Muriel Kerr

Muriel Kerr. Pianist, teacher, b Regina 18 Jan 1911, d Los Angeles 18 Sep 1963. She began her career at seven, performing a Mozart concerto. She studied with Paul Wells in Toronto, with Alexander Raab in Chicago, and with Percy Grainger.

Kerr, Muriel

Muriel Kerr. Pianist, teacher, b Regina 18 Jan 1911, d Los Angeles 18 Sep 1963. She began her career at seven, performing a Mozart concerto. She studied with Paul Wells in Toronto, with Alexander Raab in Chicago, and with Percy Grainger. She began lessons with Ernest Hutcheson in 1922 after a Canadian tour and continued with him 1926-31 at the Juilliard Graduate School, making a Carnegie Hall debut 5 Dec 1928 in Rachmaninoff's Concerto No. 2 with the Philharmonic SO of New York conducted by Mengelberg and a Town Hall recital debut in January 1929. After these successful debuts she undertook numerous tours of Canada and the USA, appearing with orchestras in Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, and Toronto and at various music festivals including that at Worcester, Mass, in 1930. She made her first European tour in 1948. She taught 1942-9 at the Juilliard School and 1955-63 at the University of Southern California. In 1957 she became the director of the Punahou Music School in Honolulu and organized there an annual festival of contemporary music and art. She was honoured in 1958 by the Sigma Alpha Iota for her contribution to the musical development of Hawaii. Muriel Kerr's concert repertoire ranged from Bach to Hindemith, and critics praised her for an art which combined meticulous attention to detail and great freedom of expression. She recorded piano music of Schumann and Hindemith (LM-2891) for RCA Victor.