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Giusto Severo Pertinace Dacci  Italian composer and pianist

Parma, 01.09.1840 - Parma, 05.04.1915

Dacci was educated at the Royal Parma School of Music which he entered as a boarder at the age of eleven with Riccardo Grunthner as piano teacher and Giovanni Rossi as teacher of composition, and it was here he spent the rest of his working life as piano teacher, professor of harmony and eventually, in 1875, director and Composer in Residence. As director of the School he also kept a personal diary which is rich on anecdotes and gossip about the School and the city.
When the School was closed in 1888 to make way for the new Music Conservatory he was passed over as director by Verdi in favor of Giovanni Bottesini and later Franco Faccio, but nevertheless Dacci remained on the staff as teacher of composition until his retirement in 1899.  

Giovanni Bottesini
24.12.1821 - 07.07.1889
Verdi's choice of this double bass 
virtuoso seems strange today and 
one might suspect that it was not 
based entirely on only professional 
reasons - but rather personal ones

As a bachelor Dacci bequeathed his estate to the Conservatory to provide prizes for deserving students. 
His more than 500 compositions include songs, piano pieces, chamber music and  fantasies on opera tunes for various instruments, including five for clarinet and piano. For the orchestra he wrote La ridda, Sinfonia for large orchestra and Don Carlo, fantasy for large orchestra. Among his church music are several Masses and three Requiems and finally it should be remembered that he wrote many educational papers. Complete list (in Italian) of his works.
His perhaps most prominent pupil of composition was Arturo Toscanini. There were som clashes between teacher and student - already then showing his iron will. Toscanini used some of his time to play cello in an opera orchestra which he was not supposed to do and at some other time he participated in a revolt among the students refusing to get out of their beds to go to morning mass. With Toscanini these thing only resulted in reprimands and not expulsion - Dacci obviously didn't want to loose his best student.

Toscanini's  Berceuse for piano  
- one of his student works

Angiol di pace all' anima from Bellini's opera Beatrice di Tenda op. 4 (Martinenghi)

Melodia from the opera L'africana op. 50 (Canti)

Maria, melodia variata, op. 72 (Berletti)

Melodia  op. 442 1894 (Schmidt & Co)

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d'Alessandro see under catalogue A

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(No portrait)


Gustave Damm  pseudonym for the publisher Theodor Leberecht Steingräber  German pianist, teacher and publisher

Neustadt-am-Orla, 25.01.1830 - Leipzig, 05.04.1904

Steingräber was son of the piano manufacturer Johann Gottlieb Steingräber (1800-1861) and he was trained as a pianist and teacher and worked as such for quite a number of years during which he published the Piano School (1868) mentioned below, and which is still used. 
On January 1st 1878 he founded his publishing firm in Leipzig and for many years it was run by the family; 1918-1926 by his son-in-law, Hofmusikalienhändler Walter Friedel (who also from 1920 to 1926 continued the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik which was started by Robert Schumann April 3rd 1834) and after his death in 1926 by his widow, Clara  (who died in 1953) together with Steingräber's other daughter Mathilde (who died in 1945). During WW II the company was totally destructed, but immediately after war the firm was reestablished - in 1953  moving to Frankfurt on Main and June 1st 1956 to Offenbach am Mein. 
During the years Edition Steingräber had acquired a sound reputation for its publications. Among its most important were Kullak's revised editions of the classics, Hans Bishoff's edition in 7 volumes of Bach's piano music - which appeared from 1880 to 1889 and Phrasing editions by Hugo Riemann. 

"Damm" published Klavierschule und Melodienschatz für die Jugend - Musikstücke zu zwei und vier Händen I - II, Technische Übungen, zur vorbereitung auf Tausig's Tägliche Studien.

