Friday, July 22, 2011

Arthur Loesser

Arthur Loesser (Aug. 26, 1894 - Jan. 4, 1969) was born in New York City and began playing piano at age six. A graduate of Columbia and the Institute of Musical Art (later known as Julliard) he toured the world as a concert pianist beginning in 1913.

During World War II he was an officer and a Japanese interpreter, and later became the first American to appear in Japan after the war, with the Nippon Symphony.

Loesser had joined the faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music in 1926, becoming head of the piano department in 1953. He was program editor and annotator for the Cleveland Orchestra (1937 - 1942), and a music critic for the Cleveland Press (1938 - 1956).

He also wrote popular books on music, Humor in American Song (1943) and Men, Women, and Pianos: A Social History (1954).

DID YOU KNOW ..? Loesser tells us the reason the piano became the most acceptable instrument for genteel ladies in the Western World is because of all of the things women aren't required to do to play one. They need not purse their lips, nor wrap them around anything, spread their legs or crane their necks. They just sit up straight and tap their fingers. But then, Loesser never saw Tori Amos.

In 1968, Loesser was awarded a special citation from the Cleveland Arts Prize for Distinguished Service to the Arts.

Arthur was the elder half-brother to Broadway composer Frank Loesser. It was Arthur who referred to himself as "the evil of two Loessers," a line Frank would steal and use in reference to his first wife.

Encyclopedia of Cleveland History
Cleveland Arts Prize

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