The Stecher and Horowitz Foundation

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Stecher & Horowitz, Duo Pianists: The Unequaled Journey Of Keyboard Legends

MainPageCollage1JUST RELEASED – A fascinating autobiography 

STECHER & HOROWITZ DUO-PIANISTS is truly the “Unequaled Journey” of a remarkable duo. Tracing their lives from young piano students through years of pursuing a concert career, they created a school for the performing arts; composed and wrote an extensive educational piano library; and finally developed an international piano competition. All is documented in this comprehensive, delightful, and unique story.

I have long admired Melvin Stecher and Norman Horowitz for what they have achieved in the world of music.  More than forty years ago I produced one of their 2-piano recitals for the British Broadcasting Corporation in London, and I well recall the sensation their playing aroused in me and my colleagues.  Melvin and Norman always understood that celebrity is pointless unless one puts it to good use. They have a fascinating story to tell and it is all here in their eagerly awaited book of memoirs. I urge all to read it. 

Author of the three-volume biography of Franz Liszt

                                                                                                                                                               Purchase your copy here

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The Musical Father Figures We All Need: In Conversation with Stecher and Horowitz


by Frank Daykin, June 29, 2016

Language has become so debased in our time, words no longer seem to mean what they once did, but one thing I can guarantee; an hour spent with duo-pianists Melvin Stecher and Norman Horowitz reveal them to be gentlemen, in the truest sense of the word. These dapper men have more energy than most people one-quarter their age. Their manners are impeccable, and their nurturing musical philosophy has kept them and their students going for decades. Their transformation from one of the world’s leading piano duos (five decades) to educators (four decades) to philanthropists (two decades) is dazzling.



The Eighth New York International Piano Competition


by Stephen Sorokoff, June 26 2016

Unlike those TV competitions which have arguable talent and hyped elimination dramatics, The Eighth New York International Piano Competition presented by The Stecher Horowitz Foundation is just the opposite. From June 19-24 at The Manhattan School of Music, twenty two phenomenally talented young pianists ages 16-21 from around the world made some of the greatest music one can hear – and and they all won. Unique in the world of competitions, these gifted pianists compete for cash prizes and concert appearances. There is no elimination of participants during the competition’s four rounds. In addition to the prizes awarded to the winners the Foundation presents a cash award to each of the remaining contestants.

Legendary concert pianists Melvin Stecher and Norman Horowitz have created an event that is different than the traditional competition model where the focus is on winning. The New York International Piano Competition provides an opportunity for contestants to perform, network, exchange information and cultivate a support system that will carry them through their pre-professional years. There was however one obvious winner at the competition. The audiences! They got to hear some of the worlds greatest young pianists.


The Eighth New York International Piano Competition in Review



by Rorianne Schrade, June 24, 2016

Norman Horowitz, Aristo Sham, Melvin Stecher

From left: Norman Horowitz, Aristo Sham ’19, and Melvin Stecher 
Photograph courtesy of Hemsing Associates

It was an honor and pleasure to be asked to review the awards recital of the New York International Piano Competition – now its Eighth Biennial event – as I had enjoyed and written quite favorably about its seventh competition back in 2014. Interested readers may wish to read about the 2014 edition by following the link here: Seventh International Piano Competition in Review. To reiterate my positive reactions, this competition stands out in two special ways from other competitions. First of all, everyone is a winner in a way, because, in addition to the major prizes, there is a finalists’ award for each of the remaining contestants. Secondly, there is outstanding commitment to maintain relationships between the contestants and the organization, under the leadership of Melvin Stecher and Norman Horowitz, both veteran musicians and mentors. To read more about this remarkable duo, the reader can also read a recent article by Frank Daykin entitled “The Musical Father Figures We All Need” by clicking here: The Musical Father Figures We All Need. One may also click here to visit the competition website:



A Pianist on the World Stage


by Aidan Langston – 7.25.16

(NYIPC), is no stranger to the big stage—he’s been playing the piano since he was three years old. Sham, who is originally from Hong Kong, and is a rising sophomore enrolled in the dual-degree A.B.-master’s program with the New England Conservatory (NEC), won the competition’s first prize of $10,000, plus concert and recital appearances to come.

The competition has been held every other year since 2002, featuring pianists ages 16 to 21 from around the world. Its organizer is the Stecher and Horowitz Foundation, whose executive directors—Melvin Stecher and Norman Horowitz—started a music school in 1960. The two met as teens in 1951, and subsequently built a career together as a two-piano performing duo and as educators.

Aristo Sham

Aristo Sham

“I don’t think there are many organizations in the world that are musically oriented who have contributed [such] great talent to Harvard University as the Stecher and Horowitz Foundation,” Horowitz said. He explained that he and Stecher commissioned Walter Piston ’24, D.Mus. ’52, the renowned composer and former Naumburg professor of music, to write a concerto to celebrate Stecher and Horowitz’s tenth anniversary as a duo, which they performed for the first time in 1964. “So we’ve always had sort of a soft spot for Harvard,” Horowitz said.