Übungsbuch nach der Clavierschule; 16 leichte Etuden  (Steingräber)
(one or more pieces in this collection is/are for the left hand alone)

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Richard Danielpour  American composer and pianist

Born: New York, 28.01.1956

Richard Danielpour studied at the New England Conservatory and the Juilliard School with Vincent Persichetti and Peter Mennin. He also was trained as a pianist by Lorin Hollander, Veronica Jochum, and Gabriel Chodos. 
His music has also been performed by the Santa Cecilia Orchestra in Rome, the Cologne Radio Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre National de Lyon, the Stuttgart Radio Orchestra and the American Composers Orchestra as well as the symphony orchestras of Dallas, Montreal, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Minnesota, St. Louis, Seattle, and Utah. He has been championed by such performing artists as Yo-Yo Ma, Jessye Norman, Dawn Upshaw, Emanuel Ax, Frederica von Stade, Thomas Hampson, Gary Graffman, Christopher O'Riley, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, the Guarneri, Emerson, Muir, and American String Quartets, and conductors David Zinman, Charles Dutoit, Kurt Masur, Zdenek Macal and Leonard Bernstein.
Danielpour's music is made from large and romantic gestures, brilliantly orchestrated and rhythmically vibrant.
Among his most important compositions are the orchestral works Toward the Splendid City and
Through the Ancient Valley, Concerto for Violin and Orchestra: A Fool's Paradise, Symphony No. 2, Song of Remembrance, and the Cello Concerto and the 2nd piano concerto with the rather liquid title Absolute Vodka. Among his chamber music work are a Piano Quintet and Sonnets to Orpheus Book I and II.

Zodiac Variations (piano concerto nr. 3)  (2001)
Written for Gary Graffman and premiered by him with the National Philharmonic and Leonard Slatkin. 

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Claude (Achille) Debussy  French composer

Saint-Germain-en-Laye, 22.08.1862 - Paris, 25.03.1918

Debussy studied at the Conservatoire Nationale de Paris under Guiraud, Marmontel and Lavignac and evolved into one of the most original pianists of his time. His output includes the opera Peléas et Mélisande, several important works for the orchestra (La mer and Prélude a l'après-midi d'un faune), chamber music and songs - but it is probably his vast œvre for piano which is the major cause for his fame as the central impressionistic composer.

(Clair de lune; no. 3 from Suite bergamasque)  See James Marchand

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Felix De Cola  South African-American composer, author and entertainer

Cape town, 17.12.1906 - Los Angeles, 25.04.1983

De Cola was educated as a pianist and ran a music school in his native city giving concerts with the South African Symphony Orchestra until 1943 when he emigrated to America.
Here he had several radio and TV shows (included among the first US Emmy nominees in 1949) and his TV shows were rated number three in popularity in 1948. Beside this he composed sheet music and invented musical devices for the blind and the Easy-Chord, which enabled the keyboard player - in those pre-digital piano days - to play whole chords with only one finger.

Felix de Cola's Easy-Chord
Photographed and reproduced here kind 
with kind permission of Lee de Cola

In fact he was a polymath of great ingenuity. I first encountered his name when I was given a copy of a musical quiz made by de Cola. It contained 18 well-known classical themes but on one side you had only the rhytme (on the tone C) and on the other page were the tunes but witout the rhytme (all written as crotches) - even trills and ornaments). 
Outside the US he is today mostly
remembered as the man who gave piano lessons to Harpo Marx, which must have been something of an experience, since Harpo never learned to read notes. According to his son Harpo  invented his own special kind of notation for his harp playing. (Next time you watch a Marx Brother movie, remember to watch Harpo's face when he is playing. All the clownishness is gone and what you see is a deeply concentrated man dedicated to his art).

Harpo Marx

Felix de Cola was very interested in left hand playing and had an article published in the Clavier magazine, March 1967 (pp 25-26): The Elegant Art: Playing the Piano with the Left Hand Alone. Beside telling about left hand playing in general it contains - what could be called a do it yourself course in arranging music for the left hand alone. Of course it won't take you very far but through some simple examples it helps you to understand the nature of left hand playing. Thus it deserves to be quoted here with the kind permission of Lee de Cola - the composer's son:

Basically what has to be done to arrange a piece for the left hand alone is this:
The accompaniment figure, (chords, arpeggi etc.) must be "sneaked" in while the melody note is sustained. Hence it will be apparent that pieces with a very "busy" melody line (such as Chopin's "Fantasie Impromptu") are not good material, since there is never an opportunity for the left hand to leave the melody so as to insert an accompaniment. It is possible, of course on many occasions to combine melody and accompaniment, playing both simultaneously. This will be seen at various points in the arrangements which follow.
Let us begin with one of the simplest melodic forms, the first five notes of the C major scale and its basic chordings. Here is the simplest form of a left hand solo arrangement, melody and accompaniment combined in such a way that there is no shifting of the hand:

