The Louis K. Thaler Concert Violinist Series was established at Ithaca College by the Thaler/Howell Foundation in memory of Louis Thaler and to honor his lifelong love of the violin. The impetus for this gift was provided by Louis Thaler's son Manley and his immediate family.
Louis Thaler (1903-79) had a long and successful career as an Ithaca attorney and was the founder and senior partner of the Thaler and Thaler law firm. He was the city of Ithaca attorney from 1940 to 1941 and president of the Tompkins County Bar Association from 1944 to 1945. He also served as a special county judge and surrogate judge. Actively involved in civic affairs throughout his career, Thaler was a member of the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce Board of Governors, the American Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, the Ithaca Rotary Club, and the Elks Club. He was also an amateur violinist.
In 1927 Louis Thaler married Rachel Shulman, a native Ithacan who was awarded a scholarship to study piano at the Ithaca Conservatory of Music. Both were devoted supporters of the Friends of Ithaca College. Rachel Thaler died in 2004, at the age of 97.
The legacy of the Thalers' love of music lives on today through the Rachel S. Thaler Concert Pianist Series, established in 1991, and the Louis K. Thaler Concert Violinist Series, created in 2002. The Thaler/Howell Foundation, through the efforts of Manley H. Thaler, endowed both series to recognize and honor Rachel and Louis Thaler, and to ensure that outstanding violinists and pianists would always perform for the Ithaca College community and the residents of the surrounding area.