Category Archives: Lists

Addresses of Minnesota Orchestra Board Members

Many patrons have contemplated mounting letter-writing campaigns to the Minnesota Orchestral Association (MOA) board members. Here is a list of the board of directors, courtesy of the Minnesota Orchestra’s website. There is a star (*) next to each individual who is a member of the Executive Committee. (The website isn’t exactly clear about the duties or purpose of the Executive Committee, but it is capitalized, so it must be Important.)

To make letter writers’ huge task a little easier, here’s a list of as many work addresses of MOA board members as I could find. All of this information is publicly available on the Internet; I included a link to where I found the information on each entry. If I was unable to find a work address, I left the member’s entry blank. If you have an address to share or correct, please put it in the comments, and I’ll put it here. (Note work address; home addresses will not be published.)

As Mary Schaefle has said before on the Musicians’ Facebook page, keep your letters short, respectful, and handwritten! Here’s a blog entry to inspire you. I know how frustrated you are – trust me, I’m right there along with you – but please please please don’t make our cause harder by being rude. Thank you so very very much.

I am not sure if this will do anything, but I hear people asking for this information all the time, so without further ado –


Jon Campbell / Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. / Sixth and Marquette / MAC N9305-04A / Minneapolis, MN /55479

Richard Davis / US Bancorp / BC-MN-H23D / 800 Nicollet Mall / Minneapolis, MN / 55402-4302

Michael Henson, CEO and President / Minnesota Orchestra / 1111 Nicollet Mall /Minneapolis, MN / 55403

* Nancy E. Lindahl, Secretary / Deephaven, MN

Steven C. Kennedy /Faegre Baker Daniels /  2200 Wells Fargo Center / 90 S. Seventh St / Minneapolis, MN / 55402-3901 (Mr. Kennedy is the treasurer at the MOA.)

Life Directors

Nicky B Carpenter / Nicky B Carpenter & Associates / 1001 12 Oaks Center Dr / Wayzata, MN 55391

* Kathy Cunningham / Mendota Heights, MN

* Luella G. Goldberg / Minneapolis, MN

* Douglas W. Leatherdale, Chairman and CEO, Retired / The St. Paul Companies / Minneapolis, MN

* Ronald E. Lund / Eden Prairie, MN

Betty Myers / St. Paul, MN

Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Chairman / Carlson /701 Carlson Parkway / Minnetonka, MN 55305

Dale R. Olseth, Chairman Emeritus / SurModics, Inc. / 9924 W 74th St / Eden Prairie, MN 55344-3523 (Note Mr. Olseth is a “chairman emeritus”, so I am not sure if a letter sent to this address will get to him.)

Rosalynd Pflaum / Wayzata, MN

Directors Emeriti

Margaret D. Ankeny / Wayzata, MN

Andrew Czajkowski, President & CEO, Retired / Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Minnesota / PO Box 64560 / St. Paul, MN / 55164-0560 (Note Mr. Czajkowski is the Retired CEO, so I am not sure if a letter sent to this address will get to him.)

Dolly J. Fiterman / Minneapolis, MN

Beverly Grossman / Minneapolis, MN

Karen H. Hubbard / Lakeland, MN

Hella Mears Hueg / St. Paul, MN

Joan A. Mondale / Minneapolis, MN

Susan Platou / Wayzata, MN


Emily Backstrom, Senior Finance Manager / General Mills, Inc. / PO Box 9452 / Minneapolis, MN 55440

* Karen Baker / Orono, MN

Michael D. Belzer, Chair, Crescendo Project Board / Minneapolis, MN

David L. Boehnen / St. Paul, MN

Patrick E. Bowe, Corporate Vice President / Cargill, Inc. / PO Box 9300 / Minneapolis, MN 55440-9300

Margaret A. Bracken / Minneapolis, MN

Barbara E. Burwell / Wayzata, MN

Mari Carlson, Director of Development / Mount Olivet Lutheran Church / 5025 Knox Ave S / Minneapolis, MN 55419

Jan M. Conlin / Robins, Kaplan, Miller, & Ciresi, LLP / 800 La Salle Ave, Ste 2800 / Minneapolis, MN 55402-2015

Ken Cutler / Dorsey & Whitney, LLP / Suite 1500 50 S Sixth St / Minneapolis, MN / 55402-1498  (Keep in mind that Mr. Cutler appears to be calcified in his views on this matter. He wrote this anti-musician editorial on November 11. You can decide if that makes you want to write him more or less.)

James Damian / Minneapolis, MN

Jonathan F. Eisele, Partner, National Strategic Education and Leadership / Deloitte Services LP / 50 S 6th St / Suite 2800 / Minneapolis, MN 55402

* Jack W. Eugster / Excelsior, MN

D. Cameron Findlay, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary / Medtronic World Headquarters / 710 Medtronic Parkway / Minneapolis, MN 55432-5604

Ben Fowke, President and CEO / Xcel Energy / 414 Nicollet Mall / Minneapolis, MN 55401

Franck L. Gougeon, Director and Co-Founder / AGA Medical Corporation / 5050 Nathan Lane N / Plymouth, MN 55422

Paul D. Grangaard / Allen Edmonds – City Center / 40 S Seventh St, skyway Ste. 263 / Minneapolis, MN 55402-1606 (I can’t find the corporate headquarters address, so take this one with a grain of salt.)

* Jane P. Gregerson / Minneapolis, MN

Susan Hagstrum /Minneapolis, MN

Jayne C. Hilde, Vice President / Satellite Shelters / 20050 75th Ave N / Hamel, MN 55340

Karen L. Himle, Director / HMN Financial / 1016 Civic Center Drive NW / Rochester, MN 55901

Shadra J. Hogan / Minnetonka, MN

Mary L. Holmes / Wayzata, MN

Jay V. Ihlenfeld / St. Paul, MN

Philip Isaacson, Chairman / Nonin Medical / 13700 1st Ave N / Plymouth, MN 55441-5443

Nancy L. Jamieson, President Elect / WAMSO – Minnesota Orchestra Volunteer Association / 1111 Nicollet Mall / Minneapolis, MN 55403-2477

Lloyd G. Kepple / Oppenheimer, Wolff & Donnelly LLP / Campbell Mithun Tower – Suite 2000 / 222 S Ninth St / Minneapolis, MN 55402-3338

Michael Klingensmith, CEO / Star Tribune Media / 425 Portland Ave S / Minneapolis, MN 55488

Mary Ash Lazarus, CEO / Vestiges, Inc. (There is only an online contact for Ms. Lazarus.)

