Petersilea, Carlyle



Eminent American pianist and teacher; born in Boston. His mother was English, and his father a German musician; a pioneer in the profession in America. He gave Carlyle such thorough instruction that at seven years of age the boy himself gave music lessons. When only twelve he appeared tin public. In 1862 he entered the Leipsic Conservatory, studying under Plaidy, Moscheles and Wenzel in piano, and Reinecke, Richter and Hauptmann in theory. On graduating in 1865 he received the Helbig prize. He afterward studied with von Billow. A short but successful concert tour preceded his return home; then, settling in Boston, he became known as a virtuoso and teacher. In 1871 he founded the Petersilea Academy of Music, but closed it in 1886 to become one of the faculty of the New England Conservatory, where he taught until his retirement. In 1884 he had been with Liszt at Weimar, and gave a concert at the Berlin Singakademie. He has been a frequent performer at the Boston Philharmonic and the Harvard Symphony concerts, and was pianist of the Boylston Club, Boston. Ill health forced him to retire, and after spending several years in Europe he went to California in 1892, and made his home at Tropico, near Los Angeles, in which city he was for some time pianist at the Burbank Theatre. He died of paralysis in 1903. Mr. Petersilea was a remarkable sightreader and possessed an excellent technique and a very retentive memory. He wrote technical studies for the piano and educational works, greatly valued in Europe as well as in America.