Tobias Matthay Collection
Tobias Matthay (1858-1945) was an eminent British piano
pedagogue, pianist, and composer. Born in London, his early studies took place
at the Royal Academy of Music. He joined the faculty of that school in 1880,
continuing there until 1925. He also opened his own school which attracted
hundreds students from throughout the United Kingdom and beyond. Matthay’s
reputation was based partly on his extensive publications dealing with aspects
of piano technique and interpretation. His most famous work was titled The
Act of Touch in All Its Diversity; its first edition appeared in 1903.
Matthay’s preoccupation with the physical and anatomical elements of piano
playing generated much positive interest as well as considerable controversy.
Not least of his accomplishments was the caliber of players whom he guided
toward successful careers: Dame Myra Hess, Irene Scharrer, Harriet Cohen,
Moura Lympany, Denise Lassimonne, Eileen Joyce, York Bowen and Sir Clifford
Curzon among them.
Matthay was also active as an occasional performer in
public and as a composer with many published works. His output is chiefly for
the piano. A detailed, scholarly study of Matthay’s life and career appeared in
2011: England’s Piano Sage by Stephen Siek (Scarecrow Press).
IPAM’s Matthay Collection consists of a nearly-complete assemblage of his
published piano works, five songs for voice and piano, and copies of his
pedagogical publications. These materials were donated by the late James Matthew
Holloway through the good offices of Theodore Guerrant, and were originally in
the possession of Denise Lassimonne. Of particular interest is the fact that
many of the scores contain corrections, editorial markings and comments by
10 am to 3 pm
Monday through Thursday
9 am to 5 pm
Monday through Friday
Donald Manildi, Curator
International Piano Archives at Maryland
Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library
8115 Alumni Dr.
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742 USA