Allen U. Lenzmeier,  Vice Chairman (Retired) / Best Buy / PO Box 9312 / Minneapolis, MN 55440 (Note Mr. Lenzmeier is the Retired Chairman, so I am not sure if a letter sent to this address will get to him.)

Warren E. Mack / Fredrikson & Byron, P.A. / 200 South Sixth St / Suite 4000 / Minneapolis, MN 55402-1425

Harvey B. Mackay / MackayMitchell Envelope Company / 2100 Elm St SE / Minneapolis, MN 55414-2597

James C. Melville / Kaplan, Strangis, and Kaplan, P.A. / 90 S 7th St / Minneapolis, MN 55402

Eric Mercer / PriceWaterhouseCoopers / Suite 1400 225 6th St S / Minneapolis, MN / 55402

Anne W. Miller / Edina, MN

Hugh Miller, President and CEO / RTP Company / 580 E Front St / Winona, MN / 55987-0439

Anita M. Pampusch, President, Retired / Bush Foundation / 332 Minnesota St, Suite East-900 / St. Paul, MN 55101 (Note Ms. Pampusch is the Retired President, so I am not sure if a letter sent to this address will get to her.)

Eric H. Paulson / Excelsior, MN

* Teri E. Popp / Wayzata, MN

Chris Policinski, President and CEO / Land O’ Lakes, Inc. / Consumer Affairs / PO Box 64050 / St. Paul, MN 55164-9784

* Gregory J. Pulles / Minneapolis, MN

Judy Ranheim, President / Young People’s Symphony Concert Association / 1111 Nicollet Mall / Minneapolis, MN

Jon W. Salveson, Global Head of Investment Banking / Piper Jaffray & Co / Suite 800 / 800 Nicollet Mall / Minneapolis, MN 55402

* Jo Ellen Saylor / Edina, MN

Sally Smith, CEO and President / Buffalo Wild Wings / Corporate Office / 5500 Wayzata Blvd, Suite 1600 / Minneapolis, MN 55416

Gordon M. Sprenger, CEO (retired) / Allina Health System / PO Box 43 / Minneapolis, MN 55440-0043 (Note that Mr. Sprenger is retired, and I do not know if this address will reach him.)

Sara Sternberger, President / WAMSO – Minnesota Orchestra Volunteer Association / 1111 Nicollet Mall / Minneapolis, MN 55403-2477

Mary S. Sumners, Managing Director / RBC Wealth Management / RBC Plaza / 60 S 6th St / Minneapolis, MN 55402

Georgia Thompson / Minnetonka, MN

Maxine Houghton Wallin / Edina, MN

John Whaley, Managing Administrative Partner / Norwest Equity Partners / 80 S 8th St, Suite 3600 / Minneapolis, MN 55402

David S. Wichmann, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer / UnitedHealth Group / PO Box 1459 / Minneapolis, MN 55440-1459

John Wilgers / Ernst & Young, LLP / Suite 1400 / 220 S Sixth St / Minneapolis, MN 55402 (You’ll need to choose Minnesota from a drop-down menu if you double-check this address on their webpage.)

Theresa Wise, Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer / Delta Air Lines / I can’t find Ms. Wise’s mailing address, but her professional biography mentions that she is on the MOA board and a violinist with the Bloomington Symphony. If anyone can find more concrete contact information, let me know.

Paul Zeller, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer / Imation / 1 Imation Way / Oakdale, MN 55128-3414

Honorary Directors

Mayor Chris Coleman / 390 City Hall / 15 W. Kellogg Blvd / Saint Paul, MN 55102 (I think.) (Here is an electronic form.)

Barbara A Johnson, Council President / 350 S 5th St, Room 307 / Minneapolis, MN 55415

Eric W. Kaler, President /202 Morrill Hall / 100 Church St SE / University of Minnesota / Minneapolis, MN 55455

Mayor RT Rybak / Mayor’s Office / 350 S 5th St, Room 331 / Minneapolis, MN 55415

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Amusing search queries that people have used to find this blog

I’ll have some stuff to say later tonight or tomorrow morning, but I just wanted to let y’all know that business is booming here at SOTL with tons of Minnesota Orchestra patrons wanting to know what exactly the f*** happened today.

To provide a little lighthearted reading in the midst of the apocalypse, here’s a list of amusing terms that readers have used to find this site. I’ll feature the best ones every day, so if you want to send a coded anonymous message to management, feel free! Just use a search term that will get you to this site, click on a link, and voila (or should I say, viola?). If it’s amusing enough it will be posted here. Have fun!

  • mn orchestra fiasco
  • minnesota orchestra michael henson compensation
  • if i wanted to manage orchestra hall
  • how much does minnesota orchestra management make
  • fire michael henson
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  • is minnesota orchestra management lying
  • mn orchestra fiasco 2012
  • where does the mone come from for the minnesota orchestra
  • tracking number for wells fargo on receipt
  • how long has richard davis been on the minnesota orchestra board of directos
  • why u no answer
  • are orchestra sales down because of iphone app
  • michael henson ceo pay watch
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  • minnesota orchestra old contract pdf
  • pastlife intertwined heart ring story of us
  • social media and orchestra event pr failures
  • “michael henson” orchestra contributions republican
  • the best of michael henson
  • henson bournemouth orchestra bad
  • dobby
  • dobby character analysis


Filed under Lists, Not My Writing

Orchestral Apocalypse Index

Here is a comprehensive list of articles pertaining to Orchestral Apocalypse ‘012. Both pro- and anti-management viewpoints are represented. Please keep in mind that certain statements within these articles are of questionable veracity, so take everything here with a grain of salt. You can read about my personal questions about what’s been said on other pages of my blog.

I’ll update as new information is published or made available. If you have an article you want to have added to the list, the comment section is open to you.


