Friedrich Franz Burgmuller

Johann Friedrich Franz Burgmüller (December 4, 1806 - February 13, 1874) was a German pianist and composer. He was born in Regensburg, Germany. Both his father, August, and his brother, Norbert, were musicians. His father was a musical theater director in Weimar and other Southern German Centers. Freidrich studied with Ludwig Spohr and Moritz Hauptmann. After years of studies with Spohr and Hauptmann, Johann moved to Paris in 1832, where he stayed until his death. There, he adopted Parisan music and developed his trademark, light style of playing. He wrote many pieces of salon music for the piano and published several albums. Burgmüller also went on to compose descriptive piano studies intended for children. They are very popular to this day.

He is probably best known today for his etudes and other works for piano students. In particular, selections from his Op. 68, 76, 100, 105 and 109 and his 'Ballade' appear in a wide variety of educational collections. In addition to these piano pieces, he composed works without opus numbers including variations, waltzes, nocturnes and polonaises. He composed stage works and two ballets, La Péri and Lady Harriet.

His most performed piece is the so-called Peasant Pas de Deux added to the ballet Giselle for its 1841 premiere. This music was originally titled Souvenirs de Ratisbonne, and is still performed today in every production of Giselle.

In his Op. 100 set of 25 studies he has charmed many people with pieces like 'La Candeur,' 'La Chevalresque,' 'L'Arabesque' and 'Ballade.' More demanding are the '18 Characteristic Studies' opus 109. Opus 109 contains the popular pieces 'Les Perles' (The Pearls) and 'l'Orage' (The Storm); even more demanding are the 12 pieces of opus 105.

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