Joseph Battista Memorial Fund
Born in Philadelphia in 1918 to Italian immigrants, Joseph Battista was a child prodigy, and later joined the ranks of world-renowned virtuosi pianists. At the age of four, he performed frequently on radio broadcasts and became known as "Philadelphia's Wunderkind." In May of 1940, he earned a graduate degree from the Juilliard School of Music. His professional career as a concert pianist was auspiciously launched shortly after his 21st birthday when he appeared as a guest soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of Eugene Ormandy.
Throughout Battista's career he won many awards, including the coveted Guiomar Novaes Award, and appeared annually on coast-to-coast concert tours in solo recitals and as a guest soloist with major symphony orchestras. In addition to his many appearances, Battista fulfilled a number of recording contracts, achieving international acclaim and respect as an artist and teacher. Prior to joining the distinguished piano faculty at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in 1957, Professor Battista taught at the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music and the Juilliard School of Music.
The Joseph Battista Memorial Fund was established by colleagues, students, and friends of Professor Battista upon his untimely death in July of 1968. In the fall of 1993, the School of Music celebrated the fund's 25th anniversary with a gala concert in the Musical Arts Center. Now known as the Joseph Battista Fellowship in Piano, the scholarship is awarded annually to outstanding graduate students majoring in piano performance at the Jacobs School of Music.