SPCO Musicians Blog

SPCO Musicians Facebook page

Minnesota Orchestra Musicians Blog

Minnesota Orchestra Musicians Facebook page

SPCO Management (they’ve updated this relatively frequently with new documents)

Minnesota Orchestra Management (the only thing they’ve ever updated so far is “Industry News” and their “final offer” contract, so don’t go here expecting much news; also, patrons have had questions about the claims presented within this site)


MPR News Primer: Orchestra contract negotiations, MPR, 18 August

Fearing for ‘our orchestra, as we know it’, by Evelina Chao, Pioneer Press, 25 August

Do the Twin Cities need 2 orchestras?, MPR, 27 August

SPCO musicians take their case to the Fair, MPR, 28 August

MinnPost article, MinnPost, 30 August

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Sour Notes, Minnesota 2020, 31 August

Solutions today to ensure a vibrant SPCO tomorrow, by Dobson West, Pioneer Press, 1 September

Orchestra musicians plan free concert, Star Tribune, 4 September

Minn. Orchestra seeks big cut in musician salaries, MPR, 5 September

MN Orchestra opens up about contract negotiations, MPR, 5 September

SPCO faces deficit of “up to $1 million” for fiscal year, Star Tribune, 5 September

Minn. Orchestra, SPCO go public with calls for major cost cuts, Star Tribune, 6 September

Orchestra contract talks a matter of money vs. artistry, MPR, 6 September

Musicians seek audit of Minnesota Orchestra, Star Tribune, 6 September

MinnPost article, MinnPost, 7 September

SPCO proposes new contract for musicians, MPR, 7 September

SPCO makes new salary offer, MPR, 7 September

SPCO, Minnesota Orchestra in tough contract talks, Pioneer Press, 7 September

When Should A Conductor Speak Up?, Colin Eatock, 10 September

On governance, by Robert Levine, Polyphonic

Twin Cities orchestras make public appeal amid contract negotiations, MPR, 21 September

Labor talks at SPCO apparently fruitless, MPR, 22 September

Orchestra headed toward lockout?, Star Tribune, 24 September

Minn. Orchestra Musicians Say Strike Is Possibility, WCCO, 24 September

Could Twin Cities Orchestras Go Silent?, KARE, 24 September

The latest on SPCO, Minnesota Orchestra labor talks, MPR, 24 September

Minn. Orchestra, SPCO contract negotiations still without agreement. MPR. 24 September

SPCO rejects musicians’ contract counterproposal. MPR. 24 September.

SPCO contract talks stall; management wants 28 players, down from 34, Pioneer Press, 24 September

SPCO musicians make counteroffer; Minnesota Orchestra talks appear stalled, Pioneer Press, 25 September

Minnesota Orchestra’s final offer, Star Tribune, 25 September

As deadlines near, developments in contract struggles at MnOrch and SPCO, MPR, 26 September

St. Paul Chamber Orchestra managers reject union contract offer, Pioneer Press, 26 September

Contract negotiations continue at orchestras; final offer, counter-proposal, MPR, 27 September

Without contract, Minn. Orchestra lockout possible, MPR, 27 September

Minn. Orchestra musicians face lockout if no deal, Star Tribune, 27 September

10,000 lakes, one fish, and no settlements, by Robert Levine, Polyphonic, 28 September

Keep Your Eye on the Details in Minnesota, by Drew McManus, 28 September

Mn Orch musicians reject management proposal as SPCO bosses reject contract extension, MPR, 29 September

Minn. Orchestra Musicians Reject Contract, CBS Minnesota, 29 September

Musicians vote down contract proposal, Star Tribune, 29 September

Musicians veto deal in Mpls. as SPCO rejects contract extension, KARE, 30 September

Minn. Orchestra musicians seek arbitration, MPR, 30 September

Minn. Orchestra, musicians fail to agree; lockout expected, Star Tribune, 30 September

Minnesota Orchestra musicians headed for lockout, WQOW, 30 September

Lockout set to take effect for Minn. Orchestra, MPR, 30 September

SPCO, Minnesota Orchestra: Contract talks stall, Pioneer Press, 30 September

Minnesota Orchestra concerts canceled, no talks scheduled, Star Tribune, 1 October

Minnesota Orchestra locks out musicians, cancels concerts, MPR, 1 October

MN Orchestra cancels fall concerts, musicians rally, MPR, 1 October

SPCO talks to resume in 10 days, but MnOrch at impasse, Pioneer Press, 1 October

Locked-out Minn Orch musicians take cause to streets, MPR, 1 October

Good Question: Why Does The Orchestra Get Paid So Much?, CBS Minnesota, 1 October

Arts reporter explains Minnesota Orchestra lockout impact, My Fox 9, 1 October

Locked-out musicians regret concert cancellations, seek more talks, Workday Minnesota, 2 October

Minnesota Orchestra cancels concerts in the wake of lockout, Los Angeles Times, 2 October

MN Orchestra musicians locked out as SPCO’s ‘talk and play’, MinnPost, 2 October

Ground Zero for the Payless model, Robert Levine, Polyphonic, 2 October

Open Season, Frank Almond, 2 October

Locked out Mn Orch musicians plan season opening concert, MPR, 2 October

Minnesota Orchestra On Day 2 Of Lockout: We Want To Play, CBS Minnesota, 2 October

Labor Standoffs Silence Orchestras in Minnesota and Indiana, Associated Press, 3 October

Minn. Orchestra musicians plan to go solo, Star Tribune, 3 October

Management, board, also want quality, Star Tribune, 3 October

Walkouts and Lockouts in U.S. Symphonies: What Do They Portend?, NonProfit Quarterly, 4 October

Calculated, Callous, Corrosive Tactics from MN Orchestra,, 4 October

Leaders must solve orchestra dispute, Don Heinzman, 4 October

Blogosphere sides with musicians, MPR, 5 October

Former conductor will lead lockout concert, MPR, 5 October

Classical Musicians to the Barricades (Again),, 5 October [very hard for me to resist editorializing on this one, but I’ll resist…for now]

In the middle of a musical labor dispute, MPR, 5 October

Orchestra lockout prompts the question: What are experts worth?, MinnPost, 5 October

Labor strife is playing out at orchestras all across the country, Star Tribune, 6 October

Skrowaczewski to lead Minnesota Orchestra musicians in opening night concert, MinnPost, 7 October

Preserving a great art, Minnesota Daily, 8 October

Locked out musicians get gigs elsewhere, MPR, 9 October

During Lockout Season, Orchestra Musicians Grapple With Their Future, NPR, 10 October

A tempest strikes American orchestras, MPR, 1o October

MN Orch musicians to perform, will not honor tickets for cancelled concert, MPR, 10 October

Minn. Orchestra makes a stand, Star Tribune, 11 October

Can’t they just be happy with that lobby?, Star Tribune, 11 October

Board should not be opposed to arbitrator, Star Tribune, 15 October

Minnesota Orchestra to put on concert Thursday, KARE, 16 October

Amid Minnesota Orchestra’s strife, the show still goes on, Pioneer Press, 19 October

Minnesota Orchestra musicians hold their own sold-out opening night, MinnPost, 19 October

Music in midst of contract dispute, Star Tribune, 19 October

Musicians, at least, have got it together, Star Tribune, 22 October

Orchestral musicians fight to maintain ‘artistic excellence’, CNN, 22 October

SPCO Is 2nd Locked-Out Twin Cities Orchestra, Twin Cities Business, 22 October

Why not spend Minnesota Orchestra’s $140M endowment?, MPR, 23 October

Orchestras Face a Season of Lockouts, by Bruce Ridge, Labor Notes, 24 October

Orchestra salary cuts continue unfortunate trend, Manitou Messenger, 25 October

Employers get control by turning to lockouts, Star Tribune, 28 October

Matt Peiken at MNuet is now aggregating links to news stories, so for links to stories published after November 1, click here.

