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Earl Wild (1915 - 2010)

Earl Wild’s parents were not musical but their child was exceptionally talented, possessing perfect pitch and an impressive sight-reading ability. His first teachers, all local, were Henry Volz, Harry Archer and Mrs Hanson. At six he was enrolled at the Pittsburgh Musical Institute where he studied with Alice Walker, and from the age of twelve until graduation he studied with Selmar Jansen, who had been a pupil of both Xaver Scharwenka and Eugen d’Albert. Due to the Depression and the break up of his parents’ marriage, Wild had to earn money to help support his mother, so at the age of thirteen he managed to get jobs at the local radio station KDKA, playing the piano or making arrangements for orchestral groups. He continued this work until he graduated, and then became pianist for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra working under such conductors as Fritz Reiner and Otto Klemperer.



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