In 3/4 the following arrangement suggests itself

And now a regular waltz

Left Hand - Right Foot  1961 (Summy-Birchard)

Felix de Cola also made arrangements for the left hand of the following three composers works:

Beethoven: Menuet i G  1967

Chopin: Preludes in A major op. 28 no. and C minor  1967

Lehár: Waltz from The Merry Widow  1967

Thanks to Felix de Cola's son, Lee de Cola for picture and information

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(No portrait)


C. C. Dean  American pianist and composer

Born: ?

Il Penseroso, op 45, nr. 16 (an arrangement from Stephen Heller) (Clayton E. Summy Co. 1916)
A fairly efficient arrangement - not too difficult - in a moderate tempo (Andantino).

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Dan Dediu  Romanian composer and pianist

Born: Braila, 16.03.1967

Dediu graduated in composition at the Academy of Music in Bucharest in 1989, where his teachers were Stefan Niculescu, Dan Constantinescu, Dan Buciu, and Octavian Nemescu. Later he attended post-graduate courses with Francis Burt, Günter Kahowez and Wilhelm Zobl at the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna from 1990 to 1991 and finally getting his PhD at the National University of Music in Bucharest in 1995 (with the thesis Phenomenology of the Composition. Archetypus, Archetropus and Ornament in Composition).
Dediu won Scholar- and Fellowships offered by Alfred-Töpffer Foundation, Hamburg, Alban-Berg Foundation, Vienna, New Europe College, Bucharest, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin.
Dediu has won first prizes in the National Composers Competition in Cluj-Napoca (1986, 1988), the Brass Chamber Music Competition in Budapest-Barcs (1990) and the Premier Concours pour Orchestre Françaises de Flûtes (2000, for Spaima).
Other honors include the George Enescu Prize in the George Enescu Competition in Bucharest (1991, for Symphony No. 1) and the Music Prize of the Romanian Academy (1991, for String Quartet No. 3). From the Romanian Composers Union, he earned the Prize for Chamber Music (1992, for Hörner-Stimmen aus einem unbekannten Requiem), the Prize for Symphonic Music (1995, for Hyperkardia), the prizes for opera (Post-Fiction) and musicology (with his wife, Valentina Sandu-Dediu) (1998), and the Prize for Choral Music (1999, for Stabat Mater).
Since 1999 Dediu is Associate Professor for composition at University of Music in Bucharest and since 2000 leads the Composition Department.
His output covers all fields but his chamber music is perhaps the most important.

Cosaşul (Grasshopper) op. 112  (2005) (MS)
Premiered at the Cluj Music Academy Romania on September 26, 2005, by Albert Sassmann to whom the work is dedicated

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Norman (Frank) Demuth  English composer and pianist

South Croydon, London, 15. July 1898 - Chichester, 21.04.1968

Demuth was pupil of Parratt and Dunhill at St. George's, Windsor and Royal College of Music. During WW I he joined the army but was invalided out and from 1917 he functioned as organist and later - from 1930 as professor in composition at Royal Academy of Music.
He was one of the founders of the Royal Academy of Music, New Music Society of which he served as secretary from 1936 to1939 when - at the outbreak of WW II - he joined the army again.
In the larger form he was more or less self-taught, but he has composed in all genres in a style close to César Franck and Albert Roussel only without a Gallic touch. Practically everything he wrote before 1937 was destroyed by himself.
Demuth received many honorary titles during his life - among these: Hon. R.A.M, Hon. A.R.C.M and the French Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneurs - but his music is hardly heard any more.

Piano concerto 1947 (MS)

Legend for piano and orchestra 1949 (MS)
Both of these works were composed for Paul Wittgenstein

Three Preludes for Paul Wittgenstein. (1947) (Octavian Society Press, 2005)
These pieces turned up in the Wittgenstein Archives now located in the Hong Kong University.

