Marianne W. Tobias


Presidents Circle Laurel Pin (2016)


Indianapolis-native Marianne Tobias is a classical pianist, author, musicologist, arts patron, and philanthropist. She is a graduate of Radcliffe University, the Longy School of Music (Cambridge, Massachusetts), and received her M.F.A., D.M.A., and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. She has also attended Oxford University, Sorbonne in Paris, and Deutsch Sprach Institut in Augsburg, Germany. Her post-doctoral work was with Menahem Pressler at IU's Jacobs School of Music. She also worked for Julia Child on the French Chef and for Professor Albion as illustrator of American History for sailors on Polaris submarines. She is a certified legal translator from the University of Chicago, and a certified vet technician.

Tobias is the resident musicologist, pre-concert lecturer, and program annotator for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. She is also an accomplished pianist and author of five books for Indiana University on music, art, and ballet. In 2014, Tobias established the Marianne Tobias Music Program at Eskenazi Health: donating a grand piano, foundational monies, and establishing a program to bring a diverse array of music to patients, families, and staff. She has served on boards including the Indianapolis Symphony, IMA, Indy Baroque, Indiana Landmarks, Crown Hill Foundation, among other organizations.

Tobias generously contributed to the funding of the Herron Chronicle to honor her stepfather, Donald Mattison, director of John Herron Art School from 1933 to 1970. At IU, Tobias has served on the boards of the Herron School of Art and the IU Foundation. She regularly attends the Colloquium for Women of IU and an honorary member of the Women's Philanthropy Leadership Council. Tobias gave the large fountain in front of Merrill Hall in memory of her late husband, Frank McKinney, and has been a consistent donor to the Jacobs School of Music. Tobias was recognized for her generosity and commitment to IU and was presented the Presidents Circle Laurel Pin.