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On July 28, 1970, American classical pianist Jerome Lowenthal first appeared under the spotlight on the Lobero stage.

50 years and exactly 100 glorious Lobero concerts later (yes, we counted), Maestro Lowenthal continues to be a force in the world of classical music. At the age of 88, he performs annually in music festivals around the globe and conducts numerous masterclasses with exceptional young pianists.

Jerome Lowenthal was born in Philadelphia in 1932 and made his debut as a solo pianist at the age of 13 with the Philadelphia Orchestra. In an interview, Mr. Lowenthal explained how piano came naturally to him at a very young age.

“There was a piano in my family home and that was true of almost everybody from even lower-middle-class circumstances when I was a child. And piano lessons were considered something that had to be done. My sister was taking lessons and not doing particularly well, and when she left the piano I would toddle over and play her pieces by ear. I went to the piano as if I had been born to do that, and I never looked back.”

In his long career, Jerome Lowenthal has performed with famous conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Seiji Ozawa, Michael Tilson Thomas, Eugene Ormandy, and Leonard Bernstein. He has played with major orchestras across the United States and has been a frequent judge at international piano competitions.

Jerome Lowenthal is regarded as a specialist in Franz Liszt, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, and Béla Bartók. He has been described as a “virtuoso of the fingers and emotions” who plays with a “youthful intensity and eloquence born of vast life experience.”

In his decades of performing at the Lobero Theatre as part of the Music Academy of the West’s summer seasons, Lowenthal has twice played sonatas with violinist Itzhak Perlman. He has also shared the Lobero stage and performed a piano duo with Ronit Amir (his late wife).

Besides his stellar performing career, Jerome Lowenthal is also known as a master teacher. For 50 years he served on the faculty of Santa Barbara’s Music Academy of the West, and he continues to teach at New York’s Juilliard School, where he has been a faculty member since 1991. Known for his dry wit and positive and encouraging mentoring, Maestro Lowenthal has helped thousands of talented pianists define their concept of sound and find their calling as musicians.

While we wait in the wings for things to return to normal, we hope you enjoy a peek into the Lobero archives.

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