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.
– ALAN WALKER
Author of the three-volume biography of Franz Liszt
The 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.
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.
Melvin Stecher and Norman Horowitz know a good pianist when they hear one.
New York-based and partners in pianism for over six decades (they met at the age of 17), they are the creators of the New York International Piano Competition, which starts June 23 at the Manhattan School of Music. In a telephone interview with Superconductor these two pianists discussed their piano competition with energy and eagerness, occasionally interlocuting for each other with the ease of long musical partnership.
The 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
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.
Music competitions today seem to sprout up practically anywhere that there are instruments, such that the array of contest names in winners’ biographies rapidly becomes a blur, from the first annual This prize to second national That award. I must confess that, because of this blur, it took me a while to take notice of the Stecher and Horowitz Foundation’s New York International Piano Competition (NYIPC), which started in 2002. Naturally I had known the names of duo-pianists Melvin Stecher and Norman Horowitz (no, not that Horowitz!), as the duo had enjoyed decades as a performing team since 1951, including being the dedicatees of Walter Piston’s Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra and giving it its premiere. In addition, the duo had created a school, a foundation, teaching publications, and more. What I had not realized, though, was that these two musicians, along with their distinguished colleagues and friends, were on a mission to do something very big for the future piano world. They have done just that with the NYIPC.
The Stecher and Horowitz Foundation is pleased to announce the results of the 7th New York International Piano Competition. Held at The Manhattan School of Music from June 23– 27, 2014, the NYIPC hosted young pianists, ages 16-21, from around the world. The week-long event included Preliminary, Semi-final, Concerto and Ensemble Rounds as well as master classes and seminars.
Unique to the New York International Piano Competition is its policy of no elimination; each contestant performed in all four rounds and was judged by a jury of distinguished performers and pedagogues. Every pianist returns home either as a prize winner or finalist.
Congratulations to all of the talented young musicians who participated!
We invite you to attend the Seventh New York International Piano Competition in New York City, presented under the auspices of The Stecher and Horowitz Foundation.
From June 23-27, twenty-two young pianists, representing some of the finest teachers and conservatories in the world, will compete for $50,000 in cash prizes, awards and concert appearances. Join us daily at the Manhattan School of Music to hear the Preliminary, Semi-Final, Final and Ensemble Rounds. Admission is free and open to the public; a complete schedule can be found here.
Selected through a rigorous screening process, this year’s contestants hail from the United Kingdom, China, Taiwan, Finland, the Republic of Georgia, South Korea and the United States. Each contestant is judged by a jury of distinguished members of the international music community. A first in the world of competitions, there is no elimination of participants during the NYIPC’s four rounds. In addition to prizes awarded to the winners, the Foundation presents a $1,000 cash award to each of the remaining contestants. The NYIPC also provides an opportunity for contestants to perform, network, exchange information and cultivate a suport system that will carry them through their professional years. Winners and finalists are featured on our Young Artists Series, a signature professional development progam that provides performance opportunities in community-based venues.
For up-to-the-minute updates on the competition, ‘like’ the NYIPC Facebook page or follow us on Twitter!