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Excerpt from the Encyclopedia of Louisville pg. 528

The founding of the academy on February 15, 1954, at 1577 Bardstown Road was the result of a partnership between Robert Bruce French and Donald Christie Murray. French assumed the administrative duties and provided income by copying symphonic scores and parts, and Murray taught piano and JAZZ workshops. A staff of eight gave vocal and instrumental lessons; and the Academy Chorale, a twenty-member choral group, was formed by faculty member Richard Dales.

In 1956 the school moved to 1020 S Fifth Street. A board of directors was organized, and, on March 25, 1957, the school was incorporated as a nonprofit, tax-exempt educational institution. In July 1957 the academy leased the Victorian home of James Breckinridge Speed at 505 W Ormsby Avenue. With larger quarters the school was able to organize a piano technology department, headed by Russell Sturgeon. In addition, the Louisville Youth Orchestra was founded there in 1958.

In 1960 the academy bought the St. Matthews School of Music for use as a branch, and in 1971 a building at 2740 Frankfort Avenue was purchased. The branch was closed in 1978.

The present building on Frankfort Avenue consists of studios, a recital hall, a library and archive that contains thousands of books, records, and files on Kentucky musicians and organizations. The academy has presented more than a thousand programs and has trained over ten thousand students, many of whom have become composers, teachers, chamber music performers and members of major orchestras.

Robert Bruce French


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