Who is Harry Petsch? By Jody Day
H. Edward Petsch was born April 24, 1931 in Fort Stock- ton to Fannie Warnock and Harry Edward Petsch. His first piano teacher, Mrs. Frances Ligon, instilled in Edward a love of music and was instru-mental in Edward’s admittanceto the prestigious St. Louis Institute of Music after his graduation from Fort Stockton High School. There he studied with great Russian pianist Leo Sirota. Through the Institute, Mr. Petsch also studied with French pianist, conductor, and composer, Nadia Boulanger.
In 1957, Mr. Petsch was invited to teach at the British School in Caracas, Venezuela, where he also performed many concerts.
He returned to the United States several years later to join the piano faculty at the St. Louis Institute for Music and to prepare for his debut concert program.
Mr. Petsch moved to Houston several years later to take over the piano studio of a friend. He soon opened his own studio in Houston for adult piano students. Mr. Petsch enriched the lives of all of his students by his encouragement not only to master the keyboard, but to pursue personal goals and over-come life’s setbacks. Thanks to the H. Edward Petsch Arts and Music Memorial, the Fort Stockton Public Library is able to sponsor a concert series each year, free music lessons for over 60 students every year, support the local writers group, and many other music and artistic efforts.