Born: April 18, 1932 (The Bronx, NY)
Pianist Joseph Schwartz was a winner of the 1958 Walter W. Naumburg Competition. He gave his first piano recital at age 8 playing "Grandmother's Minuet" by Grieg, and won his first concerto competition at 14. At 17, he entered Juilliard as a scholarship student where he studied with Rosina Lhevinne and Irwin Freundlich and was a classmate of Van Cliburn. Additional piano studies included with Eric Harrison in London, Guido Agosti in Rome, and Wilhelm Kempff in Positano, Italy. He graduated in 1957 and taught in Juilliard's Preparatory Division.
Schwartz has concertized throughout the world giving concerts in the U.S., London, Brussels, Hamburg, Vienna, Rio di Janeiro, Caracas, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Boston, Boulder and Austin; and has been soloist with orchestras in New York, Los Angeles, St. Louis and Pittsburgh.
In 1960, Schwartz became a professor of piano at Oberlin, where among his students have been Jeremy Denk, Spencer Myer and Albert Stanziano. In 1983, he founded Oberlin's Summer Piano Institute, which he directed through 1993. In 1987, Schwartz was named Oberlin's Wheeler Professor of Performance, recognizing his excellence at the height of his career.