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The Whittemore and Lowe Piano Duo Archive

Whittemore and Lowe Piano Duo

Highlights of the Archive...

The Whittemore and Lowe Piano Duo Archive contains a chronicle of their career, including programs, publicity releases, photographs, letters, recordings, and awards.  Among the correspondence are original letters from Ernst Krenek, Ralph Vaughn Williams, Dimitri Mitropoulos, Wallingford Riegger, Abby Whiteside, Morton Gould, and Ethel Merman.

About the Whittemore and Lowe Piano Duo...

Arthur Austin ("Buck") Whittemore was born in Vermillion, South Dakota, on October 23, 1915 and died at Southampton, Long Island, New York, on his 69th birthday, October 23, 1984.  Whittemore began piano at age five and later studied at the University of South Dakota, in his hometown, where he received a bachelor's degree from the College of Fine Arts in 1934.  Years later, he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Music degree from the University of South Dakota (1965).

Whittemore's collaboration with Jack Lowe began when the two were students at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where Whittemore earned his master's degree in composition.

The piano duo made its debut at Town Hall in New York in 1940.  Their career was interrupted during World War II, while both pianists served in the Navy.  Returning to the concert stage following the war, they averaged more than 70 concerts a year for some thirty years, in the United States, Canada, and Europe.  They performed with virtually every major symphony orchestra in the United States, commissioned works, were the first duo-pianists to be invited to appear in concert in New York City's Central Park, and were the first piano duo to appear at the White House, at the invitation of President Richard Nixon.

One of the country's most popular classical piano duos, Whittemore and Lowe performed music by such popular composers as Cole Porter alongside pieces by Bach, Stravinsky, and Poulenc.  According to an article in the May 1985 issue of the International Musician, the team "even used their arranging techniques to record an album of country music 'classics' for the Country Music Hall of Fame."

The house in which Buck Whittemore grew up, the Austin-Whittemore House in Vermillion, is today an historic house museum and is open to the public.


"Arthur Whittemore, 69, Dies; Member of Two-Piano Team," New York Times, October 26, 1984.

"Famed Pianist Dies in N.Y.; was Born and Raised in City," Vermillion Plain Talk, October 31, 1984.

The Whittemore and Lowe Archives are available for examination by appointment (see access guidelines).

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Most recent update:  March 3, 2014

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