The history of the Russian piano school: Individuals and traditions

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.)


Music Performance

First Committee Member

Kenon Renfrow - Committee Chair


The intention of this work is to analyze and describe the unique and extraordinary development of the Russian piano school from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the present day. This work elucidates the school's evolving characteristics, its tendencies and styles, and how it received such authority and respect throughout the world. This dissertation also reveals the Russian piano school's principal musical pedagogical figures, and how diverse and original they are, especially modern Russian pianists. The unique and pivotal influence of these artists is clearly defined in the context of an emerging and distinct Russian piano school.Starting with an introduction, chapter one reviews related literature based on three types of sources: (a) books about the general history of the Russian piano school, (b) books about great teachers and performers, and (c) the heritage of personal diaries, letter, and articles.Chapter two examines the development of the Russian school from its origins to its first triumphs with the appearance of the first conservatories and their founders, the brothers Rubinstein. Theodor Leschetizky's and Nikolay Rubinstein's student "trees" are provided, which capture their musical lineage. Characteristics of the European pianists in Russia in the early nineteenth century are also included.Chapter three describes two Russian teachers, Alexander Goldenweiser and Samuil Feinberg, and their friendship, which is based on their personal correspondence, diaries and memoirs. Goldenweiser's students "tree" is also included, which depicts his musical genealogy.Chapter four is completely dedicated to Henrich Neuhaus. It is based on his students' recollections, as well as his personal letters and diaries. His students' "tree" is provided.Chapter five presents Neuhaus' pupils, Sviatoslav Richter and Emil Gilels, with descriptions of their personal and artistic features.Chapter six characterizes Neuhaus' assistants, contemporary Russian pianists, such as Lev Naumov, Stanislav Neuhaus, Eugene Malinin, and Aleksey Lyubimov. It also provides information about their concert and teaching careers.Chapter seven is the concluding chapter, which demonstrates and examines the formation of various contemporary piano schools, colleges, and conservatories. A diagram of the music education system, including years of study and age is included.The necessity of this research is determined by the fact that Russian pedagogues have been traditionally described in impersonal terms and treated as isolated figures, without any connections. Personal descriptions and professional comparisons of the foremost Russian teachers are essential parts of this work.


Music; Education, History of; Education, Music

Link to Full Text


Link to Full Text