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Pearl Amster (Piano)

Born: May 17, 1917 - Brooklyn, New York, USA
Died: September 22, 2000 - Austin, Texas, USA

The American pianist and teacher, Pearl Amster (born: Pearl Salzman), was the daughter of Joseph and Dorothy Salzman. She studied under Rose Raymond and Rosalyn Tureck.

Pearl Amster performed as a concert pianist and taught music for many years. Her accomplishments include her debut at Town Hall, New York City, at age 16; her recognition as the first woman awarded an artist diploma from the National Guild of Music and Teachers; her performance at Steinway Concert Hall (a part of Carnegie Hall) in 1953; and her compact disk, “An Inspired Collection”, recorded on her 80th birthday.

In 1967 Amster and her husband, Gus, moved to Austin where she continued to perform and teach piano. She was a beloved performer and patron of many Austin youth music programs. She hosted social events such as the Austin Gilbert and Sullivan Society's monthly soirees. She performed for many years at the Wednesday Morning Music Club; volunteered as an usher at the Capitol City Playhouse, Zachary Scott Theatre, the Paramount, and the University of Texas Performing Arts Center; served on the boards of the Violet Crown Players and the Austin Civic Orchestra; and operated two music stores, Amster Music and Art and Amster Piano Barn. In 1984 the Austin Civic Orchestra named its annual youth concerto competition and scholarship in honor of Pearl Amster for her support of youth performance opportunities.

Amster gave piano lessons and held recitals in her Austin home where she lived for 33 years. She treated her students like family members and maintained contact with many of them long after they left her tutelage. Gus Amster, to whom she was married for 45 years, died in 1986, and Pearl Amster died of kidney failure in Austin in 2000. The couple was survived by two daughters.

Source: Texas State Historical Association Website (Author: Cheryl L. Simon)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (October 2011)

Pearl Amster: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

Amster, Pearl (Texas State Historical Association)



Austin American-Statesman, September 29, 2000; March 10, 2001. Austin Chronicle, September 29, 2000

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