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My View: It’s All Good News About The Piano and The Stecher Horowitz Foundation

First it was the bad news because of COVID…No live concerts and a Gala cancelled…however, there was also some  good news. For 18 months the First Prize Winners of the New York International Piano Competition were not separated from their pianos and Melvin Stecher and Norman Horowitz had time to plan a spectacular evening.

Friday evening, the 15th of October, The Stecher and Horowitz Foundation emerged from the depths of Covid-19. A capacity guest list filled the Tennyson Room for cocktails, moved to the second floor Library for a breath-taking concert, and finally, entered the Ballroom for a gourmet dinner, accompanied with accolades from distinguished speakers and festivities.

Celebrating the 62nd year of the Foundation, the Board chose to honor Joyce Cowin for her wonderful contribution of establishing the Joyce B. Cowin First Prize of the New York International Piano Competition, a flagship program of the Stecher and Horowitz Foundation, as well as her philanthropic endeavors linked to Joyce’s many commitments throughout New York City and beyond.

The Foundation also honored Joyce B. Cowin for her untiring devotion to education, her recognition of women’s history and financial literacy, the advancement of needy causes, and her steadfast dedication to humanity in any form. There could not be a more deserving honoree.

Gus Rosendale, co-anchor for NBC 4 New York’s “Weekend Today in New York” served as Master of Ceremonies throughout the evening. Youlan Ji and Jun Hwi Cho, Joyce B. Cowin First Prize Winners, performed at the Steinway Grand Piano in the Library, followed by an interview conducted by Robert Sherman of WQXR fame.

Prior to dinner, Margaret Carpenter, Chair of the S&H Foundation, welcomed all in attendance from the podium. Following dinner, a retrospective slide presentation was shown on screens strategically placed in the Ballroom, illuminating Joyce Cowin’s 14 years of participation on the Stecher and Horowitz Foundation. Messrs. Stecher and Horowitz provided the sound track for the film with excerpts from one of their well-known recordings.

Photos by Andrew Lepley

Youlan Ji, 2018 Joyce B Cowin First Prize Winner
Jun Hwi Cho, 2014 Joyce B Cowin First Prize Winner.
Joyce B Cowin, Gala Honoree
Norman Horowitz, Co-Executive Director
Melvin Stecher, Co-Executive Director
Gus Rosendale, Master of Ceremonies and Co-Anchor NBC
Charles V Schaeffer, III, Joyce B Cowin, Gus Rosendale
Guest Artists Youlan Ji, Jun Hwi Cho and Robert Sherman, Radio Personality
Margaret O Carpenter, Chair of the Stecher and Horowitz Foundation Board of Directors
Gus Rosendale, Co-Anchor for NBC-4, Board Member of The Stecher and Horowitz Foundation, and Master of Ceremonies for the Evening.
Stecher and Horowitz Foundation Gala Benefit Evening at The Lotos Club-October 15, 2021


Stephen studied at the Manhattan School of Music. Besides being a pianist, Stephen’s business career was in the Fashion Industry. He was CEO of a textile manufacturing facility and President of an international textile machinery company. Stephen was on the Board of Directors of the “First All Children’s Theatre” which brought the Stephen Schwartz musical The Trip and Captain Louie to the Kennedy Center in Wash DC. His wife Eda, an interior space designer and classical pianist was on the Board of Barrington Stage Company and is still active at BSC. Stephen’s photographs, videos and articles appear on, and The New York Observer. He is active in the entertainment events at the Friars Club, where he is a member. Stephen is also an Honorary Board Member of The Society For The Preservation of The Great American Songbook. Stephen

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