful than amusing. 
But soon Strakosch devoted himself entirely to managing operatic troupes, organizing his first company in 1855. In connection with this work he met the Patti family. Patti was by now a world famous opera soprano and her sisters, Carlotta and Amalia, followed her to the operatic stage, and her brother, Carlo, conducted opera in New Orleans, St. Louis, and New York.

Adelina Patti

In 1852 Strakosch married the sister Amalia Patti. His compositions for the piano were at one time very popular, and among them the music of one of Bayard Taylor's songs. He wrote a small volume of "Souvenirs" in French not long before his death. 
His brother, Max, born in Brunn, Moravia, 27 September, 1835, was associated with him in most of his enterprises, and some of the most famous artists travelled under their management, including Louis M. Gottschalk, Parepa-Rosa, Marie Roze, Carlotta and Adelina Patti, Karl Formes, Pasquale Brignoli, Italo Campanini, Pauline Lucca, Therese Titjens. Christine Nilsson, and Marietta Alboni.

Strakosch: Xylography: 
Östereichsiche Nationalbibliotek, 

Deh! Calma, o Ciel (Desdemona's prayer From Rossini's Otello for the left hand op. 36)  c.1848 (W. Hale & Son)

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Herman Strategier  Dutch organist and composer

Arnhem, 10.08.1912 - Doorwerth 26.10.1988

Strategier got his first lessons in music from his father who was a talented amateur and organist at St. Walburgis Church in Arnhem. At the same time he studied piano with a local teacher and soon began to assist his father at the services in the church.
When he was eleven years old he entered the Church Music School at Utrecht where he became pupil of C. Huygens (Gregorian music and history), Johan Winnubst (harmony), Phons Dusch (piano) and -  most important - Willem Andriessen (organ and composition).
After his studies he got a job at Nijmegen but after just three years he was back in Arnhem where he succeeded his father at St. Walburgis and at the same time taught at the local music school. 
In 1942 Willem Andriessen celebrated his fiftieth birthday and for that occasion Strategier and two other Andriessen-pupils (Jan Mul and the later well-known organist Albert de Klerk) wrote a Mass in his honor: Trium Puerorum (Mass of the three boys). The three friends later joined in other works and got the nickname Tres pueri (Three boys).
During the Nazi occupation Strategier refused to join the Kulturkammer which brought him a lot of difficulties but he was able to remain as organist until 1944, when St. Walburgis was totally destroyed during the bombing. So he moved with his family to Haarlem where he paradoxically was compelled to accept a large sum of money from the Germans which he at once gave to a Dutch fund for helping victims. After the war he was appointed organist at St. Joseph's Church in Zeist and at the same time he joined the staff of the Church Music School in Utrecht as teacher of harmony and counterpoint.
His output as a composer is closely attached to his work for the church, but he has also left a piano concerto, a symphony, some pieces of chamber music, solo pieces for piano and numerous song with both piano- and orchestral accompaniment. And as part of Tres pueri he has made a great collection of Dutch folk song with the title Ons Volkslied (Our Folk Songs).

Tema con Variazioni  1959 (Donemus)

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Johann Strauss (the younger)  Austrian composer

Vienna, 25.10.1825 - Vienna, 03.06.1899

Strauss is today so well known that he hardly needs any introduction but one story about him is not known to many - so it deserves to be told here.
In 1938 a paper turned up among the matrimonial documents of the Stefan's Cathedral in Vienna proving that Strauss' great grand parents had been Jews who were later baptized. This finding came at the most inconvenient time for Hitler - he had just invaded Austria (Anschluss) and the general policy with composers who were not "racially clean" was that their works were burnt and they were never to be performed. 
The Ministry of Culture (sic!) might have gotten away with condemning Meyerbeer, Mendelssohn and Mahler as unsuited for the German soul but to accuse The Blue Danube, Emperor's Waltz and Fledermaus for being part of the malignant international Jewish conspiracy to pollute the Aryan mind (!) - that was too much - even for someone like Göbbels. And besides - the Führer himself had pronounced, that the two greatest German works of music were Die Meistersinger by Wagner and Fledermaus by Strauss. But facts never intimidated Göbbels, so he ordered the Reichssippenamt (an agency for investigating blood lines) to purify Strauss. So the compromising papers of the Stefan's Cathedral were simply  confiscated and replaced with forged ones declaring Strauss a pure Aryan and the notice bearing the swastika stamp.
The only problem left were the scholars who had made the discovery - but they were summoned to the Town Hall of Vienna and given two choices: either making a scholarly revision (!) or facing eternal silence! So far so good (or bad!). But in the spring of 1945 - during the bombing and the senseless fury of destruction that were the final spasms of the Nazi regime - someone who has never been identified, placed a package on the steps of the Stefan's Cathedral containing the original papers about the Strauss family. Why? - perhaps some scholar - sensing that the end of Nazism was near, suddenly  remembered his duty to scholarship and music history - we shall never know. At least this vital information was saved but after the battle of Vienna all Strauss' belongings were gone - even his violin. The Red Army had people who knew what they were looking for and - like in Berlin - train load after train load carried the loot back to Russia in one of the history's greatest examples of pillaging - second only to Nazi Germany's own. Only after the fall of the Berlin wall some very few items have been returned as a token of reconciliation - f.ex. the priceless tape recordings of Furtwängler's concerts during the war.