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Song of the Lark 2011 Roundup

I’m always a sucker for a good end-of-year review. What went right, what went wrong. The highlights, the lowlights. So without further ado…

Best Decision: Starting this blog.

Best Readers: You, obviously. *obsequious smile*

Best Concert as Performer: Community Table, April 2011. It impressed upon me what’s really important about our art. It’s not about the repertoire or the competition or playing every note perfectly. It’s about passion and communication – saying things that can’t be said in words. Everything else is a bonus.

Worst Concert as Performer: Let’s just say I’m glad I was paid for playing this concert. Interpret that as you will…

Best Concert as Audience Member: This category was super-difficult. I had the immense honor of seeing the Minnesota Orchestra three times this year. Only two of the concerts got written up in reviews. But I think  my favorite was actually the one concert I never wrote about – the Ravel Inside the Classics concert in Minneapolis in March. First of all, it was repertoire I’ve loved forever, and second, it was a lot of fun to hear musicians talking about it. That weekend opened so many doors for me, intellectually, emotionally, professionally… It was everything a good concert should be, and more. Possible Honorable Mention – I have tickets to one of the music world’s most coveted concerts of 2011…the final Bon Iver homecoming concert in Eau Claire on December 13. I have a gut instinct it will be one of the musical highlights of not just the year, but my life.

Worst Concert as Audience Member: Once again, won’t say, but the problem wasn’t actually the music, it was the snotty people around me!

Biggest Musical Regret: Not being part of an orchestra. I’m in a string orchestra, and I love that, but there…are times…that…I miss the brass and woodwinds. Okay, I said it. I won’t say it again.

Favorite Repertoire: Bach g-minor adagio. I will work on that piece until the end of my days and still not get to the bottom of it. But it’s so satisfying to try.

Favorite Impromptu Concert: A friend played some solo Bach for me on a warm breezy August afternoon. We were in the parlor of an 1880 house and the porch door was open and the birds were chirruping out the bay window. Those few moments were perfect. For the rest of my life, whenever I hear that piece, I will remember that moment in the parlor, and how the tears started draining down my face.

Best Remix: The Oh Long Johnson cat remix. Obviously.

Best Comment by a Conductor: “Okay, guys, let’s get out our Jewish Christmas carols!”

Worst Comment by a Conductor: From a guest conductor, and inappropriate to reproduce here.

Best Non-Classical Group And Track: Bon Iver. I love just about every one of their songs, but… The one that was the gateway drug for me was Skinny Love. Yeah, I’m a few years behind the times. Sue me.

Best Musical Movie Scene: Actually, make that seventy years behind the times. This year I discovered Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, and in particular, their dance to Night and Day. I covet Ginger’s dress, which is the single most beautiful gown I’ve ever seen.

Favorite Soundtrack: The Fountain.

Favorite SotL Blog Entry, Tagged “My Writing”: Out of the fifty I’ve posted this year, this one.

Favorite SotL Blog Entry, Tagged “Not My Writing”: This one with Marie Hall. Her personality just shines through the pages. She was fearless.

Best Lyrics: From Bon Iver’s Holocene – And at once I knew I was not magnificent / strayed above the highway aisle / jagged vacance, thick with ice / I could see for miles, miles, miles. Those words say it all, really. They celebrate the significance of insignificance. If that makes any sense. It’s my Song of the Year already.

Most Encouraging Hometown-Related Epiphany: You can be based in Eau Claire and still take on the biggest names in music.

Best Music Blog: Inside the Classics. If I can be half as entertaining and informative as the folks over there, I’ll be a very happy blogger. Honorable mention, Emily Grossman’s thirty-day blogging project at

Best Music Website:, always.

Best Music Book: I’m not exactly in the center of the music book biz (/understatement); everything I read is courtesy of the Internet or the library. But the best book of the year that I did get my hands on was Alex Ross’s collection of essays, Listen to This.

Most Blatantly Obvious String Instrument Dub: The violinist on Celtic Woman.

Cruellest Violin-Related Tweet: Sherlock co-creator, writer, and deity Mark Gatiss, tweeting an image of Sherlock’s violin from the filming of season 2, with a quote from Doyle about Sarasate. New season of the show starts January first! (Forgive my enthusiasm, but when you’re 22, and you’ve been a Holmesian for over half your life, this show becomes a pretty big deal.)

Favorite Single Line I Wrote This Year, Taken Completely Out of Context: Everything about her was predictable: her eagerness, her enthusiasm, her obsequiousness, her obsessive thirstiness for knowledge, her conviction that classical music is a sacred art and every semi-talented practitioner of it a kind of high priest.

Best Colbert Report Duet: Technically not on the Colbert Report, but Stephen’s rendition of the modern-day classic “Friday” on Jimmy Fallon’s show. It was done to raise money for arts education in public schools, which is a cause I think anyone reading this blog can get behind.

Weirdest Google Books Find: This was a very strong category; I am a magnet for vintage Google Book crazy. In the end, I can’t decide between the article about brass players going bald from 1896 or or the crazy hilarious sexuality of musical instruments article from 1921.

Favorite Bit of SotL Spam: You guys miss so much spam on my blog. So much of it is so entertaining that I almost feel like starting a separate blog for hilarious spam. But the best one came about a week or so ago, when I had one from a diarrhea prevention website that quoted Mark Twain. Not even kidding.

Favorite Tumblr: Aside from mine, of course? Cough. Actually, Facepalmmozart. About half of the entries I reblog on my Tumblr come from there.

Favorite Tumblr Post from the Song of the Lark Tumblr

I can’t choose just one, so here are five.

1) Violinist, poet, salon leader, and outspoken lesbian Natalie Clifford Barney

2) Marie Hall anticipating the rise of female conductors in 1905.

3) Portrait of Marion Osgood, writer, violinist, teacher, conductor…the list goes on and on.

4) Portrait of Leonora Jackson in a lovely Victorian room.

5) A picture of Irma Saenger-Sethe and a quotation from the Bach d-minor partita.

