Herz, Henri (actually, Heinrich)

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Herz, Henri (actually, Heinrich)

Herz, Henri (actually, Heinrich), famous Austrian pianist, teacher, and composer; b. Vienna, Jan. 6, 1803; d. Paris, Jan. 5, 1888. He began piano studies with his father, and after further training with Hdiger;unten in Coblenz, he entered the Paris Cons, in 1816, and pursued studies with Pradher, Reicha, and Dourlen, winning the premier prix. He improved himself in Moscheles’s style after that virtuoso’s visit in 1821. Herz was in high repute as a fashionable teacher and composer, his compositions realizing 3 and 4 times the price of those of his superior contemporaries. In 1831 he made a tour of Germany with the violinist Lafont; visited London in 1834, where at his first concert Moscheles and Cramer played duets with him. From 1842 to 1874 he was a piano prof, at the Paris Cons. He suffered financial losses through partnership with a piano manufacturer, Klepfer, and thereupon undertook a concert tour through the U.S., Mexico, and the West Indies (1845–51). He then established a successful piano factory, his instruments receiving 1st prize at the Paris Exhibition of 1855. As a composer, he acknowledged that he courted the popular taste; his numerous works (over 200) include piano concertos, variations, sonatas, rondos, nocturnes, dances, marches, fantasias, etc. He publ, an interesting and vivid book, Mes voyages en Amérique (1866), a reprint of his letters to the Moniteur Universel.


R. Lott, The American Concert Tours of Leopold de Myer, H. H., and Sigismond Thalberg (diss., City Univ. of N.Y., 1986).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Herz, Henri (actually, Heinrich)

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