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William H. Scheide
  • 100 years old
  • Date of birth: Jan 6, 1914
  • Date of passing: Nov 14, 2014
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Bill Scheide believed that each member of the human family deserves a free and enlightened life. Musician, philanthropist and humanitarian, Bill’s life-long support of the arts, education, civil rights, health, and poverty relief programs expresses this belief.

Born in Philadelphia on January 6, 1914, Bill was the only child of John Hinsdale Scheide and Harriet Hurd. He grew up in a household passionate about music, culture, rare books and the well-being of humanity. 

A Bach scholar who majored in history at Princeton (Class of 1936) because there was no music department, he then earned an M.A. in music at Columbia in 1940. He was the first American to be published in the Bach Jahrbuch, a journal of Bach scholarship. In 1946, Bill founded and directed the Bach Aria Group, a vocal and instrumental ensemble that performed and recorded for 34 years.

Renowned for his interest in and collection of rare books, Bill was the owner of the Scheide Library, now housed in Firestone Library at Princeton University, which contains books and manuscripts that he, his grandfather, Willam T. Scheide, and his father, John H. Scheide (Class of 1896) acquired. The Scheide Library holds copies of the first four Bibles ever printed; materials on the invention and history of printing; books and manuscripts on the early voyages to the Americas; and musical manuscripts of J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, and many others.


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