Theodor Kullak (12 September 1818 ? 1 March 1882) was a German pianist, composer, and teacher. He was born in Krotoschin and died in Berlin.
The 24-year-old opted for a Viennese education. Carl Czerny happily took over his pianistic schooling, and Otto Nicolai and Simon Sechter, the theoretical side of things. Franz Liszt and Adolf von Henselt were also highly revered influences. Kullak played a little in Austria that year but in 1843 returned to Berlin where Fraulein von Hellwig secured him the post of pianoforte instructor to Princess Anna, the daughter of Prince Karl. This was just the beginning. Kullak seemed subsequently to make a speciality of teaching princes and princesses of the Royal house, as well as the offspring of many upper-class families who became aware of his excellent professorial qualifications, connections and, presumably, his unimpeachable manners.
In 1844 Kullak founded the Tonkünstler-Verein in Berlin and presided over it for many years. Two years later, at the age of twenty-eight, he was made Pianist to the Prussian Court, and four years after that founded the Berliner Musikschule (also known as the Kullak Institute) in partnership with Julius Stern and Adolf Bernhard Marx. However, during the ensuing five years, dissension reared its ugly head among them and Kullak retired from his institute which then became known as the Stern conservatory, with Hans von Bülow as a director.
In 1851 Kullak established a new school, the Neue Akademie der Tonkunst, which proved a lasting success and was affectionately referred to as 'Kullak's Academy'. It specialised in the training of pianists and became the largest private music school in the whole of Germany. By the time of its twenty-fifth anniversary it boasted a hundred teachers and eleven hundred students. Kullak was made Professor in 1861 and was also elected to honorary membership of the Royal Academy of Music in Florence. Many other distinctions were also accorded him. His son Franz (1844?1913) received his musical education at his father's Academy, completing his studies under Wehle and Litolff in Paris. After abandoning a concert career because of a nervous complaint, he taught at the Neue Akademie, succeeding his father as director when Theodor died in 1882.
Kullak wrote a large amount of instructional piano music, with Die Schule des Oktavenspiels (1848) being especially well known. His other music, including a piano concerto and two sonatas, is very rarely played today.
Among Kullak's many pupils were Alfred Grünfeld, Heinrich Hofmann, Alexander Ilyinsky, Moritz Moszkowski, Silas Gamaliel Pratt, Julius Reubke, Nikolai Rubinstein, Xaver Scharwenka, Otto Bendix, Hans Bischoff, Amy Fay and James Kwast. Noted Bohemian pianist and composer Franz Bendel taught at the academy. Text source : Wikipedia (Hide extended text) ... (Read all)
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