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(No portrait)


John Michael Diack  English composer

Glasgow 06.06.1869 -? 1946

Diack was foremost a well known music editor and the manager of the publication department of Paterson Sons & Co., Glasgow, and author of several books of vocal exercises. He was also a well known composer in his day for his arrangements, many ballad-like songs for example to text by Tennyson like Come to me in my dreams and - most notably, the nursery rhymes (e.g., Sing a Song of Sixpence, Old Mother Hubbard and Little Jack Horner) set in the style of Georg Friedrich Handel. 
Diack also made revisions and arrangements like St. John's Passion (A selection) by Handel. 

The Laggard Left; Studies

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Joseph Dichler  Austrian pianist and composer

Vienna, 11.07.1912  -  26.03.1993

Dichler was a pupil of Franz Schmidt. He formed a piano-duo with his wife Grete.

Intermezzo and Capriccio  1980 (Doblinger)
Even if Dichler's style is tonal with a dash of jazz he calls for clusters with fist and even arm and in the capriccio - which is a polonaise-like piece - he quotes both Rachmaninoff and Chopin.

Photo: Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Bildarchiv http://www.bildarchiv.at

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(No portrait)

Edward B. Dickinson

West Springfield, Massachusetts, 10.10.1853 - ?

Dickinson was a graduate of the Amherst College in 1876, After he studied music at the New England Conservatory,  with Whitney Eugene Thayer (1838-1889) in Boston and after traveling to Europe he studied with Karl Klindworth (1830-1916) and Friedrich Wilhelm Langhans (1832-1892) in Berlin.
During the seven years from 1872 to 1879 he acted as organist at Springfield,
Massachusetts but went to New York in the same capacity at Elmira from 1879 to 1885, being Music Director of Elmira College from 1883 to 1892. 
From 1893 to 1922 he was professor at Oberlin College and Conservatory in Ohio, where he specialized in developing a new of instruction in the history and philosophy of music. He received a degree of D. Litt. in 1911 from the Oberlin College. His publications about music include History of Music in the Western Church (1902),  The Study of History of Music (1905), The Education of the Music Lover (1911), Music and the Higher Education (1915) and The Spirit of Music (1925).

Kathleen Mavourneen op 15  1881 (Slade)

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Violeta Dinescu  Romanian-born German composer

Born Bucarest, 13.06.1953

She graduated from the Gheorghe Lazar Lyceum in Bucharest in 1972, studied composition with Myriam Marbe at the Conservatory Ciprian Porumbescu in Bucharest from 1972-78 (receiving a one-year study of composition in 1977-78) and subsequently had two years of musicology studies in Heidelberg.
Her teaching activities commenced at the George Enescu Music School from 1978-82 whereafter she moved to Germany to teach at Hochschule für Kirchenmusik in Heidelberg from 1986-91 and the Hochschule für Musik in Frankfurt from 1989-91
Her other teaching activities were concentrated around
Fachakademie Hochschule für Kirchenmusik in Bayreuth from 1990-94 and guest appearances in South Africa and finally she was appointed professor for composition at the Carl-von-Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg 
Among the rewards earned by her are four Romanian Composers Union awards (1975-76, 1980, First Prize at the International Competition for Composers (Utah, 1983), a third Prize at the G.B. Viotti International Music and Dance Competition (1983) and the Carl-Maria-von-Weber-Preis for her opera Hunger und Durst (1985).
She has been a member of the Romanian Composers Union since 1980 and an executive board member of the International League of Women Composers since 1985.
Her vre  includes works for the stage (ballets and operas),orchestral pieces and a host of chamber music, choral works, vocal pieces and works for piano, organ, harpsichord and film scores; many of which have been recorded.  

Written for the Korean pianist Yoo-Kyung Han

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Theodor Döhler  Austrian pianist and composer

Naples, 20.04.1814 - Florence, 21.02.1856

As a child prodigy his education was entrusted to Julius Benedict who was resident of Naples at the time. In 1829 he was sent on to Carl Czerny in Vienna for further studies and here he remained until 1834 when he started touring most of Europe: Naples, Paris, Holland, Denmark, Poland and Russia as a very successful and indeed fashionable piano virtuoso.
Due to the influence of his patron - the Duke of Lucca - he was raised to noble ranks and thus he could marry a Russian Princess in 1846. After this he gave up public playing and settled first in Moscow and from 1848 in Naples composing piano pieces and a single opera: Tancreda which was first produced 24 years after his death.

