21st February 1791
15th July 1857
Carl Czerny was an Austrian composer, teacher, and pianist of Czech origin. He was born in Vienna to a musical family and was considered a child prodigy: he began playing piano at age three and composing at age seven. Among his teachers were Wenzel Czerny (his father), Clementi, Hummel, Salieri and Beethoven. Though he made appeareances from his early childhood, he was never confident in his abilities as a "showman" piano performer (as required at that time) and resolved to withdraw permanently from the stage, devoting himself only to private recitals and piano teaching. He developed close relationships with Beethoven, Liszt, and other prominent musicians of the time. Czerny's body of work is still being rediscovered, including more than a thousand pieces. He composed not only piano music (of which the most known are his didactic pieces), but also masses and choral pieces, symphonies, concertos, songs, string quartets and other chamber works. He was one of the first composers to use étude ("study") for a title.