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Josef Piano
Josef Slavanski
Biographical information

pre. 1943



Physical description




Hair colour


Skin colour


Family information
Family members

Piano teacher

"He wants me to practise all evening. He's such a meanie."
Fran Katzenjammer after her first piano lesson with Josef Slavanski

Josef Slavanski is a blind Russian piano teacher who attempted to teach Fran Katzenjammer how to play the piano in 2001.


Early life[]

Josef was born to Petor Slavanski in the early 20th century into a family of thirteen other siblings. He lived in a yurt, a traditional Russian tent made of beaver skins. He was taught the piano at an early age, and was the best player in his family. He earned a scholarship to an unknown music university, and, once he had qualified, became a piano teacher.

In 1943, he heard Sergei Rachmaninoff in concert. It deeply moved him, especially when Rachmaninoff finished woth 'Flight of the Bumble Bee'. It is unknown when Josef became blind, although his father and his grandfather are also blind, which suggests that he inherited it from his family.


After teaching the piano for a considerable amount of years, Josef was hired to teach Fran Katzenjammer. Fran had no real musical talent and found it difficult to play even the most basic of notes. Josef became very angry with Fran, and made her swear that she would practise all evening for him. Fran grew tired of Josef's abuse, and persuaded her friend Manny Bianco to play instead of her. As Josef is blind, Fran thought that he might be hoodwinked into believing that she was playing. Manny turned out to be an amazingly talented musician, and Josef was fooled.

However, Josef soon became obsessed, so much so that he made regular visits to the shop to hear Manny play. Fran, who had to keep pretending that she was playing each time, eventually decided to confess to Josef that she was lying. However, she found it very difficult to confess when Josef brought his whole family along to listen to her play. Once again, Fran was forced to pretend that she was playing, but when Manny grew tired of being Fran's slave and stopped playing, Josef discovered that he had been tricked and left the shop.

Behind the scenes[]

  • Josef was portrayed by Scottish actor, David McKail.


  • Josef is a masculine given name of German origin and is a varient of Joseph. It means 'Jehovah increases'.
  • Slavanski may be a reference to Josip Štolcer-Slavenski, a Croatian composer and professor at the Music Academy in Belgrade.