Bernard Lee Shaak

(March 9, 1932 – January 22, 1999)

  • Born in Lebanon, Pennsylvania.
  • Begged his parents for a piano.
  • Began piano lessons at eight, sang in the church choir, played the organ and taught piano while in high school.
  • Equally talented in art and music. Always interested in philosophy, education and the arts.
  • Graduated from Lebanon Valley College, Columbia University Teachers College and did post graduate work in California at USC. Served in the US Army for two years in Georgia.
  • Taught at Southern Illinois University five years before moving to Denver to teach at the University of Denver School of Music.
  • With his wife, Carolyn, established the Shaak Music Studio, composed numerous books of instructional piano music.
  • Together they gave solo and two-piano recitals and presented workshops and seminars.
  • They have three daughters: Leslie, Kim and Jamie, and four grandchildren and hundreds of students, friends, parents, colleagues and family who treasure his memory

Long time student Andrew Corsello wrote a beautiful article in GQ paying tribute to his teacher and mentor Bernie Shaak. Read the GQ Article