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Biography
Although her music has suffered unjust neglect, Rebecca Clarke (1886-1979) is cited as one of the most important British-born composers active between the World Wars, and she is the only female composer who enjoyed the patronage of Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, the American heiress who funded the Coolidge Auditorium in the Library of Congress and also started the annual Berkshire Music Festival in Massachusetts. Clarke started out as a professional violist, and she is highly regarded for her chamber music featuring strings, especially her 1924 Viola Sonata. Composed the same year, her luminous impressionistic tone poem Midsummer Moon is dedicated to the Hungarian violinist Adila Fachiri (née d'Aranyi) who premiered the work in London, and who is also the dedicatee of both of Béla Bartók's sonatas for violin and piano. In her youth Clarke performed with the famous Fachiri in various concerts in England, and she composed much of her chamber music for their all-female ensemble. Less than half of Clarke's works were published during her lifetime, but her estate, with the encouragement of the Rebecca Clarke Society founded in 2000, is working to make more of her compositions available and better known. -- Ed Lein, c2008
This biography was most recently edited by...
edwardlein - 3 Dec 2011
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