Edmund Battersby

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Edmund Battersby (November 10, 1949 - March 25, 2016)[1] was a classical pianist and was a Professor at the Jacobs School of Music of Indiana University.

Edmund Battersby photo by Evan Duning

Life and early career[edit]

Edmund Battersby graduated from the Juilliard School with distinction.[2] His teachers included Barbara Holmquest, Sascha Gorodnitzki and Artur Balsam.[3] Battersby was a member of the piano faculty at Montclair State University before joining the faculty at the Jacobs School of Music [4][5] He was married to Christian Claessens, dancer, teacher and choreographer [6] and had two children, Justine Olivia Battersby and Julian Henry Battersby by a previous marriage to Lucy Guerlac. [7]


In 2006, the American Record Guide wrote that his recordings of Beethoven's Diabelli Variations, on modern and period instruments, put him "in the company of Brendel, Serkin, Schnabel, and Pollini.".[8] This recording was also reviewed in the Irish Times [9] and the Toronto Star described it as, "one of those must-get albums for anyone interested in Beethoven or piano music".[10]

Battersby's many recordings for Musical Heritage Society, Naxos, Koch, and the Schoodic Sound label have been widely reviewed and recognized: the 1992 Grammy Short list for Goyescas of Granados among them.[11]

In 2013, Battersby re-released previously unavailable archival Musical Heritage Society recordings of Felix Mendelssohn's, Songs Without Words(complete), Franz Schubert's, Shorter Works for Piano and The Early Romantic Piano on the Schoodic Sound digital label which was described as "...quite simply a beautiful recording that should be heard by everyone."[12] This was performed on a replica of an 1824 instrument by Conrad Graf crafted by Rodney Regier of Freeport, Maine.[12] Edmund Battersby's From Iberia was released by Schoodic Sound in 2014.

Selected discography[edit]

  • Granados: Goyescas; Nin-Culmell: Tonadas (Koch 1990)
  • Rachmaninoff: Preludes and Etudes Tableaux, Opp. 22, 33 and 39 (Koch 1993)
  • Dvořák: Works for Violin and Piano, Qian Zhou (Naxos 2001)
  • Dvořák: Ballad,Capriccio & Silent Woods, Qian Zhou (Naxos 2002)
  • Beethoven: Variations on a waltz by Diabelli, for piano in C major ("Diabelli Variations"), Op. 120 (Naxos, 2005)
  • The Early Romantic Piano:Schumann and Chopin (2012)
  • Mendelssohn: Songs Without Words" (2012)
  • Franz Schubert: Shorter works for piano (2013)
  • Isaac Albeniz: From Iberia (2014)


During his career, Battersby gave recitals worldwide, including performances at Wigmore Hall, London; Carnegie Hall, New York; the Great Performers series at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; the Library of Congress, Washington;[13] and the Kennedy Center.[14]

Battersby performed with the Vermeer Quartet, the Tokyo String Quartet and the Orion String Quartet,[15] and has collaborated with conductors such as McGegan, Schwarz and Schuller [16]

In 1990 Battersby played a recital at the National Museum of American History on a 140-year-old Erard piano that was made for Prince Albert at the request of Queen Victoria.[17]


Examples of published reviews of his performances:

  • The Washington Post (1977), reviewing his concert at the Phillips Collection [18]
  • New York Times (1982), reviewing a concert at the 92d Street Y [19]
  • New York Times (1985), reviewing Battersby's performance accompanying Barbara Stein Mallow, describing him as "a pianist of uncommon refinement"[20]
  • The Irish Times (2002), reviewing a recital of works by Mozart, Schumann, and Chopin at Dagg Hall where Battersby's "fluent" and "faithfull" playing gave "a fresh insight into a bygone world"[21]
  • The Herald Times (2011), reviewing a concert at Auer Hall in Bloomington, IN described him as a "superb pianist" and "master of the keyboard" [22]
  • International Piano (January/February 2014), reviewing his masterclass at The Piano Academy of Ireland: Battersby is quoted as telling a student, "'Your technique is in your ear, it's not in your hands.' and given the transformation he had just wrought, the point was well made."[23]

Festivals and masterclasses[edit]

Battersby performed at a number of festivals around the world, and gave masterclasses in the art of playing piano:




  • Early Music America Magazine [24]
  • The Art of the Romantic piano, Edmund Battersby on What Early Instruments can teach us and Rachmaninoff Roots in Keyboard Classics [25]

Battersby is included as an authority in Robert Cunningham's biography of Sergei Rachmaninoff,[26] as well as being a contributing author for Remembering Horowitz: 125 Pianists Recall a Legend by David Dubal.[27]

