Jean Barr is Professor Emerita of Piano Accompanying and Chamber Music at the Eastman School of Music, where she founded the collaborative piano degree programs in 1988. The first person in the United States to earn a doctoral degree in Accompanying, she studied with Gwendolyn Koldofsky at the University of Southern California. At the outset of her career, she was pianist for the master classes of Jascha Heifetz, Gregor Piatigorsky, William Primrose and Martial Singher.
Considered by many to be a pioneer in the field, Jean Barr has sought to develop a broad understanding of and appreciation for the collaborative arts by creating and directing graduate degree programs at a number of prestigious universities. She also worked closely with the Music Teachers National Association and the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy to establish a presence for collaborative artists within those organizations.
Much in demand as a guest lecturer and master teacher, Jean Barr has given classes in Asia, Europe, the former Soviet Union, and throughout the United States, as well as Australia and New Zealand. She has performed in the United States and abroad with such distinguished artists as James Dunham, Gerald Fischbach, Pierre Fournier, Donald McInnes, Eduard Melkus, Igor Ozim, Gabor Rejto, Mstislav Rostropovich, Eudice Shapiro, and Zvi Zeitlin.
Previous teaching positions include the University of Southern California, the University of Texas at Austin, Arizona State University and the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California. For many summers she was on the faculty of the International Workshops and recently enjoyed being at the Aspen Music Festival and School as a visiting faculty member in collaborative piano.
Jean Barr received the Eastman School of Music’s prestigious Eisenhart Award for Excellence in Teaching (1994); the University of Rochester’s Susan B. Anthony Lifetime Achievement Award (2004); The New York State Music Teachers Association Citation (2004); the Music Teachers National Association Achievement Award (2008); the National Conference on Piano Pedagogy’s Outstanding Service Recognition Award (2019), and the Eastman School of Music’s Centennial Award (2022).