In Memory Of Leonard Shure

April 10, 1910 - February 28, 1995

Ted Shure's connection with Northeast Ohio predates his birth.

His father and teacher, internationally acclaimed concert pianist and pedagogue, Leonard Shure, held faculty and chairman positions at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Cleveland Music School Settlement in the 1940s and early 1950s.

Under the baton of George Szell, he was a frequent soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra.

Prior to his days in Cleveland, Mr. Shure, upon returning from his studies with Artur Schnabel in Berlin in 1933, began his professional teaching career at the Longy School and the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and his adult professional performing career (his first childhood performances began at age four) as a soloist with Serge Koussevitzky and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Shure was also the first pianist to perform at Tanglewood, the summer home for the BSO. Following his tenure in Cleveland, Leonard Shure taught at the Mannes College of Music in New York, the University of Texas at Austin, Boston University, and, in 1976, finally back to the New England Conservatory of Music.

It was from there that he retired in 1990 following a sold out recital celebrating his 80th birthday.

Ted Shure, 19, with his father Leonard Shure.Ted Shure, 19, with his father Leonard Shure.

Leonard Shure warming up prior to a benefit recital on Nantucket Island.Leonard Shure warming up prior to a benefit recital on Nantucket Island.

The Shure musical lineage traces directly back to Beethoven.

Ted studied with his father, Leonard, who studied with the renowned pedagogue, Artur Schnabel, who studied with Theodor Leschetizky, who studied with Carl Czerny (widely known for his technical studies for the piano), who studied with Beethoven himself.

Unlike many children of famous parents, Ted always desired a student/teacher relationship with his father.

Ted remembers, "My father treated me no differently than any other student. Perhaps that is why I was able to keep the student/teacher and father/son relationships separate." Ted continues, "When I walked into the studio, there was always a moment of loving admiration shared between us. However, once I sat at the piano, it was all about the music." 

As his reputation goes, Leonard Shure was a tough teacher. "My father was extremely demanding, but he was always focused on helping his students achieve the results that the music asks of us." On the rare occasion that Ted wasn't prepared for a lesson, he felt it more than other students because of the father/son bond. "But, when I had a good lesson," Ted reminisces, "it was as near a godly experience as one could possibly imagine." After one particular lesson, Ted recalls sitting in the kitchen with his father. Judy, Leonard's wife of 40 years, asked how the lesson went. "My father looked over at me, smiled gently and said, 'He did alright.' I remember feeling my face flush, barely able to contain my excitement. That was an enormous compliment."

The lessons that Ted learned from his father remain with him today. "I can still hear my father's voice when I'm studying a score," Ted reflects. "Every note is accounted for, every phrase has meaning. Once you feel like you finally have a piece conquered, it is time to go back and study it further. Sometimes the changes were subtle, but the difference spoke volumes."

As a teacher, Ted is dedicated to imparting the wisdom and musical knowledge that he learned from his father to a new generation of musicians and is doing so through his rapidly growing and successful studio.

Leonard Shure passed away on February 28, 1995, but his legacy lives on through the hearts and minds of his students throughout the world, through the preservation of all his recorded performances, and in the heart of his loving and devoted son, Ted. 

Visit Leonard Shure's YouTube Channel.