(Johann Strauss (son): An der schönen blauen Donau (The Blue Danube)) See James Marchand

(Fantasy on Themes from Die Fledermaus) See Walter Bricht

(Symphonic Metamorphosis of the Schatz-Waltzer themes from The Gypsy Baron by Johann Strauss) See Leopold Godowsky

(Fantasi on Wine, Women and Song) See Scriabin

(Frühlingsstimmen)  See Gerhard Rühm

See: Johann Strauss, Father, Son, and Their Era by Hans Fantel (David & Charles: Newton Abbot 1971)

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Richard Strauss  German composer and conductor

Munich, 11.06.1864 - Garmisch-Partenkirchen, 08.09.1949

Strauss' father (Franz) was a virtuoso horn player in the Opera orchestra and it was he who helped Wagner make the final version of the famous Siegfried's horn-call. (Today it is still a great task for horn players, but in Wagner first version it could simply not be played at all). Franz also composed a little and has written a quite pleasant horn concerto.
So it was no wonder that his son Richard showed great musical talents already as a child. His first works: Schneiderpolka (Tailor's Polka) and a Christmas Song were composed  when he was only six years. 
After having had the "normal" education of a German boy with terms in the Gymnasium and the University of Munich, compositions began to appear that are played as standard works even today f.ex. the Serenade for woodwind op. 7.
The turning-point in his career was in the winter 1883/84 where he was in Berlin and attracted the attention of hans von Bülow who helped him start a career as conductor - even securing him a post as assistant Music director at Meiningen. 

Panathenäenzug; Sinfonische Etüden in Form einer Passacaglia for piano and orchestra op. 74  1925 (Boosey & Hawkes)

Parergon zur Sinfonia Domestica for piano and orchestra op. 73  1927 (Boosey & Hawkes)

Übungen für die linke hand  1926 (MS)

Exercises for the left hand - written to Wittgenstein - notice the 
dedication in the left bottom corner "Für Paul Wittgenstein", 
and signed: "Richard Strauss, Prague, 23rd. Mach 1926".
(The Wittgenstein Collections)

Now - it is a little difficult to make a proper evaluation of the exercises from this picture, but - anyway - Strauss was never much of a pianist himself. During his young years he sat playing, and in the adjoining room was the great pianist and conductor Hans von Bülow, who afterwards said, that Strauss' playing had been so bad, that Bülow would had been able to write down Strauss fingering just by listening. And certainly - Wittgenstein knew a lot more than Strauss about piano playing in general - and left-hand playing in particular.

(Morgen) arranged for the left hand by Jonathan Edward Mann

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Igor (Feodorovich) Stravinsky  Russian composer

Oranienbaum nr. St. Petersburg 17.06.1882 - New York, 06.04.1971

Stravinsky was born into a very famous and musical family - his father Fyodor Ignatevich  being a renowned bass singer at the Imperial opera in St. Petersburg. After his debut as Don Baslio in The Barber of Seville in 1873 he had attracted the attention of the most  influential people and since then his career ascended to the point where he was considered the most important bass within his repertory.

