István Thomán

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István Thomán
Thomán István.jpg
István Thomán in 1932.
Background information
GenresClassical music

István Thomán (Hungarian: [ˈiʃtvaːn ˈtomaːn]; 4 November 1862 – 22 September 1940) was a Hungarian piano virtuoso and music educator. He was a notable piano teacher, with students including Béla Bartók, Ernő Dohnányi and Georges Cziffra. His six-volume Technique of Piano Playing is still in use today.[1]


Early life and education[edit]

Thomán was born in Homonna, Zemplén County, Kingdom of Hungary (present-day Slovakia) in 1862 to Jewish parents, Dr. David Thomán and Rosa Weisberger.[2] Recognized for his talent, he became a favorite student of Franz Liszt.[1] Liszt appointed him to teach at the Royal Hungarian Academy of Music in Budapest,[3] but had to retire suddenly at the age of 45.[4]


Thomán toured with Liszt, was present at his death, and was a pallbearer at his funeral. Thomán, along with fellow Liszt student Árpád Szendy, were important in carrying on the Liszt style through their teaching at the Royal Hungarian Academy of Music.

As a teacher at the Royal Academy, Thomán took on a 17-year-old Ernő Dohnányi as a student in 1894. In 1903, a 21-year-old Béla Bartók dedicated his Study for the Left Hand to Thomán. The study is a Sonata performed entirely with one hand.[5] In his Studies on Chopin's Études Leopold Godowsky dedicated Opus 25 No. 11 (A minor) to Thomán.

Thomán's daughter, Mária Thomán (1899–1948) became a noted concert violinist, studying with Jenő Hubay, Franz von Vecsey, Carl Flesch and Alma Moodie. She gave concerts throughout Europe, both as a soloist and in the accompaniment of philharmonic orchestras and chamber ensembles.


  1. ^ Bayley, Amanda (2001), The Cambridge Companion to Bartók Cambridge University Press, page 17, ISBN 0-521-66958-8
  2. ^ Liszt's 125-Year-Old Academy of Music Antecedents, Influences, Traditions Mária Eckhardt Studia Musicologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, T. 42, Fasc. 1/2, Franz Liszt and Advanced Musical Education in Europe: International Conference (2001), page 123
  3. ^ Kerman, Joseph (1992). Music at the turn of century: a 19th-century music reader. University of California Press. p. 185. ISBN 0-520-06855-6.
  4. ^ Bartók New Series. "Bartók's Works for Piano Solo". Bartók New Series. Archived from the original on 16 March 2012. Retrieved 3 December 2011.