Battersby was interviewed about his career by Heidi Waleson in Early Music America,[28] and in 2013 by Jerry Dubins for the January 2013 issue of Fanfare Magazine.[29]


Battersby is included in: "Piano Lessons: Music, Love and True Adventures", by Noah Adams,[30] two reference books by David Dubal devoted to pianists, "The Art of the Piano; its Performers, Literature and Recordings [31] and The Art of the Piano; an Encyclopedia of Performers by David Dubal [32] and in the Routledge Studies in Musical Genera series on 19th Century Piano Music by Larry Todd [33]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Acclaimed pianist Edmund Battersby died March 25
  2. ^ Adams, Noah (1996). Piano Lessons:Music, Love and True Adventures. New York, NY: Random House. p. 133. ISBN 0-385-31821-9.
  3. ^ Goldsmith, Harris (April 3, 2003). "Edmund Battersby, Piano". New York Concert review.
  4. ^ Battersby, Edmund. "Jacobs School of Music Faculty". Indiana University. Retrieved March 21, 2013.
  5. ^ Battersby, Edmund. "Faculty Bio". School of Music website. Indiana University. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
  6. ^ Claessens, Christian. "Jacobs School of Music Faculty". Retrieved 14 February 2015.
  7. ^ Battersby, Edmund. "Jacobs School of Music Mourns Death of Piano Professor Edmund Battersby". Indiana University. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  8. ^ Becker, Alan (May–June 2006). "Diabelli Variations". American Record Guide. 69 (3): 80.
  9. ^ Dervan, Micheal (9 September 2005). "Latest releases reviewed". The Irish Times.
  10. ^ Terauds, John (5 October 2006). "Between Cohen & Cobain". The Toronto Star.
  11. ^ McLellan, Joseph (October 20, 1991). "Edmund Battersby, pianist". The Washington post.
  12. ^ a b Dubins, Jerry (January–February 2013). "Schumann Chopin: Schoodic 1002". Fanfare Magazine. 36 (3): 36.
  13. ^ Roberts, Ed (15 June 1988). "Sparkling Chamber Music at Library of Congress Festival". The Washington Post.
  14. ^ Battersby, Edmund. "biography". Naxos. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
  15. ^ Battersby, Edmund. "Pro Music Rara". Towsen University. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
  16. ^ Battersby, Edmund. "Euro Music Festival". Euro Arts Festival. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
  17. ^ Thomas, Dana (22 April 1990). "The Piano Built for a Prince". The Washington Post.
  18. ^ Margave, Wendell (21 March 1977). "Edmund Battersby". The Washington Post.
  19. ^ Rothstein, Edward (26 March 1982). "Piano recital: Battersby". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
  20. ^ Holland, Bernard (2 April 1985). "Cello: Barbara Mallow". The New York Times.
  21. ^ Sealy, Douglas (13 November 2002). "Reviews". The Irish Times.
  22. ^ Jacobi, Peter (11 September 2011). "Pianist commits acts of Keyboard Wizardry". Herald Times. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
  23. ^ Dervan, Michael (January–February 2014). "Irish Masterclass". International Piano.
  24. ^ Battersby, Edmund (Fall 2005). "Recording the Diabelli Variations:Double Duty". Early Music America. 11 (3): 30–33, 52.
  25. ^ Battersby, Edmund (May 1993). "Rachmaninoff Roots". Keyboard classics. 13 (5): 6–9.
  26. ^ Cunningham, Robert (2001). Sergei Rachmaninoff: A Bio-Bibliography. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. pp. 62, 68, 328. ISBN 0-313-30907-8.
  27. ^ Dubal, David (1993). Remembering Horowitz: 125 Pianists Recall a Legend. New York, NY: Schirmer. p. 35. ISBN 0028706765.
  28. ^ Waleson, Heidi (December 2004). "Mainstream Musicians Performing in Style". Early Music America. Winter. 10 (4): 27, 39.
  29. ^ Dubins, Jerry (January–February 2013). "A Conversation with Pianist Edmund Battersby". Fanfare. 36 (3): 18–34. Archived from the original on 30 November 2015. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
  30. ^ Adams, Noah (1996). Piano Lessons: Music, Love and True Adventures. New York, NY: Random House. pp. 133–135. ISBN 0-385-31821-9.
  31. ^ Dubal, David (2004). The Art of the Piano: Its performers, literature and recordings. Pompton Plains, NJ: Amadeus. p. 35. ISBN 1-57467-088-3.
  32. ^ Dubal, David (1990). The Art of the Piano, an Encyclopedia. London: Tauris. pp. 366, 449. ISBN 1850432171.
  33. ^ Todd, Larry (2004). 19th Century Piano Music. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 32–34. ISBN 0-41596890-9.