Eckhardt-Gramatté, S(ophie)-C(armen)”Sonia,” Russian-born Canadian violinist, pianist, teacher, and composer; b. Moscow, Jan. 6, 1899; d. in a traffic accident in Stuttgart, Dec. 2, 1974. Her mother, a former pupil of Anton and Nikolai Rubinstein, gave her piano lessons in Paris (1906–08). She then studied violin with Alfred Brun and Guillaume Remy, piano with S. Chenee, and chamber music with d’ndy and Chevillard at the Paris Cons. (1909–13); while still a student, she gave concerts in Paris, Geneva, and Berlin, appearing as both a violinist and a pianist; she later received additional violin training from Huberman. In 1920 she married the painter Walter Gramatte; they lived in Barcelona (1924–26), but spent most of their time in Germany, where she toured as a duo pianist with Edwin Fischer in 1925. Her husband died in 1929. During the 1929–30 season, she toured the U.S., settling again in Germany in 1934, where she married the art critic Ferdinand Eckhardt; she assumed the name EckhardtGramatte in 1939. She took additional courses in composition from Max Trapp at Berlin’s Preussische Akademie (from 1936). The couple went to Vienna in 1939 and to Winnipeg in 1953. In 1958 she became a naturalized Canadian citizen. Her works are marked by an impressive craftsmanship.
Orch.3 piano concertos (1925, 1946, 1967); 2 syms. (1939; Manitoba, 1969–70); Capriccio concertante (1940); Markantes Stuck for 2 Pianos and Orch. (1946–50); Concertino for Strings (1947); Triple Concerto for Trumpet, Clarinet, Bas-soon, Strings, and Timpani (1949); Bassoon Concerto (1950); 2 violin concertos (1951, 1952); Concerto for Orchestra (1953–54); Symphony-Concerto for Piano and Orch. (1966–67). CHAMBERS suites for Violin (1922–68); 6 piano suites (1923–52); 10 Caprices for Violin (1924–34); Concerto for Violin (1925); 6 Caprices for Piano (1934–36); 3 string quartets (1938; 1943; 1962–64); 2 duos for 2 Violins (1944); Duo for Viola and Cello (1944); Duo for 2 Cellos (1944); Wind Quartet (1946); 2 string trios (1947); Ruck-Ruck Sonata for Clarinet and Piano (1947; rev. 1962); Wind Trio (1947); 2 violin sonatas (1950, 1951); Duo concertante for Flute and Violin (1956); Duo concertante for Cello and Piano (1959); Wind Quintet (1962–63); Nonet (1966); Piano Trio (1967); Woodwind Trio (1967); Concertino for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord (1971); Fanfare for 8 Brasses (1971).
F. Eckhardt, Music from Within: A Biography of the Composer S. C E.-G. (Manitoba, 1985).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire