Born in Austria, January 11, 1911, Eric Steiner's 100th birth anniversary took place this January, 2011. As a child, his musical talent and ability were recognized and he was given instruction in piano despite his family's inability to afford it. In Vienna, he began a career as a lawyer, educated at the University of Vienna following an academic secondary school education; but when Adolf Hitler took power there, Eric, his brother Hank, and their parents were able in 1938 to come to the United States of America where music became his life's work and New Jersey his home.
He worked as the Director of the Lauter Piano School in Newark, New Jersey from 1938-1942 and also taught privately. His original publisher, Max Winkler of Belwin, who was also an immigrant, sent Eric on tours to lecture before groups of piano teachers in various states. He was warmly received and grew a fan base whose impact is felt even now. Though he died in 1987 at the age of 76, many teachers continue to use his piano course and related materials. He was also a popular private piano teacher in New Jersey and occasionally offered programs to local organizations on musical subjects such as opera, George Gershwin and Scott Joplin.
He was a member of the New York Piano Teachers' Congress (vice president 1951-1957), New Jersey Music Educators Association, National Guild of Piano Teachers, and was certified by the Interstate Music Teachers Association. In Austria, he also earned a State Teacher's Certificate from the Vienna Music Academy. The Eric Steiner Memorial Awards - Composition Competition was established by the Music Educators Association of New Jersey (MEA) in 1987 to honor his memory and work in the field of piano composition and education and as a longtime member of the MEA.