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Arthur Loesser (Piano)

Born: August 26, 1894 - New York City, New York, USA
Died: January 4, 1969 - Cleveland, Ohio, USA

The steemed American pianist, teacher and writer on music, Arthur Loesser [half brother of the well-known Broadway composer Frank (Henry) Loesser], was born of German descent. He attended the New York public schools, College of the City of New York, and Columbia University. His formal musical education was acquired, for the most part, at the Institute of Musical Art, in New York, where he studied with Sigismund Stojowski and Percy Goetschius, and from which he graduated in 1912 with highest honors.

Arthur Loesser made his debut as a concert pianist in Berlin in 1913. He first played in New York in 1916. He made numerous tours throughout the USA and Australia with Maud Powell (1914-1919), to Japan, China, and the Philippines with Mischa Elman (1920-1921), and again the USA with Ernestine Schumann-Heink (1921-1922). In 1926 he was appointed a professor of piano at the Cleveland Institute of Music. In 1953, he became Head of the Piano Department at that institution.

During World War II, from 1943, Arthur Loesser served in US Army in the Japanese intlligence department, retiring with the rank of major. He was ordered to Tokyo during the early months of the occupation, in the fall and winter of 1945-1946. . He mastered the language and after the war gave lectures in Tokyo. During that time he was soloist with the Nippon Philharmonic at Hibiya Hall, playing the Frédéric Chopin's Concerto in E minor, thus becoming the first American after the war, and while still in uniform, to perform music before a large Japanese audience

Arthur Loesser was an active writer. From 1936 to 1941, he was editor of the program books of the Cleveland Orchestra. His book Men Women and Pianos: A Social History was published by Simon and Schuster in 1954. It became a standard work among literature written about the piano. Another book, Humor in American Song, was published in 1943.

An active recitalist and lecturer until his death in 1969, Arthur Loesser also was Cofounder and First President of the International Piano Library [which later became IPAM].

Source: University of Mayland Website; Bakerís Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Classical Musicians (1997)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (November 2006)

Arthur Loesser: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

Arthur Loesser (International Piano Archives at Maryland)
Arthur Loesser (West Shore Concert Series)
Arthur Loesser - Biography (AMG)

Arthur Loesser in Recital (Classical Voice of North Carolina)
Liner notes - Arthur Loesser (Marston Records)


Arthur Loesser: Men, Women and Pianos: A Social History (Dover Publications). Buy this book at:
Arthur Loesser: Humor in American Song.
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