Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Elmer Steuk, Piano Instructor

Elmer Carl Steuk was born in Sandusky on July 29, 1883, to Edward Leopold and Julia Harms Steuk. Both the Steuk and Harms families were connected with the business of growing grapes and the manufacturing of wine. For forty years, Elmer C. Steuk was a piano instructor in Sandusky. His obituary in the 1942 Obituary Notebook (in the library's genealogy section) stated that Elmer Steuk was “recognized as one of the city’s outstanding musicians.” Elmer spent many years studying music, studying in Europe under those considered masters of the piano.

One of Elmer Steuk’s teachers was Theodor Leschetizky. The August 12, 1911 Sandusky Register reported that Elmer Steuk was to sail to Europe on September 19, to continue his studies under Leschetizky, who was considered “the world’s most celebrated teacher of the pianoforte.” The article continued “Mr. Steuk is truly an artist and since his study under the great master, has achieved an enviable reputation for himself. His playing is brilliant and his interpretations, artistic, beautiful and soul satisfying. Sandusky should be proud of one so talented.” The Arts Collection of the Archives Research Center of the Sandusky Library has a file containing several programs from the piano recitals of the students of Elmer Steuk.
Elmer’s younger brother, Edward F. Steuk, was also a music instructor. Edward Steuk’s obituary, which appeared in the June 22, 1964 Sandusky Register, indicated that Edward was regarded as “one of Sandusky’s leading pianists, both as an instructor and accompanist.”

Theodor Lescheitizky’s motto was: “"No life without art, no art without life.” The Oakland Cemetery tombstones of both Elmer and Edward Steuk bear the inscription of Theodor Lescheitizky’s motto.

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