After the third edition of The Virtuoso Pianist in 1878, it is not known if Hanon composed or published any new works. After a long and productive life, he died in Boulogne-sur-Mer on March 19, 1900 at age 81. Timbrell quotes from the obituary printed in a church publication entitled La Voix de Saint-Nicholas:

 
M. Charles Hanon was one of those Christians of old stock such as we rarely encounter today. He always gave generously to the poor, and he sustained a multitude of Catholic charities [as well as] expelled monks and impoverished artists. His piety was exemplary. He was seen at mass daily, and he took Holy Communion each morning. It was at church that he caught [the pneumonia] that caused his death a few days later.(9)

 
Though Hanon’s works and their place in the history of piano pedagogy are rich fields for scholarship, he has been unjustly neglected in the scholarly literature to date. More than the composer of exercises and methods, upon closer study Hanon emerges as a pious man whose life and works have touched generations of pianists.
Hopefully, this biographical sketch will inspire future scholars to discover more about the intriguing man behind The Virtuoso Pianist.

 

 

(9) Timbrell, “Who Was Hanon?”

 

 

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This article is reproduced with permission from the authors.


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