Louis Crowder was born in Springfield, Illinois on July 5, 1907. He graduated from the School of Fine Arts of the Carnegie Institute of Technology with a major in piano under Selmar Janson, and was awarded several scholarships for study in Europe. He went on to study in Berlin with Eugen D'Albert, one of the greatest of Liszt's pupils, and with Egon Petri, equally famous as pianist and pedagogue. Robert Casadesus, then unknown in this country, drew him to Paris, where he began, under the guidance of the great Frenchman, studies that continued through the next two years and intermittently for several years thereafter. Extensive stays in Spain gained him an acquaintance with yet another musical culture.
Before returning from his European studies, Crowder played a series of concerts in European capitals, still in their pre-World War II artistic vitality. London, Paris, Vienna, Budapest, Berlin, Leipzig, and other received him with favor, as did many American pianists to perform in Europe. On invitation of the Norway America Association, he gave a series of concerts in a number of Norwegian cities, and in recognition was received by the late King Haakon.
Crowder's teaching career included appointments at Mount Union College at Alliance of Ohio, the Iowa State Teacher's College at Cedar Falls of Iowa, Northwestern University at Evanston of Illinois, University of Connecticut at Storrs. He had conducted conferences in piano pedagogy and piano workshops in various cities and colleges.
SERIES I - PERFORMANCE FILES
Here are found programs, reviews, advertisements, and promotional materials that are related to specific performances of Louis Crowder. The materials are organized chronologically by performance date, and span the period 1930 through 1975. The numbers in parentheses represent the number of copies in that subdivision. The letters in italic indicate the review from certain concerts.
SERIES II - CORRESPONDENCE
Here are found various documents that have been divided into four categories. The materials are organized chronologically by date.
- Clavier Correspondence
- Publisher Correspondence
- Domestic Correspondence
- Foreign Correspondence
SERIES III - SUBJECT FILES
This series is divided into two categories:
- Crowder as Adjudicator, Clinician, Teacher
- Magazine & Newspaper Articles
SERIES IV - WRITINGS
This series is divided into three categories:
- Published Writings
- Unpublished Writings
- The major item in this category is the typescript of a large, exhaustive, unpublished book devoted to the anatomical and physical aspects of piano technique. This detailed, illustrated study was Crowder's magnum opus and it occupied his energies for many years
- Sketch papers of published writings
SERIES V - MISCELLANEOUS
This series contains several recommendation letters, sketch papers and photographs