Irving Heller

Irving Heller. Pianist, teacher, b Providence, RI, 18 Nov 1921, landed immigrant in Canada 1960, died Victoria 7 Sep 2012; diploma (Juilliard) 1942.

Pianist, teacher, b Providence, RI, 18 Nov 1921, landed immigrant in Canada 1960, died Victoria 7 Sep 2012; diploma (Juilliard) 1942. Heller studied 1940-3 at the Juilliard School with Carl Friedberg (piano) and Vittorio Giannini (composition), and obtained the Harry Rosenberg Memorial Prize in 1942 as best pianist among the graduating students. After working with Eduard Steuermann in New York City and California, he studied 1948-9 in Paris at the École normale de musique with Yves Nat (piano) and at the Paris Conservatory with Nadia Boulanger (composition). He returned to New York in 1956 and then moved to Montreal, where he taught piano 1960-78 at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal. He also taught at the Jeunesses Musicales of Canada Orford Arts Centre, at McGill University, at University of Montreal and at University of Ottawa. Richard Gresko, Claude Savard, and Claude Vivier were among his pupils. After 1968 he and Monique Marcil shared the artistic direction of the Montreal International Music Competition. He was a member of the juries of several international piano competitions, including those at Moscow (Tchaikovsky Competition, 1970 and 1974), Lisbon (Vianna da Motta 1971), Munich (1977), and Warsaw (International Chopin Competition 1980). Heller still gave recitals in Canada, the USA, and Europe as late as the 1990s. He also performed in South America. He was married to the music critic and administrator Zelda Heller.