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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 July 2011

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Summary

Kalkbrenner, Friedrich Wilhelm Michael, pianist and prolific composer for his instrument, was born 1788 near Berlin. His father, Christian Kalkbrenner, of Hebrew extraction and a musician of great ability, began his training early. In 1798 he entered the Conservatoire at Paris, and left it after four years of assiduous study, with a prize for pianoforte playing and composition. In 1813 he played in public at Berlin and Vienna, heard Clementi, made Hummel's acquaintance, and was introduced by Haydn to Albrechtsberger, from whom he had lessons in counterpoint. From 1814 to 1823 he resided in London, much sought after as a player and fashionable teacher. In 1824 he settled in Paris as a member of the pianofortemaking firm of Pleyel & Co. In Paris too his success as a performer and teacher was very great; he was a shrewd man of business and managed to amass quite a fortune. Madame Camille Pleyel was his best pupil. When Chopin came to Paris in 1831, Kalkbrenner's reputation was at its height: his compositions, mostly written for the market and now forgotten, were upon the desks of all dilletanti, and his playing was upheld as a model. Chopin, who was then only twenty-two years of age but had already written his two Concertos, the Etudes, op. 10, the first Scherzo and Ballade, etc., called on him and played his Concerto in E minor, whereupon Kalkbrenner came forward with the astounding proposal that Chopin should bind himself to be his pupil for three years and thus under his guidance become a good artist! Chopin took no lessons, but soothed Kalkbrenner by dedicating the Concerto to him.

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A Dictionary of Music and Musicians (A.D. 1450–1880)
By Eminent Writers, English and Foreign
, pp. 46 - 79
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2009
First published in: 1880

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  • K
  • Edited by George Grove
  • Book: A Dictionary of Music and Musicians (A.D. 1450–1880)
  • Online publication: 05 July 2011
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511703317.003
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  • K
  • Edited by George Grove
  • Book: A Dictionary of Music and Musicians (A.D. 1450–1880)
  • Online publication: 05 July 2011
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511703317.003
Available formats
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  • K
  • Edited by George Grove
  • Book: A Dictionary of Music and Musicians (A.D. 1450–1880)
  • Online publication: 05 July 2011
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511703317.003
Available formats
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