From 1840 to 1846 Pischna studied oboe at the Prague Conservatory. He worked for thirty-five years as a pianist and piano teacher in Moscow. Of his compositions, the 60 Klavierübungen (60 Exercices progressifs - 60 Piano Exercises) have commanded an abiding importance. They have appeared in several editions and been used up to the present time in piano teaching.
The renowned writer of Technical ' exercises. The strong endorsement which the Pischna exercises have received from virtuosos and the wide use which has come to Der Kleine Pischna,: 'The Little Pischna,” (a set of remarkably fine easy technical exercises written by Wolff, a pupil of Pischna) have led to innumerable inquiries regarding the identity of Pischna. Josef Pischna was born at Iang Lhot Bohemia in 1826. In 1847 he graduated from the Royal Conservatory at Prague as an oboe player, however, as in all Continental schools, he was liged to study piano in addition to tire orchestra instrument. He also had the thorough training in harmony; counterpoint, musical history, etc., which is demanded before the student is permitted to graduate. Consequently, although he lost his identity in the orchestras in which he performed, he really was a very able and well trained musician. From Prague he went to Odessa, Russia, and became the conductor of a military band. Hence he moved to Moscow, where he became Professor of Music in the endowed institute for young ladies of noble birth. There he remained for thirty-five years, playing piano practically all of this time. It was there that he had an opportunity to try his technical exercises. Working carefully and slowlv, he soon produced results which attracted wide attention. Pischna retired upon a pension from the Russian government. Thereafter he lived in Prague taking a few private pupils. He died October 19, 1896. Pischna's name in Bohemian was Pizny. (source; The Etude magazine vol.29 number 07, July 1911)
- Černušák, Gracián; Štědroň, Bohumír; Nováček, Zdenko, eds. (1963). Československý hudební slovník II. M-Ž (in Czech). Prague: Státní hudební vydavatelství. p. 311.
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