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Ruth Taiko Watanabe, Pianist & Music Librarian

Feb 8, 2021

Ruth Taiko Watanabe, Pianist & Music Librarian


Ruth Taiko Watanabe was a Japanese-American music librarian who ran the Sibley Music Library at the Eastman School of Music for 38 years (1946-1984). She attended the University of Southern California, where she majored in piano, earning her B.Mus. in 1937 and an M. Mus. in musicology in 1942. Her plan to earn a Ph.D. in English was interrupted by the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. when her family was involuntarily relocated to the Santa Anita Assembly Center.

In late September 1942, she received a telegram Howard Hanson, director of the Eastman School of Music, offering her a fellowship. On October 2, 1942 she arrived in Rochester, NY, where she would spend the rest of her career.

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