Fyodor Ignatevich Stravinsky
(20.06.1843 - ?. 11. 1902)
A self-caricature in the role as 
Mamirov in Charodeike (The 
Enchantress) by Tchaikovsky

Fyodor was a hard worker and a great artist who created several roles in the Russian repertory gaining both admiration and respect from composers and music lovers. His voice was described as a Basso Cantante of sufficient sonority to fill the large auditorium of The Marinsky Theatre with a very wide compass and with cultivated legality. Like his pupil Fyodor Shaliapin he was an artist who was also adept with a brush and pen capable of both caricatures and more serious paintings. In fact many composers, singer and pianists have shown great graphic talents - like Shaliapin, Sviatoslav Richter, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Enrico Caruso, Hugo Alfvén and many others. Fyodor Stravinsky performed some of his best-known operatic roles there, including Varlaam in Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov, Farlaf in Glinka's Ruslan and Lyudmila, and  Ramfis in Verdi's Aida

More than seventy-five years later, Stravinsky told Robert Craft in an interview that we never returned to Oranienbaum after my birth . . . and I have never seen it since. But on this, as on countless other points of fact, his memory betrayed him. The Stravinsky's went back to Oranienbaum at least twice, in the summers of 1884 and 1885, and Igor's younger brother, Gury, was born there too, on 30 July/11 August 1884, though in a different house. The place was a fashionable summer resort for the Petersburg artistic-literary intelligentsia, and since Igor's father was a singer and a bibliophile, he was merely following a trend by summering there. Tolstoy, Nekrasov, and Fet, among writers, and — among painters — the realist peredvizhniki ("wanderers") Savrasov, Shishkin, and Repin, all stayed and worked in Oranienbaum. Like most provincial towns of what was once the Soviet Union, Oranienbaum is today a depressing epitaph to three-quarters of a century of bad management, bad economics, and bad architecture. The Soviets destroyed it by their own unique combination of neglect and vandalism. Menshikov's park, with its palaces and walks, was left to decay; but much of what otherwise remained from tsarist times, and survived the German bombardment of the early forties, was bulldozed and replaced by concrete and gray brick which, as usual, in turn soon crumbled and peeled.

Oranienbaum in 1901

Only six days before Stravinsky's birth his father had been in Moscow singing Galitsky's aria from Prince Igor in a concert conducted by Anton Rubinstein, and rumors have it that, while conventionally naming his son after a listed (if obscure) saint, the proud father really had in mind the less than saintly hero of Borodin's opera. 
The implication that Fyodor had some special sense of his third son's musical destiny (since, after all, he apparently made no attempt at operatic names for the other three) might seem rather obvious. 
He himself expressed, when he told Craft that the real answer to your questions about my childhood is that it was a period of waiting for the moment when I could send everyone and everything connected with it to hell
The Stravinskys were, in the terms of late tsarist Russia, downgraded dvoryane, or minor nobility, what in modern Western terms, would probably be described as well-connected bourgeoisie. The Stravinsky family, like the name, is Polish, a fact which needs to be stressed in view of recent and perfectly understandable attempts by Kiev scholars to claim Stravinsky as a Ukrainian of Cossack lineage. 
There is a bizarre footnote to the tale of Fyodor's ancestry. The maternal grandfather, Ivan Ivanovich Skorokhodov (1767-1879 !), is none other than the "old gentleman" of Stravinsky's Dialogues, who died at the age of 111 as a result of a fall while trying to scale the garden fence on his way to a rendezvous. This irresistible picture is both too good and too obviously apocryphal to be worth denying. 
The rest of the history of Igor Stravinsky is well known: At first he studied law at the St. Petersburg University but music was his prime interest and soon he became a pupil of Rimsky-Korssakow. In 1910 he settled in Paris where his music for the Diaghilew ballet, Petrouschka, Firebird and Sacre du Printemps made him both famous and Herostratic famous. 
Later he turned to a more neo-classical way of expression with his Symphony in three movements etc. and in his last years he was fascinated with twelve-tone composition as practiced by Anton Webern. Here Stravinsky - who had ridiculed any kind of non-musical association during playing and listening - gave a most wonderful description of Webern's small piece for cello and piano: Imagine a precious diamond turning in the light and sending out all kinds of colors
A frail man (physically) - often seen in an wheel chair - he lived to become 89 working hard and never giving up his curiosity about the development of music - he remains - with Bartók and Hindemith one of the three greatest composers of the 20th century. 

(L'Oiseau de feu) Arranged by Raoul Sosa

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Soulima [Sviatoslav] Stravinsky  American pianist and composer

Lausanne, Switzerland, 23.09.1910 - 29.11.1994 

Soulima was son of Igor Stravinsky and had his education in Paris with Isidor Philipp (piano) and Nadia Boulanger theory and composition) before making his début in Valenciennes in 1930. 