Best Lesson I’ve Learned: Do what you want to do as an artist. Trust your gut. If you’re good at what you do, and you have potential, then seize that potential, and don’t make excuses. Don’t let anyone keep you from doing what you want to do. If  people keeping you hostage emotionally, and you decide to keep quiet about it to not upset them… You’ve lost. You’re either going to do what you want to do and have them be angry with you, or you’re not going to do what you want to do, and then you’ll get angry with them, and then they’ll get angry back. Both alternatives are painful. Incredibly painful. But the first one less so.

Thinking toward 2012…

Best Bet for Best Concert of 2012: Minnesota Orchestra and Ehnes in Brahms concerto in January 2012. Or the premiere of Judd Greenstein’s new Microcommission work for the Orchestra in March. But who knows…it may turn out that the best concert will actually be the one I have no idea is happening yet. Now that is an exciting thought.

Crazy Musical Goal That I Feel Insecure About And Will Continue To Waffle About Over The Next Several Months: Auditioning for a local orchestra.

Secret Musical Goal That I Feel More Confident About: To become semi-fluent in alto clef. Yes, I’ll admit it: I’m seventy-five percent sure I’m going to rent a viola next year. Edith Lynwood Winn said every violinist should be able to play viola, and I definitely think there’s some truth to that. I can’t imagine it will ever become my first instrument, though. I enjoy viola jokes too much. (And more seriously, I’m a very high-strung tension-prone double-jointed small person, and it remains to be seen how well I’ll take to a bigger instrument.) But in any case, I do hope to do this, and blog about the experience.

What You Can Expect From This Blog In 2012: I don’t even know what to expect on this blog in 2012! But safe to say it’ll probably include a lot more discussion about female violinists and, more broadly, the history of women in classical music, period. Because there just is not enough information out there about the wonderful women who made it possible for me and all the other ladies out there to partake in this beautiful art form.

I love this blog and I love my readers. Really and truly. Thank you for coming back again and again, and as always, if you have any questions or comments, please let me know. A happy holiday season to you and yours.

Love, Emily

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Great Female Violinists: A List

The following is a list of professional women violinists who were born before 1920. It is by no means exhaustive, but as I get more and more information, expect more and more biographies. Let me know if your favorite isn’t on the list!

Remember, you can hear many of these women on my Youtube channel.

This list was last updated on 23 August 2011.


Grażyna Bacewicz (1909-1969). Bacewicz was born in Poland and studied violin, piano, and composition at the Warsaw Conservatory. She studied under Carl Flesch in the 1930s. Later in life she shifted her professional focus away from performing and onto composition, a field in which she found great success. Her output includes seven violin concertos.

Grazyna Bacewicz

Ethel Barns (1874-1948). Barns was a British violinist, pianist, and composer. She and her husband, baritone Charles Phillips, established a concert series called (appropriately enough) the Barns-Phillips Chamber Concerts. She was passionate about furthering the cause of women in music, and she wrote at least two violin concertos.

Ethel Barns

Lady Ann Blunt (1837-1917). A granddaughter of Lord Byron, Lady Blunt was a polyglot, artist (she studied with John Ruskin), equestrian, and violinist. She and her husband, the adulterous Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, shared a mutual passion for Arabian horses. (In fact, according to Wikipedia, “the vast majority of purebred Arabian horses trace their lineage” to their stock.) She studied under violinist Leopold Jansa, who also taught Wilma Norman-Neruda. Her Stradivari, the 1721 Lady Blunt, was sold in 2011 for $15.9 million.

Lady Ann Blunt

Guila Bustabo (1916-2002). Bustabo was born in Manitowac, Wisconsin, and began to play the violin at the tender age of two. As a child she studied in Chicago and at the Juilliard School in New York. While living in Europe in the forties, Guila played under William Mengelberg, a conductor who came under criticism after the war for not doing more to resist the Nazis. General Patton actually arrested Guilia after hearing that she had worked with Mengelberg, although all charges against her were later dropped. According to Wikipedia, this incident limited her career opportunities in the United States; however, there are also indications that her bipolar disorder may also have contributed to her professional decline. Her recordings of the Sibelius, Bruch, and Wolf-Ferrari concertos (the latter of which was written for her) are landmarks in the discography. She later taught at the Innsbruck Conservatory and played in the Alabama Symphony.

Guila Bustabo

Lillian Shattuck (1857-1940). Shattuck studied under Julius Eichberg in Boston and around 1878 formed the first all-female string quartet in America, called, appropriately enough, the Eichberg Quartet. The members of the group traveled to Berlin to study under Joachim; reportedly he was so astonished to see an all-female group from America that he permitted them all entry to the Conservatory. Shattuck later became an important pedagogue in the Boston area.

Vivien Chartres (1893-1941). Chartres, the daughter of renowned author Annie Vivanti, was one of the foremost British prodigies of the late Victorian era. She was often compared in the press to Mischa Elman and Bronislaw Huberman, and she toured throughout Europe to great acclaim. Her mother wrote a fascinating novel loosely based on her life called The Devourers in 1910. In her later childhood, Chartres gave up touring, although she kept a violin for the rest of her life.

Vivien Chartres

Renée Chemet (c 1888-?). Chemet is somewhat of an enigma. She left us several lovely recordings, including one of the Japanese song Haru no umi (Sea in Springtime), but our knowledge of her career post-1930 is fuzzy. Some refer to her as “the French Kreisler.”

Renee Chemet

Jelly d’Aranyi (1893-1956). D’Aranyi was born in Budapest into a musical family (her great-uncle was Joseph Joachim, and her sister Adila was a famous violinist in her own right). She had fruitful creative relationships with many of the most important composers of the early twentieth century, including Ravel, Bartók, and Vaughan Williams. She was also a sensitive, and along with her sister Adila, she “uncovered” the Schumann violin concerto in a séance. (This is a rather long and interesting story.)

Jelly d'Aranyi

Santa della Pietà (early to mid-1700s). Santa della Pietà was a violinist, singer, and composer at the Ospedale della Pietà, a Venetian music school for female orphans. (Vivaldi famously taught at the Ospedale and wrote large amounts of repertoire for his female pupils.) She was only one of many talented women musicians (including women violinists) who worked at the Ospedale. See the documentary “Vivaldi’s Women” for more information.

Adila Fachiri (1886-1962). Fachiri was born in Budapest into a musical family (her great-uncle was Joseph Joachim and her sister Jelly d’Aranyi). She began to study violin when she was ten, but despite her relatively late start, she advanced extremely quickly. She married Alexander Fachiri in 1915. Several important composers dedicated works to her.

