Our History

The Main Line Conservatory of Music was founded in 1967 by Dr. Andor and Joy Kiszely

The Main Line Conservatory of Music was founded to provide music loving piano students with an exceptional opportunity to develop their talent to the highest level through a comprehensive program of performance skills and musicianship training.

Encouragement and moral support for the school's launch came from a meeting with Zoltan Kodály, who had traveled to the US as an honored guest of the Tanglewood Festival in 1966. Before the Hungarian Revolution, Dr. Kiszely had been among the prominent artists working with Zoltan Kodály in Hungary to establish what has become known as the Kodály System. The Kodaly System was soon incorporated into the Hungarian education system as a part of their general schooling to provide music education for every child from pre-school to artist level.

The Main Line Conservatory of Music has given its students who desire to perform opportunities to take part in local and international competitions, as well as college preparatory courses for those planning to major in music. Each decade of the school's history has had its share of outstanding achievements.

Dr. Andor Kiszely (1922-2006)

Dr. Andor Kiszely was born in Hungary and received his musical and pianistic training at the Franz Liszt Royal Academy of Music in Budapest. His artist-teachers in piano were Dr. Ernö Daniel, and Dr. Bela Böszörmenyi-Nagy, who studied with Dohnanyi. His third piano teacher was Lajos Hernady, a Bartók student. Dr. Kiszely also studied with Zoltan Kodály. Shortly after he received his master’s degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the Franz Liszt Academy, he received his Doctorate in Political Science from Peter Pazmany University in Budapest.

After the Second World War, under the auspices of the U.S. Special services, he toured West Germany, giving concerts in Munich, Augsburg, Stuttgart, Nuremberg, Heidelberg, and other cities. Until 1956, Dr. Kiszely led an active life in Budapest as a well-known performing artist and a respected teacher at the Budapest Academy of Music. He gave numerous recitals, was a soloist with the MAV Symphony Orchestra, and made recordings for Budapest Radio.

During the days of the Hungarian Revolution, Dr. Kiszely was one of the musicians chosen by his colleagues to lead the reorganized Ministry of Education. After the failure of the Revolution in 1956, Dr. Kiszely made Vienna, Austria his home. He received a Ford Foundation Scholarship for two years of post-graduate study in orchestral conducting with Hans Swarowsky at the State Academy of Music. He received his Diploma in Orchestral Conducting in 1959.

In Vienna, he gave many recitals in the Musikvereinsaal and the Brahmssaal, and made recordings for the Austrian Radio and Television.. Other appearances in Austria included Salzburg, Linz, and numerous other cities.

Dr. Kiszely came to the U.S. in 1959, giving recitals throughout the East Coast. In 1967, Dr. Kiszely and his wife, Joy Miller Kiszely, founded the Main Line Conservatory of Music in Ardmore.

Over his 40 years of teaching, Dr. Kiszely produced winners in major competitions such as the Philadelphia Orchestra Greenfield Competition and The Mann Music Center Competition. He had medal winners in major competitions including the Bartok-Kabalevsky National, The Stravinsky International, The International Piano Recording Competition of the NGPT, The World Piano Competition, The American Fine Arts Festival, The Young Pianist Competition of New Jersey and The West Chester University Competition.

Dr. Kiszely was nominated as a Master Teacher by the American Music Scholarship Association, and in 1982 both Kiszelys jointly received the Teacher of the Year Award from the Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association.. Dr. Kiszely is listed in Who’s Who in Music in the World, The International Who’s Who of Music, and Who’s Who in American Education.

Joy Miller Kiszely (1941-2020)

Co-founder of the Main Line Conservatory, Joy Miller Kiszely received her musical training in both the U.S. and Europe. Before college she studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and then went on to earn degrees in piano performance at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington. Additionally, she studied at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria.

Over her 50-year teaching career, Mrs. Kiszely produced a steady stream of winners in international, national, state, and local competitions. Her prize-winning students performed Concertos with the Southeastern PA Symphony Orchestra, Chester County Youth Orchestra, Plainfield New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and the Kostroma Symphony Orchestra in Russia. Her students also won prizes in the World Piano Competition (Concerto Section), and the Philadelphia Orchestra Greenfield competition

Mrs. Kiszely lectured on a variety of topics including: "Competition Preparation: Techniques to Develop High Achievement in Music and Life.” The lecture discussed the fascinating process of helping the young pianist reach their full potential as a musician and as a person through performance preparation.

On numerous occasions, Mrs. Kiszely was among the distinguished and accomplished musicians and historians who delivered lectures for the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Lecture/Luncheons program. The program is designed to enhance an appreciation of the composers and their works featured in that week’s concert.

Other facets of her distinguished career, including master classes, chamber music, accompanying, are listed in the International Who’s Who of Music and Who’s Who of American Women.


Read What Parents Are Saying About Our Tutors

Ornare quis fermentum lectus pharetra. Elementum, nec sapien habitant interdum sit lectus erat placerat. Morbi dictum ultrices sollicitudin lorem tincidunt a consectetur egestas. Interdum diam fermentum quis pellentesque fringilla.

“My daughter Kimberley has had piano lessions with Dr. Michael Sheadel for over 5 years now, she enjoys every lesson with him. He is very passionate about music and it shows in his teaching. I’ve met the other tutors at monthly competitions and they are all incredibly friendly and caring.”

― Nathalie, mom

Enroll Now