Andante für Klavier linke-Hand Op.42 No.33

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Ernst von (Ernö) Dohnányi  Hungarian piano virtuoso, conductor and composer

Poszoni (Pressburg), 27.07.1877 - New York, 11.02.1960

Dohnányi was a contemporary of both Bartók and Kodály - but unlike them he remained a late romantic and during most of his life his was primarily regarded - not as a composer but as a piano virtuoso. 

Dohnányi has also published a piano school in which you will find wickedly-simple-looking exercises that are most rewarding.

Fugue D minor (For one advanced left hand or two unadvanced hands)  1913 (Associated)

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(Domenico) Gaetano (Maria) Donizetti  Italian composer

Bergamo, 29.11.1797 - Bergamo, 08.04.1848)

Donizetti was educated at the Istituto Musicale of Bergamo from where he went on to Liceo Filarmonico of Bologna before returning to his native Bergamo. 
In the beginning he devoted much time to instrumental music - composing string quartets, concert pieces and symphonies by the dozens - but his first attempts  with opera were unsuccessful. Then - in 1818 his Enrico di Borgogna was produced in Venice with great success and now some 70 odd operas followed - being given in Venice, Rome and Naples and in 1830 Donizetti obtained international recognition with Anna Bolena.
His operatic tunes were used again and again by pianist for paraphrases, fantasies and variations and are therefore known to many who have never heard any of his operas. 


The only photograph of Donizetti - taken shortly 
before his death at the age of 50 and with his 
nephew. By this time he was subject to 
melancholy bordering on insanity and 
generally paralyzed.


(The Sextet from Lucia di Lammermoor) Arranged by  KunkelLeschetizkyOremPernyRomano,     

(Fra poco a me ricovero from Lucia di Lammermoor) See Fumagalli 

(Enrico's Serenade from Don Pasquale) Arranged by Sidney Smith,  

(Ange si pur from La Favorita) Arranged by  Durand de Grau,  

The Leschetizky arrangement is recorded by Peter Ritzen: Marco Polo 8.223525

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(No portrait)


William Dopmann  

Born: ?

Teaches at the University of Texas

Distances from a Remembered Ground; Fantasy variations on the Last Mazurka of Chopin  (1982) (Gunmer Music)
Written for Leon Fleisher - this piece requires a left-hand player on the stage and an off-stage piano on tape.

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Alexander Dreyschock  Czech piano virtuoso and composer

Zak, Bohemia, 15.10.1818 - Venice, 01.04.1869

Perhaps Dreyschock had the most phenomenal left hand in the history of music; Schumann once said: This man has no left hand - he has two right hands.  Dreyschock's most flamboyant feat even provoked Liszt. Apparently Dreyschock's teacher, Tomášek, had one day prophesied that some day in the future, some virtuoso would be able to play the left-hand part of Chopin's Etude Op 10 No 12 (the so-called Revolutionary Etude) in octaves instead of single notes. Challenged by this heady vision, Dreyschock went home and practiced twelve hours a day for six weeks. At the end of it all he was able to perform the Revolutionary study at speed in the prescribed octaves. 

Johann Wenzel Tomášek
17.04.1774 - 02.06.1850

It astonished Mendelssohn when he heard it at the Leipzig Gewandhaus concerts, and it obviously made Liszt sweat a little when Dreyschock began to usurp his Viennese audience. At his next Viennese concert, Liszt purled through Chopin's Etude in F minor, Op 25 No 2. After the rapturous applause, he repeated the first bar slowly and tentatively - in octaves. Then again, a little faster. Then he really sped up and whisked the entire etude into an octave soufflé. Liszt remained King in Vienna, but the tyrannical and  often all too intellectual Hans von Bülow couldn't compete with Dreyschock's success there. He called Dreyschock's event a got-up furore, and called the left-hand wizard as an homme-machine (a mechanical machine), the personification of lack of genius, with the exterior of a clown. But never the less Dreyschock's tricks ensured him a place in the history books - and a large fee-paying public during his lifetime.
And indeed the God Save the Queen variations demand a left hand with quite extraordinary speed and precision. 

