ANDREW W. MELLON CHAIR IN PIANO
Established in 1972 by the Peabody Institute with funds from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Image Credit: Trinity Court Studio ANDREW W. MELLON, born in 1855, was a financier, diplomat, and industrialist. Mr. Mellon helped found the Union Trust Company of Pittsburgh, the Gulf Oil Corporation, and the Pittsburgh Coal Company. In 1921, he left the presidency of the Mellon National Bank to become U.S. secretary of the treasury, serving for ten years under presidents Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover. He later served as ambassador to Great Britain during 1932-33. Upon his death in 1937, Mr. Mellon left his vast collection of art to create the National Gallery of Art and enough funds for the construction of the building on the Washington, DC, mall. Four chairs at Hopkins are named for Andrew W. Mellon, two at the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, one at the Peabody Conservatory, and one at the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies.

 

The ANDREW W. MELLON FOUNDATION endowed the Andrew W. Mellon Professorship in the Humanities at the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences to "strengthen the influence of the humanities in the education programs" of The Johns Hopkins University. The Andrew W. Mellon Chair in Piano was created to strengthen the Peabody Conservatory. The Mellon Foundation makes grants on a selective basis to institutions in higher education, in cultural affairs and the performing arts, in population, in conservation and the environment, and in public affairs.

 

LEON FLEISHER, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Piano, is world-renowned. He made his debut with the New York Philharmonic at age 16, and in 1952, was the first American to win first prize in the Queen Elisabeth of Belgium Competition. The Fleisher recordings of all five Beethoven concertos, made in the 1950s, are still regarded as definitive. When a problem with his right hand developed in the 1960s, Mr. Fleisher turned to piano repertoire for the left hand, to chamber music and to conducting. He served as artistic director of the Tanglewood Music Center from 1985 to 1997. In his four decades at Peabody, his studio has attracted students from around the world. In 2002 he received the title honorary professor at the Shanghai Conservatory.