Tobias Augustus Matthay (19 February 1858 – 15 December 1945) was an English pianist, teacher, and composer.
Matthay was born in London in 1858 to parents who had come from northern Germany and were naturalised British subjects. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music under Sir William Sterndale Bennett and also taught there from 1876 to 1925 as professor of advanced piano. With Frederick Corder and John Blackwood McEwen, he co-founded the Society of British Composers in 1905.
He founded a piano school in 1900 and soon became known for his teaching (known as the Matthay System) that stressed proper piano touch and analysis of arm movements. He published several books of technique, which brought him international recognition. Many of his pupils went on to define a school of 20th century English pianism, including York Bowen, Myra Hess, Clifford Curzon, Moura Lympany, Eunice Norton, Lytle Powell, Irene Scharrer, Lilias Mackinnon, Guy Jonson, Vivian Langrish and Harriet Cohen. He was also the teacher of Canadian pianist Harry Dean and English conductor Ernest Read.
Matthay also composed a quantity of piano music but it is little known.
Tobias Matthay died at High Marley Manor near Haslemere in 1945, aged 87.
- Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 5th ed., 1954, Vol. V, p. 632
- Hardy, Lisa (2001). The British piano sonata, 1870-1945.
- The Act Of Touch In All Its Diversity: An Analysis And Synthesis Of Pianoforte Tone Production (1903)
- The First Principles of Pianoforte Playing (1905)
- Relaxation Studies (1908)
- The Child's First Steps in Piano Playing
- The Principles of Fingering and Laws of Pedaling
- Forearm Rotation Principle
- The Principles of Teaching Interpretation
- The Slur or Couplet of Notes in all its Variety, its Interpretation and Execution (1928)
- The Visible And Invisible In Pianoforte Technique (1947)
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