I studied with Leonard Shure at the New England Conservatory, where I received a
Masters in Performance in 1988. I stayed on to assist him in 1989 when he became ill,
teaching his studio of students at the conservatory. Mr. Shure had been Arthur Schnabel's
assistant in New York city in the 1930s, and was unparalleled in his expressive approach
to Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, and Brahms. He had a tremendous ability to transmit the
eloquent power of these composers and showed me how that was a key to understanding a wide
range of repertoire.
From 1983-1986 I traveled to New Haven, CT, each week to take a six-hour piano lesson from John Kirkpatrick, who was then a professor Emeritus at Yale University School of Music. I was his only student and he was my mentor. He had studied with Nadia Boulanger in France during the 1920s. Having adopted her rigorous devotion to music, he immersed me in Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, and later, Faure, Stravinsky, Gottschalk, and other great American composers. He taught me to approach the works of contemporary composers with meticulous care and classical composers with a fresh spontaneity.
At Wesleyan University I studied with George Barth, who introduced me to concepts of
performance practice, the idioms and approaches that give voice to composers from different
eras. George currently teaches at Stanford University. He wrote "The Pianist as Orator:
Beethoven and the Transformation of Keyboard Style."
Mildred Victor was my piano teacher growing up in White Plains, NY. She studied with Arthur
Schnabel in New York city as a young girl and was a fabulous pianist. Pianists with physical
problems searched her out for her fluent approach to playing. She spent years developing a
rigorous and unique system of technique that I teach to my students today. The Juilliard Journal recently published an article about her approach to playing in her 80s.