Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


School of Music

First Advisor

Marina Lomazov


Teresa Carreño (1853 – 1917) was the first Venezuelan artist to achieve international recognition. As a child prodigy, she impressed pianists such as Louis Moreau Gottschalk, and quickly became a phenomenon in the United States. As an acclaimed pianist, the sheer power of her performances earned her the title of Valkyrie of the piano, and she had an extremely active performing career until months before her death.

Throughout her life, she interacted with the most important musical personalities of the time, including Franz Liszt and Anton Rubinstein, among many others. She was also a talented singer, as Gioaccino Rossini personally affirmed. She was also active as a composer, and although currently her creative work is largely unknown, some of her works were extremely popular during her time, selling out several editions. Also a sought after piano teacher, her most prominent student was the American pianist and composer Edward Mcdowell. Her approach to piano technique earned her the dedication of the most important treatise on the subject at that time, written by Rudolf Maria Breithaupt.

It is for all these reasons that this dissertation was written, with the purpose of analyzing Carreño’s life and work from the perspective of virtuoso piano playing at the end of the 19th Century, a perspective that informs these three aspects of her life: as a pianist, composer, and pedagogue.


© 2016, Claudio Olivera

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