Alexander Dreyschock

When the Danish poet Hans Christian Andersen heard Dreyschock play in Copenhagen he wrote a poem in his honor: He - like a ruler, commands over the strings.
Andersen had probably heard Dreyschock at a concert in 1856. The concert had been a great success and afterwards the Danish king Frederik VII had presented Dreyschock with a box of cigars wrapped in bank notes. On 6th June Andersen was lucky to share compartment with Dreyschock on the train to Korsør before boarding the ferry to Kiel in Germany - where they were both going (Andersen was a compulsive traveler and has given a wonderful description of how the train passengers were pressed down in their seats at the maddening speed of 35 kilometers per hour - but compulsive - yes - his motto was: To travel is to live). 

Hans Christian Andersen
02.04.1805 - 04.08.1875

Andersen's poem in Danish

"Han over strengene som hersker byder,
strøm, tonevæld! Gør alvorsfuld og glad!
Snart er det, som et helt orkester lyder,
snart alfers dans på rosens fine blad."

First published 4th may 1862

Andersen's poem in English

"He - like a ruler - commands over the strings,
Flow - wealth of tones - make solemn us - or glad!
Now like orchestral sounds we feel he to us comes,
Then - like the feet of elves on rosen petals dance."

The first part of the poem is the one that probably comes closest to the truth - but the last line is certainly not one reflected in what we know from other sources: Dreyschock was simply known as a piano-pounder beyond anything that was heard before. 
The great German poet Heinrich Heine said that if Dreyschock played in Munich and the wind was right - you could hear him in Paris and after Dreyschock's Paris debut Heine played with the German meaning of his name: You don't hear one pianist but  drei Schock (three-score) - liable to burst an eardrum or two.
Bur Dreyschock was rightfully proud of his unique octaves and he would thunder them out. But - then again - even Mendelssohn confessed that some times Dreyschock did  manage to play so beautifully that you fancied yourself in the presence of a great artist.
In fact Dreyschock's family included several artists: his brother Raimund Dreyschock was a virtuoso violinist and his uncle, Felix Dreyschock (1860-1906) was a pianist and much respected piano teacher in Leipzig. 

Raymond Dreyschock

At Dreyschock's first court appearance in Vienna he played before the emperor Franz Joseph in a very hot room, with closed windows. Dreyschock began to perspire. The emperor listened intently and watched him even more closely. When the pianist got up and faced the emperor, he was afraid to wipe his face. The emperor then approached him.  My dear Dreyschock, I have heard Moscheles play. Dreyschock bowed. 'I have heard Thalberg. Dreyschock bowed even lower. I have heard Liszt. Dreyschock now bowed very low indeed. I have heard all the great players. But I never, never, ever saw anybody perspire as you do.

Variationen op. 22  1843 (Schlesinger)

Grand Variation on God Save the Queen  c.1852  (André)

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(No portrait)

Percival Driver  English composer

Born: ?

Driver is today best remembered for his light music - his Three little Trios which were entitled The Song of the Clock, Harvesting Time and Slumber Song and they are still being played. Among his other instrumental works are Dainty Dance for violin and piano, the piano piece All-in-a-Ring (four movements: 1936),and Four Sketches (1926). Driver's ability to write in 'old style' is often displayed - as in An Old Style Measure, Three Dance Measures (Gavotte, Sarabande and Passepied) and a Little Suite (Prelude, Sarabande and Gigue)
His Perhaps most important work is Variations on an Original Theme for two pianos, but - alas - his music is by now slipping into oblivion and very few play it anymore.

Single Handed Pieces (4 books) (Boosey & Hawkes)

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Auguste Dupont   Belgian pianist and composer

Ensival nr. Liège, 09.02.1827 - Brussels, 17.12.1890

He had his education at the Liège Conservatory with Jalhau as his prime teacher and after several years of successful touring as a concert pianist he was appointed professor at the Brussels Conservatory in 1850.
His works are mainly for the piano: A concerto and a concert piece are the most ambitious and among the solo works are Roman en dix pages (Novel in 10 pages) op. 48 and Contes de foyer op. 12, all more or less inspired by Robert Schumann.

(Fantasy and fugue op. 41)  (Schott)
According to some sources this is in fact a work for the right hand.

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