Adila Fachiri

Stefi Geyer (1888-1956). Geyer was born in Budapest, began playing the violin at the age of three, and proved to be a prodigy. She studied with Jenő Hubay in Budapest and toured throughout Europe as a child. When she was a teenager she met Béla Bartók, who promptly fell in love with her and wrote his first violin concerto for her. She never played the work…and never returned Bartók’s affections. Later in her life another composer Othmar Schoeck fell in love with her, and also wrote her a violin concerto. Geyer had a long successful career teaching and performing.

Stefi Geyer

Marie Hall (1884-1956). Hall was born to a poor family in northern England. She was a prodigy, but her family could not afford to send her to a prestigious institution to study. However, in 1901, upon the advice of Jan Kubelík, she made it into Ševčík’s studio in Prague. She had a fantastic debut in 1902 in that city and later became a sensation in London. Vaughan Williams wrote The Lark Ascending for her, and they consulted over revisions to the piece.

Marie Hall

May Harrison (1890-1959). May was one of four musical sisters (Beatrice was a cellist, Monica a singer, and Margaret a violinist). At eleven, May won a scholarship to attend the Royal College of Music. Later she studied in St. Petersburg with pedagogue Leopold Auer. She championed the Brahms double concerto (with Beatrice on cello) and the music of her fellow countryman Frederick Delius. Her quick-study skills were legendary: she learned the massively demanding Elgar concerto in two weeks.

May Harrison and her sister Beatrice

Leonora Jackson (1879-1969). Jackson was born in Boston and studied in Chicago, Paris, and Berlin. In Berlin she was a pupil of Joachim. Frances Cleveland, the former First Lady, provided Jackson with financial support for her studies. Jackson toured throughout the world, playing on a Stradivari from 1714. She retired upon her marriage at the age of 36.

Leonora Jackson

Hélène Jourdan-Morhange (1892-1961). Jourdan-Morhange was a close friend of Maurice Ravel’s (in fact, there is a rumor that he once proposed marriage to her). She met him after a performance in which she played his piano trio. Ravel dedicated his sonata for violin and piano to her, but arthritis kept her from ever performing it. He mused about writing a violin concerto for her, but unfortunately this project never materialized. She later wrote a book about her friendship entitled Ravel et nous.

Helene Jourdan-Morhange

Daisy Kennedy (1893-1981). Kennedy was born in south Australia. She began learning the piano at four and the violin at seven. When Jan Kubelík came to visit Australia, she secured a meeting with him, as well as a letter of recommendation to Kubelík’s teacher, Sevcik. She was a great musical success in both Europe and the United States. She is distantly related to violinist Nigel Kennedy.

Daisy Kennedy

Teresa Milanollo (1827-1904). Milanollo was one of the first great female violinists. Despite her being a girl, her father encouraged her studies and even relocated from Italy to Paris so that she might learn from the best teachers. She and her violinist sister Maria made an extraordinary impact on the European music scene in the 1840s, creating sensations akin to those that greeted Paganini and Liszt. One of her great passions was charity work. She largely retired from the concert stage after her marriage at the age of thirty. Despite her relatively short career, she opened many doors for the multitudes of female violinists who would follow in her footsteps.

Teresa Milanollo

Alma Moodie (1898-1943). Moodie was born in Australia. When she was nine, she won a scholarship to study at the Brussels Conservatory. As a teenager, she befriended famous composer Max Reger, who conducted and accompanied her at many of her concerts, and dedicated his Praludium und Fuge for solo violin to her. For a variety of reasons, she did not play much during World War I, and after the War, she studied under Carl Flesch to rehabilitate her playing (Flesch said that of all his students, she was the one he liked best). She had a brief affair with Gustav Mahler’s daughter’s ex, but eventually married a German lawyer named Alexander Spengler, who was not particularly supportive of her career. Details of her tragically young death, at the age of forty-five, are hazy. She never made a single recording.

Wilhelmina Norman-Neruda, later Lady Hallé (c 1838-1911). Wilhelmina was born into a musical family of prodigies. During her childhood, the violin was not considered to be an appropriate instrument for a lady, so her father encouraged her to play the piano instead. But when he discovered playing her brother’s violin in secret, he relented. She made her first public appearance at seven. Her first marriage was to Swedish composer Ludwig Norman; after his death, she married pianist and conductor Charles Hallé. She was considered to be one of the great violinists of the age, especially in her adopted country of Britain. For a longer biography, click here.

Wilma Neruda

Ginette Neveu (1919-1949). Neveu was born in Paris into a musical family. (Her brother Jean-Paul became a professional pianist who often accompanied her.) She made her orchestral debut at the age of seven. When she was fifteen, she was the winner of the Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition, beating out a 29-year-old David Oistrakh. Neveu died in a plane crash at the age of thirty; her death is one of the great musical tragedies of the twentieth century.

Ginette Neveu

Kathleen Parlow (1890-1963). Parlow was born in Alberta and was one of the first great instrumentalists to come out of Canada. She and her mother moved to San Francisco in 1894, where she began to take violin lessons. She made astonishingly quick progress and by 1906 she had secured a coveted place in the legendary St. Petersburg studio of Leopold Auer. According to Wikipedia, “Kathleen Parlow…[was] the first foreigner to attend the St. Petersburg Conservatory. In her class of forty-five students, Parlow was the only female.” She had an international career as both a soloist and a quartet player, and later became a teacher at Juilliard and University of Western Ontario.

Kathleen Parlow

Maud Powell (1867-1920). Powell was born into a progressive family in Peru, Illinois. She studied in Chicago as a child, then later in Europe with Schradieck, Dancla, and Joachim. As a teenager, she secured her New York Philharmonic debut by walking into the hall and demanding the conductor listen to her play. She was hired on the spot. She was one of the most important American instrumentalists of her day, male or female, and was the first great American violinist who could stand comparison with the best of the European-born virtuosi. She premiered the Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, and Sibelius concertos in America; she was the first white musician to include the works of black composers in her programs; and she was one of the very first recording stars. She is one of the bright shining lights of American music history.

Maud Powell

Emily Shinner (1862-1901). We don’t know a tremendous amount about Shinner, but we do know that she was one of the first female students to study under Joachim in Berlin. Later in her career she became a specialist in chamber music, and the Shinner Quartet, which was made up of women, became internationally renowned. She died at the age of 39 after giving birth to a still-born son.

