Betty Reed has a passion for the piano
that was ignited at the age of five, under the loving tutelage of her mother, Irene Reed, a talented pianist and teacher.
Betty studied with Vera Gorovitz, a retired concert pianist who studied with the great Artur Schnabel, a descendant of a noble teacher lineage that traces its roots to Leschitisky, Czerny and Beethoven. Vera Gorovitz’s Russian school of teaching instilled discipline, technique, and a deep appreciation for Romantic era composers. At ten years old, Betty performed in her first NEPTA recital, a Massachusetts organization she is proud to be a member of.
At Boston University’s College for the Arts
Betty studied with Edith Stearns, earning Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees in Piano Performance. Professor Stearns, who had studied with Robert Cassadessus, paid meticulous attention to shadings of tone, especially in the music of the French composers—Chopin, Debussy and Ravel—and focused on Alfred Cortot’s technique of playing without tension or pain. At Boston University Betty was drawn to contemporary music, premiering pieces by faculty composers and performing in ensembles that included Leonard Bernstein’s Prelude Fugue & Riffs, and Stravinsky’s Les Noces. In Theodore Antoniou’s Contemporary Collegium, she performed complex pieces by George Crumb for prepared piano.
As a Rotary Foundation Fellow
she attended the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria as a post-graduate student. She studied with Gilbert Schuchter. In Vienna she attended her first opera, a magical combination of visual setting, drama and music. She is an absolute fan of the Ring by Wagner.
After college, Betty studied with Anthony DiBonaventura, attending his Summer Piano Institute at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, where he imparted his standards for unmuddled pedaling, his devotion to the Isabelle Vengerova’s technique and his complete delight in playing baseball!
Betty started her pedagogy training at a young age
Surrounded by music Betty loved making large Valentine and snowflake cut-outs for mother’s floor staff, where students spelled words and built chords with these fun seasonal-shaped notes. In high school, Betty started teaching under her mother’s supervision. Tailoring a structured learning path for each student remains a mainstay of Betty’s piano lessons.
Throughout her career Betty has furthered her pedagogy training through The New England Piano Teachers Association’s monthly lectures, countless workshops and lectures at conferences by the Massachusetts Music Teachers Association (where she served as President) and its parent organization, the Music Teachers National Association. Betty founded NEPTA’s Mentoring Program, which provides another learning opportunity for its members, by allowing teachers to observe lessons given by experienced colleagues. In 2015, Betty Reed was honored with MMTA’s Teacher of the Year award.
The Reed Sisters
Her performing career includes a multitude of solo recitals, collaborative performances with vocalists, instrumentalists and chamber music groups. The highlight has been the four-hand and duo-piano concerts, as well as recordings, she has shared with her sister, Lydia Reed-Guertin.
Life long goals
Betty’s Portuguese heritage has shaped her devotion to her extended family and friends, husband and two children. She enjoys hiking, reading and writing. In the fourth grade her “What I want to do when I grow up” essay focused on two goals— to teach piano and to travel, both of which she has admirably achieved. A dedicated teacher and an intrepid traveler, she believes that music is a universal language, inviting us to learn from many different cultures.