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Wolf Studio


The William A. Wolf Institute of Pianoforte and Organ Playing 

On the night of February 3, 1899, Dr. William A. Wolf gave the first piano lesson in his studio on North Mulberry Street in the city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. This studio, with its comparatively humble surroundings, would develop into an Institute of Music that would bring the rural city of Lancaster into the 20th century world of classical music. 

By the 1920s, Dr. Wolf, with the assistance of his wife, Frances Harkness Wolf, had achieved worldwide recognition for the Institute's teaching program. An article in the Town and Country Review in London in the 1930s noted that the Institute "established high standards and maintained them so that aside from its artistic and cultural advantages it has stressed the practical value of the art of teaching music as a means of earning a livelihood."

Dr. Wolf devoted his talent, connections, and academic credentials to bring a genuine appreciation for Western Classical music to the city of Lancaster. He instructed many talented Lancastrians.

In 1913, Dr. Wolf moved his studio to 423 West Chestnut Street in Lancaster. Mrs. Wolf designated a trust to establish the Wolf Museum of Music and Art on this site after her death in 1972.

Sign for the original Wolf Institute of Pianoforte and Organ playing

The Wolf Museum of Music and Art

Wolf Museum Drawing

The Wolf Museum of Music and Art was established from the lifelong teaching and collections of Dr. William A. Wolf and his wife, Frances Harkness Wolf. 

In 1915, Dr. Wolf commissioned the construction of two Knabe concert grand pianos to his specifications for the Institute. Dr. Wolf continued to teach for 65 years until his death in 1965.


Frances Harkness Wolf inherited furniture and china from her favorite aunt, Marette Carver, who lived on the Main Line outside of Philadelphia. Many of the items she inherited date from the mid-to late 19th century and tastefully decorated their home in Lancaster. The Wolfs also had many pieces of furniture made by Lancaster County craftsman, Henry Slaugh.

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