Jean Barr, professor of piano accompanying and chamber music at the Eastman School of Music, has received the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Achievement Award. The award is the organization’s highest honor and recognizes individuals who have made significant and lasting contributions to the music teaching profession.
The first keyboard artist in the United States to receive a doctoral degree in accompanying, Barr is considered by many to be a pioneer in her field. She has taught and lectured throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.
At the outset of her career, Barr was accompanist for the master classes of Jascha Heifetz, Gregor Piatigorsky, William Primrose, and Martial Singher. She has performed with many distinguished artists, including cellists Pierre Fournier and Mstislav Rostropovich.
Barr has organized significant chamber music concerts for MTNA and for the National Conference on Piano Pedagogy. She also was instrumental in the creation of the MTNA’s Collaborative Advisory Committee and was its first chair.
In 1994, the Eastman School honored Barr with the Eisenhart Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 2004, she received the University of Rochester’s Susan B. Anthony Lifetime Achievement Award.
Prior to joining the Eastman faculty in 1988, Barr taught at the University of Southern California, the University of Texas at Austin, and Arizona State University. At Eastman, she is the founding director of graduate programs in piano accompany and chamber music. She also served for many years on the faculty of the International Workshops, which offered summer seminars for music teachers, performers, and artists from around the world.
Barr received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 1972 from the University of Southern California, where she studied with celebrated accompanist Gwendolyn Koldofsky.
The Music Teachers National Association, with nearly 24,000 independent and collegiate music teacher members, was founded in 1876 and is the oldest professional music teachers’ association in the United States.
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