Who's Who of Professional Women


Drawn to piano music from an early age, Victoria “Vicki” Griswold began taking piano lessons at the age of 7, and by the time she was 12, she had become serious about playing. Not initially sure what she wanted to study in college, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Carleton College before achieving a Master of Music in piano performance from the Manhattan School of Music in 1971. She went on to receive additional instruction in classical music from a number of famous music teachers, including Jeaneane Dowis and Rosina Lhevinne. Embarking on her career as a piano teacher and performer, Mrs. Griswold has since played all across Europe in such countries as Austria, Germany, Holland, Belgium, England and Scotland.

From 1981 to 1988, Ms. Griswold was a piano teacher at the Westminster Conservatory of Music at Rider University and later served as a staff accompanist for New Jersey City University from 1991 to 1997. During this time, she was approached by American composer William Thomas McKinley, the head of the composition department at the New England Conservatory in Boston, who wanted to commission her to record a piece for piano and orchestra. She accepted and recorded the piece in Warsaw, Poland, in 1993. Ms. Griswold went on to work on several other commissions for Mr. McKinley and has recorded other music in both England and the Czech Republic.

In 1994, Ms. Griswold took over the Plainfield Music Store, a local music store that had been a fixture in the town of Plainfield, New Jersey, since 1951. After the original owner passed, a group of musicians who didn’t want to see the store close made plans to run it as a cooperative. However, when it came down to the sale, Ms. Griswold was the only member of the group left. Despite her lack of retail experience, she signed for the sale and ran the store for the next 25 years. Having been a frequent customer of the store prior to purchasing it, Ms. Griswold strove to keep the store alive, even going so far as to forgo a salary for herself when she first started out in order to keep the store afloat.

Over the years, Ms. Griswold made a name for herself as someone who would go the extra mile to source obscure music for her customers, even going so far as to order items from abroad. She always found it incredibly gratifying when she was able to get her customers the music they wanted. In addition to selling sheet music, instruments, and a variety of records, she was also sought after for her expertise as a piano teacher and musician. When she finally closed the Plainfield Music Store in 2018, Ms. Griswold notably donated a good portion of her remaining inventory to a former customer who ran a music school and sold the rest to two other interested parties.

Attributing much of her success to the early support she received from her mother, Ms. Griswold also credits the knowledge she gained throughout her education and career. Furthermore, she was deeply grateful to have had such an incredible and faithful customer base. A distinguished Marquis listee, she has been recognized for her excellence with inclusion in the Millennium Magazine and named among Who’s Who of Professional Women and Who’s Who of Top Professionals. Furthermore, she was inducted into the Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity. Having accomplished much over the course of her career, Ms. Griswold fondly recalls the time that a music critic wrote a sonnet about her performance of a sonata by Charles Ives.

Now retired from running her music store, Ms. Griswold has made a return to the performance world, where she has continued her work in tracking down obscure music to perform works by women composers who have been left out of popular music history. Her current goal is to create recordings of various music compositions by four outstanding women composers who she feels had a strong influence on society. Above everything, she notes that her favorite part of her career has always been playing the piano, and she intends to continue performing for as long as she is able. Ms. Griswold hopes to leave a legacy as a person with integrity who worked hard.


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