Maddelena Lombardini Sirmen (1745-1818). Sirmen was born in Venice and studied at one of the many music schools there. She studied under the legendary virtuoso Giuseppe Tartini, and he once wrote a letter to her about violin technique that has since become famous. When she was 22, she married a violinist named Ludovico Sirmen, and the two toured and composed together. Later in her career she began to perform as a singer, although she was not as successful a singer as she was a violinist.

Maddelena Lombardini Sirmen

Marie Soldat Roeger (1863-1955). Soldat was born in Graz, Austria, and began to study the violin in 1871. She was also a gifted pianist and vocalist, and it wasn’t until 1879 that she decided to focus on the violin. That same year she came to the attention of both Brahms and Joachim, both of whom aided her in her musical studies. She became closely associated with the Brahms violin concerto, and she – not Joachim – was the one who introduced it to many European cities. Rachel Barton Pine now plays her 1742 del Gesu, which Brahms arranged for Soldat to acquire.

Marie Soldat

Leonora von Stosch, later Lady Speyer (1872-1956). Von Stosch was born in Washington, D.C., the daughter of a professional writer mother and a Civil War veteran father. She studied in Brussels, Paris, and Leipzig. She first married Louis Meredith Howland, but that marriage ended in divorce; later, she married Sir Edgar Speyer. She was well-known in Edwardian music circles in Britain, and she was the one who premiered portions of the Elgar violin concerto in private performance. She suffered an injury that kept her from playing the violin professionally, and so she began to explore her interest in writing. Her book Fiddler’s Farewell won the 1927 Pulitzer Prize.

Leonora von Stosch

Regina Strinasacchi Schlick (c 1761-1839). Strinasacchi was born near Mantua, Italy, and studied at the Ospedale della Pietà in Venice. She toured Europe as a young woman, and while in Vienna in 1784, she met none other than Wolfgang Mozart. He was impressed by her talent, and composed a violin and piano sonata for the two of them to play together (K454). Mozart waited to compose the piece until the last minute. Strinsacchi had to learn the new piece very quickly, and Mozart himself played without sheet music. The next year she married a cellist named Johann Conrad Schlick. She also played guitar and composed.

Arma Senkrah (1864-1900). Senkrah’s real name was Anna Harkness; she arrived at her pseudonym by writing her real name backward. (Once, in sly homage, conductor Hans von Bülow signed an autograph to her as “Snah nov Wolub.”) She was an American, but came to study in Europe in 1873, and in 1881 she won the first prize at the Paris Conservatoire. Eventually came to the attention of none other than Franz Liszt, who worked with her a great deal and praised her talents highly. At her husband’s insistence, she gave up her career after her marriage. She committed suicide in 1900, supposedly after he fell in love with another woman.

Arma Senkrah

Teresina Tua (1866-1956). Tua was born in Turin, Italy, to a musical family. She began playing the violin when she was six, and it wasn’t long before she was touring through Europe. She studied with Joseph Lambert Massart (Kreisler’s teacher), but in 1880, she won a major prize at the Paris Conservatoire and left the school. As a beautiful young woman, she bewitched European audiences throughout the 1880s, although much to her disappointment she received lukewarm reviews in America. In 1890 she married, went into semi-retirement, and gave birth to a pair of twins (who later died young). She eventually returned to the concert platform, touring with no less a pianist than Rachmaninoff. Later in life she became a teacher. In 1940 she sold all of her possessions, gave the money to the poor, and entered a convent.

Teresina Tua

Camilla Urso (1842-1902). Urso was born in Nantes, France, the daughter of a flautist and a singer. As a six-year-old, she insisted upon learning to play the violin, despite the fact it was considered to be a masculine instrument. Thankfully, her father recognized talent when he saw it, and he championed his talented daughter, persuading the officials at the Paris Conservatoire to accept her. She had a professional career that spanned half a century and four continents, but she was especially beloved in her adopted homeland of America.

Camilla Urso


Filed under Lists, Women Violinists

Works Associated With Female Violinists

An ever-evolving list. Last updated 24 February 2012.



Atterberg, Kurt – Violin Concerto – Premiere given by Alma Moodie (1919)

Barber – Violin Concerto – UK premiere given by Eda Kersey in 1943; revised version of the score that violinists use today premiered by Ruth Posselt in 1949

Bartók – Violin Concerto No. 1 – Written for his first love, virtuosa Stefi Geyer

Bartók – Violin Sonata No. 1 and No. 2 (Sz 75 and 76) – There is some question as to whether these works were dedicated to Adila Fachiri or Jelly d’Aranyi; the latter performed them with the composer in London in 1922 and 1923, respectively.

Bax – Violin Concerto – Premiered by Eda Kersey in 1943

Beach, Amy – Romance – Written for and premiered by Maud Powell in 1895

Benjamin, Arthur – Romantic Fantasy for Violin, Viola, and Orchestra – Premiered by Eda Kersey in 1938

Coleridge-Taylor – Violin Concerto – Dedicated to and premiered by Maud Powell in 1912

Copland – Violin Sonata – Premiered by Ruth Posselt with Copland at the piano in 1944

Conus – Violin Concerto in e-minor – American premiere given by Maud Powell

Delius – Violin Sonata No 3 – Dedicated to May Harrison

Delius – Double Concerto (for violin and cello) – Premiered by sisters May and Beatrice Harrison in 1920

Dukelsky, Vladimir – Violin Concerto – Premiered by Ruth Posselt in 1943

Dvořák – Violin Concerto – American premiere given by Maud Powell in 1893

Eichberg, Julius – Dedicated six parlor pieces to six of his most famous female students – find them here

Elgar – Violin Concerto – First played through in private performance with Lady Leonora Speyer on violin; first recording made by Marie Hall in 1916

Erdmann, Eduard – Sonata for Solo Violin, op 12 – Dedicated to Alma Moodie

Gade, Niels – Violin Sonata No. 3 – Dedicated to Wilma Norman-Neruda in 1885

Hindemith – Violin Concerto – New York premiere made by Ruth Posselt in 1941

Hill, Edward Burlingame – Violin Concerto – premiered by Ruth Posselt in 1939

Holst – Concerto for Two Violins – Written for sisters Jelly d’Aranyi and Adila Fachiri in 1930

Hubay – Violin Concerto No. 4 – Dedicated to his student Stefi Geyer in 1908

Krenek, Ernst – Sonata for Solo Violin – Dedicated to Alma Moodie in 1924

Moeran, Ernest John – Violin Sonata – Premiered by Eda Kersey in 1923

Mozart – Sonata in B-flat, K 454 – Written for and premiered by Regina Strinasacchi Schlick in 1784

Pfitzner, Hans – Violin Concerto, op 34 – Dedicated to and premiered by Alma Moodie in 1923

