Born in Pittsburgh, Earl Wild (1915-2010) displayed extraordinary musical ability from an early age and while still in his early teens, began playing piano and celeste in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. By the age of nineteen, he was already a concert hall veteran. In 1937, Wild joined the NBC network as staff pianist as well as performing in the NBC Symphony Orchestra under Toscanini. He became the first artist to perform a piano recital on US television.
During World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy as a musician and was also frequently requested to accompany First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt to her many speaking engagements, performing the National Anthem as a prelude to her speeches. After the war, he worked for ABC as staff pianist, conductor and composer until 1968. At the time of his NBC and ABC affiliation, he was also performing many concert engagements around the world.
Wild appeared with nearly every orchestra and performed countless recitals in virtually every country. He collaborated with many of the great conductors, and worked with dozens of prestigious and talented instrumentalists and singers.
From 1952 to 1956, Wild worked with the comedian Sid Caesar on the TV program The Caesar Hour, where he composed and performed the piano background in all the silent movie skits.
He performed for six consecutive Presidents of the United States, beginning with Herbert Hoover, and in 1961, was the soloist with the National Symphony at the inauguration ceremonies of President John F Kennedy. In 1986 he was awarded the Liszt Medal by the People's Republic of Hungary in recognition of his long and devoted association with the music of Franz Liszt.
In addition to pursuing his own concert career, Earl Wild actively supported young musicians for over forty years. He served on the faculty of many colleges, universities, and conservatories including The Juilliard School, the Eastman School of Music, and Manhattan School of Music.