Home > Biography of Carl Czerny
Carl Czerny (1791-1857) was one of the most prolific, industrious and influential Austrian pianist, composer and teacher of all time. Renowned for his pedagogical pianistic works, he has a unique position in the development of piano teaching and playing. As a pupil of Ludwig van Beethoven and Muzio Clementi, his works provide a significant link between the composers of Classical and Romantic groups of the eighteenth century.
The child virtuoso pianist
Born to a Bohemian pianist father of Czech origin in Vienna, Czerny was a child prodigy with an ability to play piano at an early age of three, compose at seven and perform at ten. His father was his first piano teacher who taught him the works of Bach, Mozart and Clementi. After performing piano recitals at his home, he made his first public performance playing Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor in 1800.
Under the tutelage of masters
At the age of eleven, Carl Czerny was introduced to Beethoven by his piano teacher. Impressed by his ability to play Sonata Pathetique and Adelaide, Beethoven took him under his tutelage. Next three years, he devoted himself to learn piano lessons from the world's most famous composer. During this period, he memorised all the works of Beethoven without exception and played them from memory. Enraptured by this talent, Prince Lichnowsky, a great patron of Beethoven, asked the young pupil to play Beethoven's compositions at his palace almost every day. His commentary on the works of Beethoven is of high value. Besides Beethoven, he also learnt piano lessons from famous composers, including Clementi, Salieri and Hummel.