Piston, Walter – Violin Concerto No. 1 – Written for and premiered by Ruth Posselt in 1940

Poulenc – Violin Sonata – Written for and premiered by Ginette Neveu in 1943

Prokofiev – Five Melodies; the third is dedicated to violinist Cecilia Hansen

Ravel – Violin Sonata – Dedicated to Hélène Jourdan-Morhange in 1922

Ravel – Sonata for Violin and Cello – Premiered by Hélène Jourdan-Morhange on violin in 1922

Ravel – Tzigane – Written for, dedicated to, and premiered by Jelly d’Aranyi in 1924

Saint-Saëns – Fantasie for violin and harp, op 124 – Dedicated to Clara and Marianne Eissler (Clara was a harpist; Marianne a violinist) in 1907

Sarasate – Romanza Andaluza; Jota Navarra – Dedicated to Wilma Norman-Neruda (later Lady Hallé) in 1878

Schoeck, Othmar – Violin Concerto – Written for Stefi Geyer in 1910-11

Schoeck, Othmar – Violin Sonata No. 1 – Written for Stefi Geyer in 1908-9

Schumann – Violin Concerto – Joachim’s grand-nieces, Jelly d’Aranyi and Adila Fachiri, received word of the manuscript in a séance with Joachim. d’Aranyi played the London premiere in late 1937 or early 1938.

Scott, Cyril – Danse from Deux preludes – Dedicated to Daisy Kennedy in 1912

Scott, Cyril – Violin Sonata No. 1 – Dedicated to and premiered by Ethel Barns in 1908

Sibelius – Violin Concerto – Maud Powell premiered this piece in America in 1906

Stravinsky – “Suite from themes, fragments, and pieces by Pergolesi” – Premiered by Alma Moodie (and Stravinsky) in 1925

Tchaikovsky – Violin Concerto – American premiere given by Maud Powell in 1889

Vaughan-Williams – The Lark Ascending – Written for Marie Hall in 1914

Vaughan-Williams – Concerto Academico – Dedicated to Jelly d’Aranyi in 1925

Vivaldi – His work was played by women performers at his school Ospedale della Pietà in the early 1700s

Vivaldi – Violin concertos RV 387, 343, 229, 349, 248, 366 – Vivaldi wrote these six violin concertos especially for his protege Anna Maria della Pietà (I don’t believe they are available in a modern edition, but I could be wrong on this; you can see the manuscripts for some of them on IMSLP). Apparently he wrote even more for her but I can’t figure out which ones they were. Research fail. But I’ll get on that, ASAP.

Wieniawski – Gigue, Op. 23 – Dedicated to Wilma Norman-Neruda (later Lady Hallé) in 1880

Wieniawski – Capriccio Valse, Op 7 – Dedicated to Adalbert Wilkoszerwski and Teresa Milanollo in 1854

Wilson, Stanley – Violin Concerto – Premiered by Eda Kersey in 1930

Wolf-Ferrari, Ermanno – Violin Concerto – Written for Guila Bustabo in 1946



Bach – Double Concerto for Two Violins – Wilma Norman-Neruda (later Lady Hallé) and Joseph Joachim performed this together in London

Beethoven – Kreutzer Sonata – played by Wilma Norman-Neruda (later Lady Hallé) and her husband Charles Hallé in South Africa; their performance was so successful that after it was over, the concert was adjourned

De Beriot – Airs Variée – (don’t know which one) – Performed by Camilla Urso as a child at her recital debut

Beethoven – Violin Concerto – Maud Powell played it with Gustav Mahler on the podium in 1909

Brahms – Violin Concerto – played by Marie Soldat, a friend of Brahms’s; Brahms helped her find her del Gesù violin, which is now being played by Rachel Barton Pine; Gabriele Wietrowitz also played it to great acclaim

Bruch – Violin Concerto No 1 – Maud Powell made her New York Philharmonic debut with it; Teresina Tua made her American debut with it

Elgar – Violin Concerto – First played through in private performance with Lady Leonora Speyer on violin; first recording made by Marie Hall

Elgar – Violin Sonata – After playing it through with his last love Vera Hockman, he referred to it as “our sonata”

Fauré – Violin Sonata in A-major – Lady Leonora Speyer played it with Fauré on the piano in 1909

Grieg – Violin Sonata in c-minor – Inspired by Teresina Tua; played by Wilma Norman-Neruda (later Lady Hallé) with the composer at the piano

Ives – Violin Sonata No. 2 – Patricia Travers made the first complete recording in 1951

Neruda, Franz – Berceuse Slave, op. 11 – Played by Franz’s sister, the famous virtuosa Wilma Norman-Neruda (later Lady Hallé)

Ravel – Piano Trio – Ravel met his friend and muse Hélène Jourdan-Morhange for the first time when he saw her in a performance of this work

Rode – Violin Concerto No. 4 – According to the Victorian book Camilla: A Tale of a Violin, Camilla Urso played the second and third movements of this piece as her audition for the Paris Conservatoire at the age of seven.

Strauss – Violin Sonata – Leonora von Stosch (later Lady Speyer) played this with Strauss at the piano in the summer of 1914, right on the eve of WWI

Vieuxtemps – Ballade and Polonaise – Teresina Tua often played this piece in concerts in Europe and America

Vieuxtemps – Yankee Doodle Variations – Played by Wilma Norman-Neruda (later Lady Hallé) as a child when she made her debut in England

Vieuxtemps – Fantasie-Caprice op 11 – Marie Soldat made her debut with this piece

 Wieniawski – Kujawiack (Mazurka) – to the best of our knowledge, the first piece a female violinist ever recorded (Dora Valesca Backer / Baker / Becker, 1898, available on Youtube)



Barns, Ethel – Violin Concertos – Violinist, pianist, and composer Ethel Barns wrote at least two violin concertos and many other pieces. Unfortunately the scores are difficult to find today.

Amanda Maier (alternately, Amanda Röntgen-Maier) – Violin Sonata – Maier, a friend of Brahms and Grieg, wrote this lovely sonata in 1874.

Maddalena Laura Sirmen – Duo for 2 Violins in C-major – written by one of the first professional female violinists

Maddalena Laura Sirmen – wrote six violin concertos; one was praised by Leopold Mozart as being “beautifully written” in a letter to his son in 1778

*Note that Maud Powell arranged many pieces and had many more dedicated to her. Thanks to the work of the Maud Powell Society and Rachel Barton Pine, these pieces have been resurrected. If you are interested, visit the Maud Powell Society’s website for more information.


Filed under Lists, Women Violinists