Anita Lippi NÝrskov Olsen

1930 -

Anita Olsen, now retired and living in Loma Linda, California, taught piano in three European countries and at Loma Linda University, Riverside, now La Sierra University. She was honored by the establishment of a scholarship in her name in 1995 for piano majors at La Sierra University.

Anita was born in Chicago, Illinois, one of five children of Frank and Christine Lippi, a family that had included noted musicians and artists dating from the time of Fra Filippo Lippi, famed Renaissance painter. Following her graduation from Steinmetz High school in 1948, where she was already known for her skill on the piano, she enrolled at the Chicago Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Elvira Rakos and Renee Engel Lidge.

While at CCM she met V. NÝrskov Olsen, an Adventist minister from Denmark who was studying at the University of Chicago.Following their marriage, they moved to Denmark, where she started her teaching career at age 21 as choir director at Vejlefjord Junior College. Three years later she began teaching at Newbold College, where she taught for twelve years.While at NC, she completed a teacher's degree (L.R.A.M.) in 1959 at the Royal Academy of Music and a performer's degree (L.T.C.L.) in 1964 at Trinity College of Music. From 1966 to 1968, she taught piano privately in Basel, Switzerland.

While Olsen was enrolled at TCM, she studied piano with Jean Merlow, continuing for an additional year after she had completed her degree. She subsequently studied with Norman Greenwood; Mary Boxall Boyd, a student of famous piano teacher Theodore Leschetizky; and Walter Frey. Frey was a prominent Swiss pianist who specialized in performing mainly works by contemporary composers in his earlier years and J.S. Bach in his later years, when she studied with him in 1967-1968.

Beginning in 1968, she taught piano full-time at Loma Linda University, a position she held until her retirement in 1990. In 1995 she was honored with a dinner and recital and the announcement that a scholarship endowment had been established in her name.

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Sources: Biography for Anita Norskov Olsen Scholarship, La Sierra University website; Faculty Curriculum Vitae, LSU archives, unknown date; 1948 Steinmetz High School Annual; 1940 U.S. Federal Census Records; Obituary for Christine Lippi, Lake Union Herald, 25 October 1977, 15; Adventist Review, 6 December 1984, 3.