Willie Schatzkamer


Professor William Schatzkamer (1916 - 2012) was an American educator, pianist, and conductor. Beginning in 1948, Schatzkamer toured the United States, Canada, and Mexico for three years under the direction of Columbia Artists Management. He played a total 175 events including three very successful recitals in New York's Town Hall. After the first of these Town Hall recitals, he signed a contract with RCA Victor. 

​Our Story

Schatzkamer settled in the St. Louis area where,
in 1951, he started to served on the faculty of
Washington University and continued until 1987
(36 years), being named Professor Emeritus in
1987. He was the original music director and
conductor of the University City Symphony
Orchestra, serving in that capacity for over 35
years, and conductor of the Gateway Festival
Orchestra. Schatzkamer retired as conductor of
the Gateway Festival Orchestra in 2002.


​Affectionately known as Willie, he remained at the helm as UCSO music director and conductor until the end of the 1996-1997 concert season, at which time he announced that he was stepping down. The UCSO Association then selected another of Willie's piano students, Oberlin University graduate Leon Burke III, from candidates auditioning to be the successor. Dr. Burke currently serves as the Music Director, only the second Conductor this orchestra has ever had.

Lily Kaufman


​Lily Kaufman, wife of the then current University City Mayor, Nathan Kaufman, "One must develop a vision of his community and its direction, and plan toward a future far distant, certainly beyond the tenure of anyone here today"was the first President of the University City Symphony Orchestra (UCSO). She knew the Maestro needed to be someone very uniquely talented. She recruited her piano teacher, the immutable William Schatzkamer.