On April 30, 2012, Professor Luisa Guembes-Buchanan received the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany bestowed upon her by the German Federal President. The Medal of Merit was handed over by Consul General Friedrich Löhr during a luncheon in which also participated the Honoree’s family, in particular her husband William H. Scheide, founder of the Scheide Library at Princeton University, as well as her mentor and colleague Professor Donald Stone.
Professor Guembes-Buchanan has volunteered for more than 15 years at the “Summer School Wust” in Germany as a piano teacher and an inspirer especially of young students of that instrument from the new “Länder” in central Germany. She has followed and furthered their careers with enthusiasm and perseverance. She has made performance opportunities available to her students and has placed them at renowned conservatories such as The Juilliard School in New York City.
By providing private means Professor Guembes-Buchanan has enabled several of her German students to participate in the Summer Symposium of the Golandsky Institute at Princeton University to improve their knowledge of American methods of teaching and interpretation and their understanding of the art of piano playing. She has contributed significantly to remarkable international careers of her students. Her generous commitment and outstanding dedication could also be seen when she volunteered her time to fill a vacancy at the Stendal Conservatory for three months at short notice in 1995.
As an interpreter and musicologist at the “Summer School Wust” Professor Guembes-Buchanan has not only introduced American composers to the audience of her various concerts and lectures but has also let them participate in her detailed research, e.g. on the late piano sonatas of Beethoven or the less known piano pieces of E.T.A. Hoffmann.
The Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany was bestowed upon Professor Guembes-Buchanan for her outstanding effort in fostering German-Amercian relations.