Laurence Libin was educated in musicology at the universities of Chicago and London and studied harpsichord with Paul Maynard and Thurston Dart. He is editor-in-chief of the Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments (Oxford University Press), past-president of the Organ Historical Society, and honorary curator of Steinway & Sons. For thirty-three years he was curator of musical instruments at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, holding
a chair endowed for him, meanwhile lecturing in the graduate schools of Columbia and New York universities, including NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts, as well as at conservatories including Juilliard and the Kunitachi College of Music. He has published more than 150 articles and monographs and was co-editor with Peter Williams of the 2008 and 2009 Organ Yearbook.
Libin is a frequent consultant to private collectors, museums, and other cultural institutions, and a leading advocate for preservation and documentation of historical musical instruments. He lectures internationally on instrument history and conservation, most recently in Munich, Puebla, and Mexico City. In 2017 he assisted the Moravian Church in Herrnhut, Germany, in obtaining a 500,000-euro grant for restoration and enlargement of the church’s organ. In 1978 Libin was elected a Fellow of the Royal
Society of Arts. In 2009 the American Musical Instrument Society honored him with the Curt Sachs Award for lifetime achievement. Other honors include the Anthony Baines Memorial Prize of the Galpin Society (UK), a Cultural Fellowship from the Likhachev Foundation (Russia), and Columbia University’s Armstrong Award for his nationally syndicated radio series, “Instrumental Odyssey.”