Paul Hersh


  • Graduate Seminar
  • Private Lessons
  • Chamber Music: Strings and Piano


  • Lenox Quartet
  • Hersh Montgomery Duo
  • Trio Concertante


  • Millie Award

What is your hometown?

Mill Valley, CA

What is your favorite recording?

Artur Schnabel: Complete Piano Sonatas of Beethoven.

What are you passionate about outside of music?

Chess, art, literature, Chinese scholar/literati painting, British Romantic poets, and cats.

Who were your major teachers?

Leonard Shure, Edward Steuermann, and Robert Mann.

What is a favorite quote that you repeatedly tell students?

"Read what is plainly on the page."
-Jeremy Denk

What was the defining moment when you decided to pursue music as a career?

When I was born to two musicians.

What was a turning point in your career?

Leaving the Lenox Quartet to teach at SFCM.

If you weren't a musician or teacher, what do you think you would be doing now?

I'd be rolling in the grave.

What is your daily practice routine?

All upcoming repertory, first measure to last, all markings observed.

If you could play only three composers for the rest of your life, who would they be?

Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart

From a music history perspective, what year and city are most important to you?

Vienna, 1800.

What are your most important collaborations?

Robert Mann, Leon Fleisher, and Menahem Pressler.

Who are three students you have had the privilege of teaching?

Robin Sutherland, Julio Elizalde, and Teddy Abrams.

What is your unrealized project?

After 76 years in music, I just redo all my projects, from WTC Books 1 & 2 to all the Elliott Carter String Quartets.