Curious Story is one of many “musical miniatures” by Stephen Heller, a nineteenth-century piano composer. Out of all the “miniatures,” Curious Story may well be the most famous one.
Heller was born in Pest, Hungary (what is now Budapest), in 1813. Showing early promise in music, at only nine years of age he performed Dussek’s Concerto for Two Pianos at the Budapest Theater with his teacher. Following this performance, he was sent to Vienna, Austria, to study under renowned piano technique expert Carl Czerny, and then Anton Halm. At a mere fifteen, Heller was already on a concert tour that covered a vast amount of Europe, but he took ill at Augsburg in 1829 and eventually went to live with a wealthy patron of the arts.
When Heller was twenty-five, he went to Paris, and there became friendly with Berlioz, Chopin, Liszt, and many other compositional giants. It was in Paris that Heller established himself as a performer and teacher—among his students being Philipp, who would become a faculty member at the renowned Paris Conservatory. However, Heller’s performing and teaching career never achieved the heights of some of his acquaintances, and he was almost an unknown by the time of his death in 1888.
Stephen Heller may not have rose to the pinnacle of fame in his lifetime, but his pieces are still popular with students and teachers alike, to this day—as a quick search of YouTube videos will attest! Curious Story comes up frequently in performance by both beginning students and older pianists; it just might be a favorite of yours, too, with its cheerful pace and melodic triplets. Play it with a light touch and you’ll no doubt bring a smile to your teacher’s face!
Print and Download Complete Curious Story Heller Piano Sheet Music