Nadia Boulanger1887 - 1979).
Her importance as teacher and conductor earned her an important place in the history of music and a place on a stamp

His father Igor presented him to Paris audiences in 1934 with performances of the Concerto for Piano and Winds, Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra and the Concerto for Two Solo Pianos. Soulima made his debut in the USA in 1948 at the Red Rocks Festival in Colorado and made his New York debut with the CBS Symphony Orchestra. 
In 1950, Stravinsky was appointed to the piano faculty of the School of Music of the University of Illinois. He continued his solo career as a pianist and began distinguishing himself as a composer, transcriber and editor. In 1974, Stravinsky was awarded the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Cultural Affairs.

Soulima Stravinsky
as a young man

Apart from the work mentioned below Soulima Stravinsky has written two piano sonatas and chamber music.
A footnote about his name is worth mentioning:
The so-called Soulima-Stravinskys are more accurately described as Strawinscy Herbu Sulima, to adopt for the moment the old Polish spelling of the two names: that is, the Strawinscy family with the Sulima coat-of-arms. 

The Sulima Coat-of-arms

This simply means, that this branch of the Strawinscys claimed descent from the more ancient  probably German house of Sulima. 

Sonatina Terza : Epilogue 1967 (Peters)
The sonatina is in three movements: the first is for the right hand, the second for both hands and the third: Epilogue is for the left hand alone.

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(No portrait)


Joseph Strimer  Russian-American composer

Rostov o.th.Don, 1881 - New York, 1962

Strimer was pupil of Rimsky-Korsakoff.

Gavotte  1953 (Boston Music)

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Theodora Sturkow-Ryder 

Born: ? 

Tarantelle (from Easy Pieces in Difficult Keys)  (McKinley)

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Felix Gerald Swinstead  English pianist and composer

London, 25.06.1880 - Southwold, 14.08.1959

Swinstead was educated at the Royal Academy of Music in London from 1897 to 1901 where he had Tobias Matthay and Frederick Corder as his principal teachers.

Tobias Matthay

Frederick Corder

Afterwards was awarded the scholarships of Sterndale Bennet and Thalberg. During the decade from 1902 to 1912 he toured extensively giving recitals in London and the Dominions and in 1910 he was appointed professor of piano at the Royal Academy of Music, London.
Swinstead published many works mainly for the piano and several with educational purpose - just as he wrote a book on piano playing: Technique with a purpose.

Felix Swinstead's signature 

Swinstead's daughter later wrote down some reminiscences about her father - I will quote some of them here since they paint a very authentic picture of this now more or less unknown composer:

My father did most of his composing on my mother's piano - she was herself an ARAM and a gold medallist of the Royal Academy. He wrote his manuscripts with a thick orange colored fountain pen, a novelty in those early days, sitting at an immense and beautiful dining table designed by his younger brother Charles to seat at least sixteen guests.
Composing was hard work and Felix was under constant pressure from publishers to write more and more pieces for children. Writing orchestral pieces and those for concert performances was even more laborious as all the parts had to be separately written out if he wished to hear any piece prior to publication. Felix's music was very modern for his time.
All Felix's working life was spent at the Royal Academy from his scholarship entry to full professorship and finally retirement. In addition to teaching there he used the big rooms in our house for teaching, pupils' concerts and musical get-togethers of all kinds.
Felix's life at home was not without its lighter side. He was fond of clocks and collected clocks of all sizes and conditions, from grandfather clocks, station clocks to hang on the walls, to any kind of clock movement to which he could attach a pendulum and two weights. The merry tick-tocking resounding through the house did not seem to disturb his musical activities in the least. Another hobby was carpentry, and he was venturesome when it came to automobiles.
Felix had a good sense of fun, and his music is evidence of his humour. Many of his concert pieces, and especially his "Oh dear what can the matter be?" could be relied upon to bring laughter to any audience.
Talking and verbally philosophizing were not amongst Felix's pastimes. He once said "When people ask me what I think about the war and things, I tell them that what I think is all there in my music." He was referring at that time to his very beautiful and haunting Ballade published in 1948. During the war Felix took on the post of organist in the church of St Matthews, Bayswater to 'help out'.
Recently my brother David Swinstead and I have been gathering together all of Felix’s music we can lay our hands on and have donated it all to the RAM Library.
But it is for his children's pieces that most people will remember and love him; they are always musical and have a charm, containing many surprising and subtle twists - and they all lie easily under a child's hand. One can easily understand why Matthay and Craxton were anxious to encourage Felix to join them in their novel teaching activities.

Barbara Wilkins (née Swinstead)

Nr. 1 from:  6 Studies for the Left Hand  1928 (W. Rogers)
No. 2-6 are for both hand but with emphasis on the problems concerning the technique of the left hand.

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