Carnegie Mellon University

School of Music

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Henry Spinelli photoThe Henry Spinelli Story

A well-maintained high-quality used piano can be just as useful as a new piano. There are two coming our way, but we’re in no hurry. 

Among our distinguished alumni is pianist Henry Spinelli (CFA ‘55), who I am honored to know and to call a friend. Here’s a brief biography:

Pianist Henry Spinelli is Emeritus Professor of Music at Chatham University where he also served as Artistic Director of the Laboratory School of Music.  He is an alumnus of the Department of Music at Carnegie Institute of Technology and has recently served as Artist-Lecturer in the School of Music at Carnegie Mellon. He has given innumerable concerts throughout the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean, and has performed repeatedly in New York City in Carnegie Recital Hall, Town Hall, and Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. In Washington, D.C., he appeared under the auspices of the Washington Performing Arts Society in recital at the Kennedy Center. He has been heard frequently on classical WQED-FM in Pittsburgh and has been featured on the NPR radio show “Grand Piano”. In addition to traditional repertoire for the piano, Spinelli's programs have focused on 20th-century music. He has given many lecture recitals on composers of the Belle Epoque and the music of Olivier Messiaen, and he is well-known for his performances of Charles Ives' "Concord" Sonata.    

It gives me great pleasure to report that Henry is still practicing, performing, and especially recording at 83 years of age. He sounds better than ever. As proof, check out the recording he did in 2013, Henry Spinelli – 80, a terrific disc of Scarlatti, Schubert, Faure, Irving Fine, Gershwin, and three etudes written by our own Earl Wild, who wasn’t a bad little pianist himself.

Henry practices in his home studio on two beautiful 7-foot pianos, a Baldwin and a Bechstein, which he keeps in pristine condition. Henry let me know that when the time comes, he will gift these pianos to the Carnegie Mellon School of Music. I am sincerely grateful to Henry for his wonderful generosity, and we look forward to adding these instruments to the School. So we can continue to enjoy Henry’s artistry, I hope that time is many years in the future. 

–Denis Colwell