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Carl Czerny (1791-1857) was an Austrian composer, pianist, and teacher. As a composer, he is most famous for his literally hundreds of sets of etudes for the piano, of which The School of Velocity (Op. 299) and The Art of Finger Dexterity (Op. 740) are still used frequently by students today. As a teacher, he is an extremely important historical link, as he was taught by Beethoven, who Czerny said taught him "things that were then unknown to most players: the true position of the hands and the fingers, and the use of the thumb."[1] Czerny was also the primary teacher of Franz Liszt, who had many famous pupils, many of whom went on to found their own schools, from which much of modern piano teaching springs. Thus, Czerny is a crucial part of the pedagogical link between Beethoven and a great many teachers of the present day.


  1. Philip Hale, Introduction to The Art of Finger Dexterity (G. Schirmer Ed.), 1893