St. Louis native Paul Horsley has spent a lifetime engaged with pianists, pianos and the keyboard repertoire. As a youth in Kansas he competed in, and often won, regional and state competitions, and as a piano student of Frances Wallingford and Robert Hamilton at Wichita State University he competed in the Naftzger Competition and performed Bartók with the WSU Orchestra. At Cornell University he studied with Malcolm Bilson and earned his Master’s and PhD degrees in musicology with a secondary focus on 18th-century keyboard music. He has received grants from the DAAD, the Fulbright Foundation and other groups for research in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and the US. As a full-time music critic for The Kansas City Star and The Independent (KC) and as a freelance writer for The New York Times, Musical America and Symphony Magazine he has written about many of the great pianists of our time and has covered three Van Cliburn International Piano Competitions, including the 2001 contest in which Stanislav Ioudenitch emerged victorious.
In 2007 he was a member of the Press Jury for the Cliburn Amateur Competition. From 1992 to 2000 he was Program Annotator and Musicologist for the Philadelphia Orchestra, where he led panel discussions and public interviews with major artists including pianists Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, Gary Graffman, Garrick Ohlsson, and Alexander Slobodyanik. Currently he is honored to teach at Park University alongside Ioudenitch and other gifted colleagues.