Home > Biography of Carl Czerny (2/3)
Popularity as a piano teacher
Czerny was selected by Beethoven to play piano for the premiere of his two major concerts, 'Quintet for Piano and Winds' in 1806 and 'Emperor' in 1812. However, unlike most composers of his times, he felt the life of a concert pianist was not for him and decided to become a teacher instead.
From the age of fifteen, he dedicated his entire life to teach, compose and write music. He soon earned great reputation for his teaching methods that even Beethoven himself had asked him to teach piano for his nephew. Some of the most famous nineteenth-century composers including Stephen Heller, Theodor Leschetizky, Sigismond Thalberg, Anton Door, Theodor Dohler and Franz Liszt were his students. Among them, Franz Liszt, Theodor Leschetizky and Theodor Kullak also became teachers and passed on their master's legacy to future generations. Today, Carl Czerny is considered as the father of modern pianistic technique.
Czerny piano exercises and teaching style
His early piano teaching method was largely based on Beethoven and Clementi's teaching style. However, he soon invented his own original method of teaching piano lessons. He went on to compose his most famous works 'Piano Sonatas for Four Hands' and 'Etudes' exclusively for his students to perform.
Czerny piano exercises such as the 'School of Virtuosity', 'School of Velocity' and 'School of the Left Hand' are being widely practised and revered by composers and students to this day. Czerny exercises mainly focus on the dexterity and velocity of piano fingering and also on the expressiveness and sound control of the pupils. It is for this reason many of Czerny exercises are recommended for piano students to develop finger strength and dexterity.