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date: 31 May 2020

Clark(e) (-Steiniger), Frederic(k) Horace [Leo St. Damian]locked

  • Robert Andres


[Leo St. Damian]

(b Liebeshain?, near Chicago, Dec 23, 1858; d Zurich, Jan 27, 1917). American pianist, pedagogue, inventor, philosopher, theologian, and physiologist, mostly active in Germany. He was, according to Rudolf Breithaupt’s Die natürliche Klaviertechnik (3/1912), the “founder of the physiological school, and especially the shoulder mechanics” and offered “the oldest scientific explanation of the modern psycho-physiological method [of piano playing].” In 1882 he married Anna Steiniger (1848–91), a prominent Prussian pianist and Ludwig Deppe’s assistant, whose partially fictitious and romanticized biography, allegedly based on her diary, he published as Iphigenia, Baroness of Styne (London, 1896).

Friedrich Adolf Steinhausen, in his Über die physiologischen Fehler und die Umgestaltung der Klavier-Tehnik (1905), states that Clark can be given “the credit and the merit of a first scientific attempt” of applying physiologically based movements. Clark thus emerges as the world pioneer in the physiological approach to piano playing and the first scholar to offer a scientific explanation and graphic illustration of the rolling movement of arm and wrist, in his ...

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