Born: February 21, 1791 – Vienna, Austria
Died: July 15, 1857 – Vienna, Austria
The Austrian pianist, composer and teacher, Carl [Karl] Czerny, was born into a family of Bohemian origins. He was taught piano by his father before taking lessons from Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Antonio Salieri, and Ludwig van Beethoven. He was a child prodigy, making his first appearance in public in 1800 playing a Mozart piano concerto. Later, he gave the Vienna premiere of L.v. Beethoven‘s Piano Concerto No. 5 Emperor in 1812.
Carl Czerny quickly took to teaching and by the age of 15, he was already a sought after instructor. He eventually instructed Franz Liszt, among many others. F. Liszt later dedicated his twelve Transcendental Etudes to Czerny, who was one of the first composers to use étude (“study”) for a title. F. Liszt also implicated him in the collaborative work Hexaméron (the fifth variation on the Bellini’s theme is his).
Carl Czerny also composed a very large number of pieces (up to Op. 861), including a number of Masses and Requiems, and a large number of symphonies, concertos, sonatas and string quartets. None of these pieces are often played today, however, and he is known as a composer almost exclusively because of the large number of didactic piano pieces he wrote, many of which are still used today, such as The School of Velocity and The Art of Finger Dexterity.