Colorado Power Piano

Power Piano as performed by
Howard Pancoast at the piano

Howard Pancoast
Karen Pancoast at the piano

Karen Pancoast

Franz Joseph Haydn


Haydn portrait by Thomas Hardy, 1792

Haydn was the first great master of the classical piano sonata. He was given instruction in keyboard playing, singing, violin playing, and composition from the time he was a small child. He sang in the Vienna Boys Choir for a few years at St. Stephen's Cathedral. But when his voice changed, he was forced to earn his own living in Vienna by teaching piano, accompanying, and playing his violin in orchestras.

When he was 29, he was hired by Prince Esterhazy to become the court composer, pianist, and chief musician. He had a very successful 30 year career at the Esterhazy court and produced hundreds of fine compositions. He eventually composed about 60 piano works that today we call piano sonatas. They were originally called Divertimenti or Partitas, but today all these multi-movement pieces are called sonatas. Many of them were written for teaching at the Esterhazy court and so they are perfect pieces today for students starting to learn classical piano sonata form. Mozart was a great admirer of Haydn and Beethoven actually studied with Haydn. He was known throughout Europe as Papa Haydn.