Just in: Longest serving orchestral pianist kicks away the stool

Mary Sauer, principal piano of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for 57 years, is playing her last concert tonight.

Mary was hired as Chicago’s first full-time orchestral keyboardist by Fritz Reiner in 1959. She was officially added to the Orchestra’s roster by Jean Martinon in 1967/68 and named principal piano in the 2000/01 season.

She has served with great distinction on piano, celesta, organ and harpsichord ever since. She has also played concertos in her own right with  Sir Georg Solti, Jean Martinon, Carlo Maria Giulini, Claudio Abbado, Rafael Kubelik, Zubin Mehta, Charles Dutoit, Walter Hendl, Alan Gilbert and Margaret Hillis.

Not many pianists can boast that pedigree.

We wish Mary a long and happy retirement.


She ranks #15 in the longest serving orchestra players of all time.

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  • Congratulations, Mary! We have enjoyed your consummate musicianship and skill for decades, and you will be missed!

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