The Competition Where Everyone Is a Winner: The New York International Piano Competition

From Fanfare Magazine, written by Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold
September/October 2014 Issue

Everyone is a winner. They leave the competition either as a prize-winner or a finalist. Melvin Stecher and Norman Horowitz, founders and executive directors of the New York International Piano Competition, are speaking enthusiastically about one of the policies which distinguishes their contest from so many others. The famous piano duo members, who have enjoyed a long partnership on stage and in educational ventures, were gearing up for the seventh NYIPC, to be held June 22-27, 2014, when Fanfare had an opportunity to speak to them about their foundation and their work with young pianists.


How Do You Get To Carnegie Hall?

From Times Square Chronicles, posted by

Stephen-Sorokoff-1683The punch line of that old joke is “practice”, however in the world of classical music it also takes concerned citizens to support and nurture young artists. Few have been more supportive and inspiring in this endeavor than the legendary performing piano duo of Melvin Stecher and Norman Horowitz. These two distinguished musicians created the Stecher and Horowitz Foundation, a non-profit organization as an outgrowth of The Stecher and Horowitz School of the Arts in Cedarhurst, New York. The school, founded in 1960 was Nassau County’s leading conservatory of music until its transition in 1999 to New York City. Melvin Stecher and Norman Horowitz, Executive Directors of the Foundation and Founders of the original school, devoted a lifetime to more than 15,000 students enrolled during its thirty-nine year history. Concerned about the future, the Foundation realized the next chapter in its mission was to serve as mentors, supporting and inspiring young musicians through the The New York International Piano Competition. Constantly expanding its vision, The Foundation continues to serve and inspire outstanding young musicians worldwide. Recently at it’s 2015 Gala Benefit Evening held at the University Club Ron Losby, President of Steinway and Sons, William S. Hearst, Chairman of the Board of the Foundation, and Melvin Stecher and Norman Horowitz were honored. Jun Hwi Cho, First Prize Winner of the 2014 New York International Piano Competition gave a short concert for Gala guests in the historic magnificently wood paneled dinning room of the University Club.

For additional photos of The Stecher and Horowitz Foundation Gala click below.


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2nd NYIPC laureate awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant

MichaelBrown_credit_Jeanette_BeckmanThe Stecher and Horowitz Foundation proudly announces MICHAEL BROWN, Laureate of the New York International Piano Competition, as a recipient of the prestigious 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, back-to-back with Charlie Albright, Laureate of the New York International Piano Competition and recipient of the 2014 Avery Fisher Career Grant.

The New York Times declared Michael Brown “one of the leading figures in the current renaissance of performer-composers” and “a young piano visionary.” An equally committed pianist and composer, Mr. Brown’s unique artistry is reflected in his creative approach to programming, where he often interweaves the classics with contemporary works and his own compositions. He joins the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two program in 2015. His forthcoming and recent schedule includes a performance with Seattle Symphony musicians; a Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium debut; recitals at Wigmore Hall, the Louvre, Alice Tully Hall and Weill Hall; and performances at music festivals around the United States. Recent commissions and performances of his own compositions include a piano concerto for the Maryland Symphony Orchestra and works for the Look & Listen Festival, Bargemusic and Concert Artists Guild.

The Stecher and Horowitz Foundation is proud to have played a role in Michael’s career since he was awarded the First Ensemble Prize at the 2004 New York International Piano Competition.

We extend our warmest congratulations to Michael, and look forward to participating in his career as mentors and friends.

Melvin Stecher and Norman Horowitz
Executive Directors

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Music Review: Stecher and Horowitz Foundation Presents Charlie Albright

logo_black_colorstatueby Rorianne Schrade for New York Concert Review; New York, NY

Charlie Albright is a pianist whose name music-lovers will be hearing more and more. Winner of a slew of awards, most prominently a 2014 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Mr. Albright is now in the company of classical musicians who have become household names (given a classically oriented household anyway) – Ursula Oppens, Richard Stoltzman, Joshua Bell, Hillary Hahn, Yuja Wang, and many others who have made their marks. Mr. Albright will undoubtedly lend his own additional distinction to this already illustrious group.

As there are no applications for the Avery Fisher Career Grant (only recommendation by a board), the awardees must naturally have sufficient careers to be noticed so some view the award as more of an honorary plum than an early boost. For the early boost, big kudos are due to the Stecher and Horowitz Foundation’s New York International Piano Competition (NYIPC), which awarded their First Prize in 2006 to the then seventeen-year-old Mr. Albright; they are a rare competition that follows up on their laureates, and eight years later they presented him in this concert, an evening not to be forgotten.