Louise Behrend, a leading Suzuki method pioneer in the US, has
died at the age of 94. Behrend studied violin with Louis Persinger
at Juilliard, and began teaching there immediately after gaining
her graduate diploma in 1943. She remained on the Juilliard School
faculty until her retirement in 2009.
After observing Shinichi Suzuki and his students at Juilliard in 1964, Behrend went to experience Suzuki's classes in Japan. When she returned to the US, she began to incorporate Suzuki's techniques in her lessons and soon established herself as one of the country's foremost teachers of the Suzuki method. In 1970 she started an intensive Suzuki training programme for students and teachers, which by 1973 had more than 50 students and was officially named The School for Strings.
Behrend was the editor of the American Suzuki Journal (1984–88) and the author of The Suzuki Approach (1998). She also served on the faculties of the Henry Street Music School, New York University and the Manhattan School of Music. Shortly before her death her 1731–34 Guarneri 'del Gesù' violin was donated to the Juilliard School.