American pianist, composer and teacher Seymour Bernstein was born in Newark, New Jersey on 24 April 1927, and began teaching aged fifteen, when his teacher lara asked him to supervise the practicing of younger pupils. At seventeen he won the Griffith Artist Award. His teachers included Clifford Curzon, Nadia Boulanger and George Enescu.
Serving in the US Army during the Korean War, he performed for military leaders and on the front lines, and began to recognise his desire to bring the message of music to wider audiences. This he achieved with a concert career that took him to Europe, Asia and throughout the Americas, also offering lecture recitals and masterclasses wherever possible, and his books - With Your Own Two Hands: Self-Discovery Through Music, Twenty Lessons in Keyboard Choreography, Monsters and Angels: Surviving a Career in Music and Chopin: Interpreting His Notational Symbols.
He gave the first perfomance of Villa-Lobos' Piano Concerto No 2 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and won a series of prizes and grants. He is also a prolific composer, with works ranging from teaching materials to advanced concert pieces. He teaches in his New York City studio, and is also a professor of music and music education at New York University. He became the subject of Ethan Hawke's film Seymour: An Introduction, released in 2015.
A selection of M&V articles about Seymour Bernstein
Seymour: An Introduction - The piano teacher everyone should have, by Karen Haid