Rosenthal then studied with Rafael Joseffy, student of Carl Tausig and Liszt. In 1878 Rosenthal became a pupil of Liszt, with whom he studied in Weimar and Rome.
At eight years of age he commenced his piano studies under Galoth (1869–1872). In 1872, Rosenthal became a pupil of Karol Mikuli, Chopin"s pupil and editor, who trained him along more academic lines at Lviv Conservatory. A tour through Romania followed when he was fourteen.
As Liszt"s pupil, Rosenthal made appearances in Saint St. Petersburg, Paris, and elsewhere.
His general education, however, was not neglected, and in 1880 Rosenthal qualified to take the philosophical course at the University of Vienna. From 1939, he taught in his own piano school in New York City, where he died in 1946.
Rosenthal recorded less than three hours" worth of music What he did record, however, is considered some of the most legendary piano-playing on disc.
Rosenthal also recorded a large number of American Piano Company (Ampico) piano rolls.
Rosenthal"s usually malicious wit was legendary. When he heard Vladimir Horowitz blaze through the octave passages of Tchaikovsky"s First Piano Concerto at his Vienna debut, he remarked: "He is an Octavian, but not Caesar." In similar vein, after hearing Ignacy January Paderewski, whose reputation had preceded him, Rosenthal said: "Yes, he plays well, I suppose, but he"s no Paderewski". A colleague once played Rosenthal"s arrangement of Chopin"s Minute Waltz in thirds at a recital, after which Rosenthal thanked the pianist "for the most enjoyable quarter of an hour of my life".
Towards the end of his life Rosenthal lived at the Great Northern Hotel in New York, which he referred to as "more Northern than Great".
His pupils included Charles Rosen and Robert Goldsand. An anthology of Rosenthal"s autobiographical writings was published as Moriz Rosenthal: In Word and Music (ed Mark Mitchell, Allan Evans Indiana University Press, 2006), which also contains a Civil Defense of representative and unpublished recordings.