Czerny: Carl: 21 Feb 1791 – 15 July 1857

By | September 18, 2020


Portrait of Carl Czerny in his forties smartly dressed

Carl Czerny is a famous Austrian composer and teacher who was a child prodigy composing from the age of seven. He came from a musical background. His grandfather was a violinist, and his father an oboist, organist, pianist and Carl’s teacher from an early age.

Would you believe that his first public appearance was at the age of nine playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 24 in C minor?

If you are not familiar with this piece take a look at the You Tube video below (the pianist starts at 2.22)

In 1801 Czerny met with Beethoven. The ten-year-old was asked to play Beethoven’s Sonata Pathétique and Adelaide which resulted in his acceptance as one of Beethoven’s pupils. He remained so until 1804 and occasionally after that.

  • Czerny was the first to identify Beethoven’s deafness (Seven years before it became public!)

Teaching Career

At the age of just fifteen, he started a very promising teaching career. He followed the styles of Beethoven and Clementi. Liszt became his star pupil and Czerny was so impressed with his talent that he gave him free lessons. However, Liszt’s father’s first impression of Czerny wasn’t quite what he was expecting:-

He was a pale, sickly-looking child, who, while playing, swayed about on the stool as if drunk…His playing was…irregular, untidy, confused, and…he threw his fingers quite arbitrarily all over the keyboard. But that notwithstanding, I was astonished at the talent Nature had bestowed upon him‘ (Wikipedia)

Czerny also taught Beethoven’s nephew and many other famous composers


He composed a huge number of pieces not only for the piano, but also concertos, choral music, string quartets, symphonies, songs and other chamber music.

His piano teaching was admired and is still used today by many piano teachers. He is known for his pedagogical works which include the School of Velocity, the School of Virtuosity, and the School of the Left Hand.

Czerny died aged sixty six. he never married or had any children.

Further Reading & Musical Downloads

At we have some arrangements for you of Carl Czerny Sheet Music.

For further information on this composer take a look at Wikipedia and Britannica.

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