Charles-Wilfrid de Bériot

Charles-Wilfrid de Bériot

Charles-Wilfrid de Bériot (12 February 1833  22 October 1914) was a French pianist, teacher and composer.

He was born in Paris in 1833, the son of the violinist Charles Auguste de Bériot and his then common-law wife, the famed soprano Maria Malibran[1][2] (they were to marry when Charles-Wilfrid was three, but his mother died only three months later as a result of a fall from a horse, while pregnant with Charles-Wilfrid’s sibling).[3] His stepmother, Maria Huber, was an orphan who had been adopted by Prince von Dietrichstein, the natural father of Sigismond Thalberg. Thalberg was one of Charles-Wilfrid's earliest teachers.[4]

He became a professor of piano at the École Niedermeyer, and later at the Paris Conservatoire, where his pupils included Maurice Ravel and Ricardo Viñes. His private students included Enrique Granados. As a teacher, he insisted on extreme refinement in tone production, which strongly influenced Granados’s own teaching of pedal technique.[5]

He composed four piano concertos.[6] There is also a Sonata for Two Pianos, Op. 61.[7] His Flute Sonata, Op. 64 has been recorded.[8] Many of his scores are preserved at the Ricardo Viñes Piano Music Collection at the University of Colorado at Boulder.[9]

Ravel dedicated his Rapsodie espagnole to Charles-Wilfrid de Bériot.[10]

He died at Sceaux-du-Gâtinais in 1914, aged 81.

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