Clarke, Rebecca (Thacher)

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Clarke, Rebecca (Thacher)

Clarke, Rebecca (Thacher), English-born American composer and violisi; b. Harrow, Aug. 27, 1886; d. N.Y., Oct. 13, 1979. She studied violin with Hans Wessely at the Royal Academy of Music (1902–04) and composition with Stanford at the Royal Coll. of Music (1904–10) in London. She then switched to the viola, taking a few private lessons from Tertis and becoming the first female member of Henry Wood’s Queen Hall Orch. (1912). In 1928 she formed the English Ensemble, with which she played until 1929. She married James Friskin in 1944; she then lived in N.Y. Her music, comprising entirely chamber works, was quite advanced, being on the fringe of atonality in outline, but remaining firmly rooted in English Impressionism. For some of her compositions, she used the name Anthony Trent.


Violin Sonata (1909); Morpheus for Viola and Piano (1917); Viola Sonata (1919); Piano Trio (1921); String Quartet (1924); Epilogue for Cello and Piano (1921); Chinese Puzzle for Violin and Piano (1921); Rhapsody for Cello and Piano (1923); Midsummer Moon for Violin and Piano (1924); 3 Old English Songs for Voice and Piano (1924); 3 Irish Country Songs for Voice and Violin (1926); Prelude, Allegro, and Pastorale for Clarinet and Viola (1941; Berkeley, Calif., Aug. 6, 1942); Combined Carols for String Quartet and Strings (1941); Passacaglia on an Old English Tune for Viola and Piano (1941); over 60 songs.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Clarke, Rebecca (Thacher)

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