Prodigious Classical Musician and Transgender Trailblazer Sara Davis Buechner Appointed as New Piano Department Chair of Greenwich House Music School

Historic community arts institution Greenwich House Music School (GHMS) is pleased to announce the appointment of Sara Davis Buechner, an internationally acclaimed concert pianist and trans activist, as its new, and first, German Diez Memorial Piano Chair, effective September 1, 2024. In her new position, Buechner will play a pivotal role in institutional relations, faculty management, academic programming, and performance activities. She is the second piano department chair in the school’s 119-year history, succeeding the late Germán Díez, who passed away in 2014. 

“GHMS is a longstanding pillar of the Greenwich Village community and New York City, a historic and invaluable place that fosters the creative spirit and celebrates musical excellence,” Buechner said. “I’m humbled to continue in the footsteps of the legendary pianist Germán Díez, who shepherded the Piano department for decades. It’s a great privilege and an honored obligation. I look forward to helping GHMS build upon these accomplishments and expand its reach and influence for years to come.”  

Buechner brings three decades of higher education and private instruction experience to her new role. Most recently, Buechner served as piano faculty for Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance. Previously she taught at Manhattan School of Music, New York University, and the University of British Columbia. She has presented master classes and workshops at major pedagogic venues worldwide, adjudicated important international piano competitions, and is a contributing editor for Dover Publications International. 

“Sara is a consummate pianist and educator, revered by students and colleagues alike, with a passion for sharing the joy of music with everyone she meets,” said Rachel Black, Director of GHMS. “She has the expertise, tenacity, and integrity to take the reins of our program and lead it to new heights.” 

Buechner is perhaps best known for her virtuosic performances as a recitalist, chamber musician, and soloist. Lauded by the New York Times for her “intelligence, integrity and all-encompassing technical prowess”, she has performed with top orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, and Philadelphia Orchestra; and in such venues as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the Hollywood Bowl. Buechner has earned top prizes at premiere international piano competitions and was a Bronze Medalist of the 1986 Tschaikowsky Competition in Moscow, and the Gold Medalist of the 1984 Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition.  She has released numerous acclaimed recordings of rare piano music. 

Buechner earned a Doctor of Musical Arts from Manhattan School of Music and holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees from The Juilliard School. 

Also, as a proud openly transgender woman, Buechner is considered a trailblazer for embracing her true gender identity and coming out publicly to the classical music world during the late 1990s. She appears as a speaker and performer at important LGBTQ events and has contributed interviews and articles about her personal lived experience to numerous media outlets worldwide.   

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