1931 - 2015
Kenneth B. Amada, 83, Professor Emeritus of Piano in the School of Music at the University of Iowa, died Saturday, July 4, 2015 at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics from a traumatic brain injury resulting from a fall. Interment will take place at the Temple B'nai Abraham Memorial Park Cemetery in Union, NJ. Online condolences may be conveyed to the family at www.gayandciha.com.
Mr. Amada was a faculty member in the Piano Department of The University of Iowa School of Music from 1967-1996. He served as chair from 1986-1996. Many of his students now teach at universities and colleges across the country.
Mr. Amada was born September 30, 1931 in South Orange, New Jersey, the son of Sam and Gladys Amada. He began the study of piano at the age of three and played his first full-length piano recital at the age of five. He graduated from Rutgers University at age nineteen with a major in psychology and gave his New York debut recital at Town Hall at age 21 in 1951.
Mr. Amada studied with Moriz Rosenthal (1862-1946), who was a student of Carl Mikuli (1819-1897), who in turn studied with Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849). Rosenthal was also a student of Franz Liszt (1811-1886). Other teachers included Isidor Philipp, Edward Steuermann and Constance Keene.
Mr. Amada made several hundred appearances throughout the world on radio, television, in recital and as guest soloist with symphony orchestras. He made seven international concert tours and played in every major European country including the Soviet Union. His orchestra credits included the Philadelphia Orchestra under the direction of both Eugene Ormandy and Arthur Fiedler, the Symphony of the Air with both Alfred Wallenstein and Milton Katims, the Detroit Symphony, the National Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the National Orchestra of Belgium, and the Warsaw Philharmonic.
He was a prize-winner in many competitions including the Leventritt International Competition, where he was a gold medalist and one of three finalists in both 1959 and 1960; the Queen Elisabeth of Belgium Competition, where he was one of twelve finalists in 1960; and the Harriet Cohen International Music award, which he won in 1961. Mr. Amada was awarded touring grants by both the Rockefeller Foundation and the Office of International Education for the purpose of presenting outstanding American performers to audiences internationally.
Mr. Amada is survived by three children; Lori Amada of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Eric Amada, recently of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and currently residing in Mexico, and Stephanie Amada of Lansing, Michigan; and three grandchildren.
Published in New York Times from Jul. 17 to Jul. 18, 2015.