The heart and soul of pianist Louise Barfield evolves from the roots of Georgia's Deep South, the heritage of New York's ancestry and the artistic culture of Europe and South America. Her inspirations reflect the enviable influences of such masters of the keyboard as Adele Marcus. Ania Dorfmann, Guido Agosti and Daniel Ericourt. Maestro Adrian Gnam, renowned oboist and symphony orchestra conductor describes her as "... one of America's finest pianists, possessing a marvelous sound, innate musicality, prodigious technique, and magical stage presence."
Louise Barfield's early musical training began at the age of six when she entered the Wesleyan College Conservatory of Music in Macon, Georgia as a student of Gladys Pinkston. After receiving an Artist Diploma from the Conservatory, she was the recipient of the Dimitri Mitropoulos Award for study with concert pianist Ania Dorfmann and David Milliken at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. Later, in New York City, Ms. Barfield was awarded a full scholarship from The Edward Bromberg and The William G. Helis Foundations for study at The Juilliard School with distinguished pianist and pedagogue, Adele Marcus. After hearing Ms. Barfield perform in Carnegie Recital Hall in New York, Ms. Marcus described her as '... having achieved splendid acclaim for the artistry she brings to her profession..."
Graduating from The Juilliard School with an Artist Diploma and a Master of Music Degree, Ms. Barfield was, for two successive years, the recipient of a Fulbright Grant to the Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Italy, where she was a student of Maestro Guido Agosti. During the summers she participated in the Aspen Music School in Colorado, the Tanglewood Institute in Massachusetts, the Ambler Music Festival in Pennsylvania, and the Academia di Chigiana in Siena, Italy.
After returning from Europe, she was honored with an official appointment as Cultural Ambassador and Artist-in-Residence to Brazil, sponsored by the National Association of the Partners of the Americas in Washington, D.C. Her musical career grew to include a deep love for teaching young people, especially at Camp Glen Arden in Tuxedo, North Carolina, where she founded and directed the Performing Arts program. Ms. Barfield is a former faculty member of the Marymount International School in Rome, Italy, Wesleyan College and Mercer University in Macon, Georgia and was Artist-in-Residence at Christ School in Asheville, North Carolina. In addition to her performing career, she continues today to guide talented pianists through intense technical development and musical awareness.
Listed in the World's Who's Who of Women, Ms. Barfield has been featured in magazines such as Georgia Journal, Macon Magazine, Audio Journal, The Eleventh Hour, Southern Living, and Georgia Back Roads. In 2008 Louise Barfield was featured in a recently released empowering book by renowned California author, Dr. Nancy B. Irwin, "YOU-TURN: Changing Direction in Midlife". The book focuses on 43 individuals from across the United States whose courage and commitment to new dreams make them inspiring role models for people of all ages. Ms. Barfield was also featured as piano soloist with the Macon Symphony Orchestra in an oil painting by Catharine Burns Liles commissioned by Southern Bell for the cover of the 1988-89 Macon phone book.
Among her many award-winning students, prominent rock musician Chuck Leavell, pianist for The Rolling Stones, and The Allman Brothers Band," says "When she sat down at my piano, I nearly fell over backwards. She is an immaculate player. No doubt about it, she had a profound influence on my musical life."
Few musicians are called on to meet the challenge facing Louise Barfield one day when she read in a Rome, Italy newspaper that she was the guest artist on the prestigious Castel Saint Angelo Concert Series in less than two hours! Stunned by a director's scheduling error, she performed to an oblivious full house and a standing ovation.
She rose to another challenge in 1997 when returning home on the interstate from a concert she had performed in Georgia. Struck from behind by a tractor trailer truck, she suffered numerous spinal injuries resulting in three surgeries, partial paralysis and atrophy of her right hand, over three years of physical therapy, and a threatening end to her performing career. During five years of silence, her inner struggle for musical expression and spiritual insight continued to thrive, and Ms. Barfield's inexhaustible love and dedication led her back to the stage where she belongs. The Grand Opening of Little Carnegie of the South in January, 2003 was Ms. Barfield’s first performance since the accident. (To listen to the complete soundtrack from this remarkable and unforgettable return to the stage, click on the “Grand Opening Concert” dropdown box below.)
Ms. Barfield is the founder and director of Little Carnegie of the South in Macon, Georgia, which features a concert hall and art gallery. Little Carnegie of the South includes the Carnegie Cafe for children and teens, Camp Carnegie in the Summer, Little Carnegie Conservatory of Music, and Carnegie Out Back, an outdoor stage for Rock, Folk, Bluegrass, Classical and Jazz concerts. Also included are Bambini dela Musica for children through five years old, The Carnegie Camarada, a performing opportunity for advanced pianists, and an annual Merit Award which is presented to outstanding young musicians and artists to help further their careers.
Louise Barfield is the mother of two children, Clisby White, a 2008 honor graduate of Appalachian State University and Logan White, a 2007 honor graduate of Rhode Island School of Design. Ms. Barfield is the recipient of the Macon Arts 2005 Cultural Award, given in honor of those who have made significant cultural contributions to the arts and cultural life of Macon and Bibb County.
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