By: Kline D (author)Hardback
1 - 2 weeks availability
Through astonishing force of will and exertion of talent, a young Lucy Hickenlooper of South Texas, reinvented herself as Olga Samaroff, international virtuoso concert pianist and one of the most influential musicians during the first half of the twentieth century, when music was still dominated by men and Old World prejudices. For those unfamiliar with her career, Olga Samaroff Stokowski may be known primarily for her tumultuous marriage to renowned conductor Leopold Stokowski. She was much more than a conductor's wife, however. Donna Staley Kline's biography reveals Olga as the driving and shaping force behind her husband's genius and offers the first considered look at a pioneering woman whose own career was marked by improbable firsts. She was the first American woman to win entrance into the piano class at Paris's prestigious "Conservatoire Nationale de Musique;" the first American female pianist to make her concert debut at Carnegie Hall, as well as to perform all thirty-two Beethoven sonatas; the first woman to serve as the music critic for a New York daily newspaper; the first American-born member of the piano faculty at the Juilliard School of Music; and among the first to make recordings and break ground in radio and television broadcasting. Known to her students simply as "Madam," Olga the beloved artist-teacher launched the first generation of American-born, American-trained concert pianists. William Kapell, Eugene List, Joseph Battista, Alexis Weissenberg, Rosalyn Tureck, and Maurice Hinson are only a few whose talent first found expression under her tutelage. But her passion for teaching extended well beyond the confines of the Philadelphia Conservatory and the Juilliard School. She sought to educate America in music, establishing in this country the first musical competition solely for native artists and creating layman's music courses for the general public. Carefully researched and drawing on interviews with her contemporaries and students, as well as on heretofore neglected letters and documents, "An American Virtuoso on the World Stage" will appeal to both music lovers and scholars in the field who seek a lively and penetrating look at one of American music's most important women. Olga's life story is of an American progressive who sought innovation and excellence and refused to yield to the musical establishment--and it is a story that has waited to be told.
Donna Staley Kline, a former piano teacher and school librarian, retired in 1991 to devote her full attention to her research and writing. She has lectured widely and has previously written on the career of her favorite virtuoso in "American Music Teacher" and the "Journal of the American Liszt Society."
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- ID: 9780890966914
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