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Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Tuesday, March 9, 2004

Karl F. Leifheit, 76, of San Antonio, Texas, died March 2, 2004, after an extended illness.

Born in Brazil on March 23, 1927, he was an accomplished and well-respected concert pianist. He started his musical training in Brazil at eight years old. After graduating from Brazil High School in 1944, he attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. He became the featured pianist with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Leonard Bernstein.

It was during this time that he was featured as piano soloist in a concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City, with Leonard Bernstein conducting. In 1951 Karl joined the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra as featured pianist. During his 21 years with the orchestra he was featured soloist many times.

He also served as repetiteur for the San Antonio Grand Opera Festival, where he regularly accompanied singers such as Beverly Sills, Placido Domingo, Richard Tucker, and other famous opera stars.

He joined the faculty of Trinity University in 1972, where he taught until his retirement in 1988. His advanced piano students won many prizes in competitions. He lectured on Wagnerian operas while at Trinity. He further taught and coached pianists with the Tuesday Musical Club in San Antonio.

He traveled to England and Europe, and throughout the U.S.A., to attend opera festivals. He also enjoyed his hobby of photography and had a large collection of slides, which he used in lectures.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Harriet Leifheit; and a brother, Walter L. Leifheit, Jr.

He is survived by a sister, Mary Jane Robinett and husband Lee, of Green Valley, Arizona; a brother, Jack Leifheit and wife Virginia, of Brazil; a sister-in-law, Dorothy Leifheit Selby, of Downers' Grove, Ill.; and several nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held later in San Antonio at Trinity University's Parker Chapel.

Donations can be made to the Round Top Music Center, c/o James Dick Foundation, P.O. Box 89, Round Top, Texas, 78954-0089.