John J. Hattstaedt, founder of the American Conservatory of Music, was an American of German descent, having been born at Monroe, Michigan. He was fortunate in enjoying a first-class general education, including a collegiate course at a German gymnasium, and also very excellent musical instruction. With characteristic independence and energy, he entered into professional life when comparatively young, being actively engaged in teaching at Detroit. Michigan, and afterwards at St. Louis, Missouri.
In 1875, Mr. Hattstaedt came to Chicago, having accepted an engagement as teacher of the piano at the Chicago Musical College. This position he held for ten years, being at the same time lecturer on Musical History. After an extended European tour he formulated plans for a music school according to his own ideals, and accordingly founded in 1886 the American Conservatory of Music, which, under his excellent management, from a modest beginning has grown to be one of the largest conservatories in the United States.
Mr. Hattstaedt, during his lifetime, was a musician of solid attainments, a scholar and thinker. He was undoubtably in the front rank of piano teachers in the country, his pupils being represented in all parts of the United States, while many occupied prominant positions either as teachers or concert artists. His lectures, which covered almost all phases of musical art, were always attended by teachers and students, and his writings bear the stamp of originality as well as solidity.
See the founder's photograph, and an article reprinted from the Musical Courier in June of 1929
Go Back to ACM Home Page