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Local News

La Grange Park concert pianist, Lydia Sterba, 91, dies

Lydia Sterba at the piano with Karl Schulte of the West Suburban Orchestra in an undated photo. Sterba, of La Grange Park, died Feb. 16 at the age of 91.
Lydia Sterba at the piano with Karl Schulte of the West Suburban Orchestra in an undated photo. Sterba, of La Grange Park, died Feb. 16 at the age of 91.

After a lifetime of teaching piano and inspiring a love of music in her students, Lydia Smutny Sterba, 91, died Feb. 16.

The concert pianist originally moved to La Grange Park in 1948 with her husband, Edwin Sterba. Lydia Sterba began teaching piano in the late 1930s and continued teaching to November, according to her daughter Doreen Dezur.

While sharing her passion for the instrument, Sterba performed for many platforms as well, including Carnegie Hall, WTTW radio and WGN TV. She also played with multiple groups around the area, such as the West Suburban Symphony Orchestra, the Grant Park Symphony and the Chicago Chamber Orchestra.

Sterba, born and raised in Berwyn, attended the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago and studied under Earl Blair and Rudolph Ganz.

She leaves behind a son, Ronald Sterba, daughter Doreen Dezur, and nephews, Dan and Cory.

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