A lineage four steps back to Chopin

The river runs deep through the seeds of time

Frédéric François Chopin

When you take lessons from Andy Wasserman here at PIANO LESSON CITY, you are on the receiving end of a lineage that extends directly to Frederic Chopin – the masterful Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic era who wrote primarily for the solo piano. Wasserman often refers to him as “the father of Modern Jazz piano” due to the profound harmonic chord colors he innovated.

As you can see below in the timeline, Wasserman is four steps from Chopin! And, amazingly enough, there is a cross-connection of the piano pedagogy of Alfred Cortot through Andy’s Jazz life-long piano mentor Dwike Mitchell.

What a wonder: in 2017 we are only four steps from the piano teaching lineage dating back to the mid-1800s! That means you, the student, inherits the next and fifth step in this lineage of piano playing.

  1. Andy Wasserman’s main classical piano teacher/mentor from 1978 – 1982 in Boston while earning his BM degree in Composition at the New England Conservatory of Music was Jeannette Giguere  (1903-1987). She taught classical piano at New England Conservatory for 35 years and toured professionally as a duo with her twin sister Bernadette, a clarinetist.
  2. Ms. Giguere’s mentor when she lived in Paris in the 1920s as a young adult was Alfred Cortot  (1877 – 1962)    (see WIKIPEDIA link)
  3. Alfred Cortot’s teacher while himself a student at the Paris Conservatory was Émile Descombes  (1829 – 1912) (see WIKIPEDIA link)
  4. Émile Descombes was a disciple of, and possibly one of the last pianists who took lessons from Frederic Chopin (1810 – 1849) (see WIKIPEDIA link)

Dwike Mitchell (1930 – 2013) (see WIKIPEDIA link) Wasserman’s principal mentor of piano for over 30 years, was himself mentored at The Philadelphia Music Conservatory by Agi Jambor  (1909 – 1997) (see WIKIPEDIA link), who was a contemporary and colleague of Alfred Cortot.

Here is the lineage in a timeline diagram

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: a beautifully produced documentary on the musical inspiration that helped shape Chopin’s sound – with piano and vocal music performances, historical information, interviews and visits to the places and people in his life. Brings this genius to life in the 21st century! Anyone who loves Chopin will benefit from watching this 90 minute contemporary movie. It can be viewed here in it’s entirety: