The destiny of Chopin's students


Questioned once on the subject of Chopin’s pedagogical posterity, Liszt replied, ‘Chopin was unfortunate with his pupils’. This remark is confirmed in many cases.

Three of Chopin most promising young talents died young - Filtch, Caroline Hartmann, Paul Gunsberg.

Among the most brilliant of his students, two renounced their careers at a very early stage - Emilie von Gretsch, Friederike Streicher.

Another two confined themselves to private teaching - Mme Dubois, Mme Rubio. While Pauline Viardot, a pianist of repute, had already taken to a singing career by the time she received any musical ideas from Chopin.

There are about ten students, all men, who eventually embraced a serious professional career. Apart from Tellefsen, two important names emerge in the teaching profession Mathias in the West, and Mikuli in the East.

Koczalski, Mikuli’s heir, represents the last link in the chain of direct descendants.

(From the book by Jean-Jaques Eigeldinger “Chopin: pianist and teacher as seen by his pupils”, 1986)