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Long, Marguerite (Marie-Charlotte)

Long, Marguerite (Marie-Charlotte)

Long, Marguerite (Marie-Charlotte), eminent French pianist and pedagogue; b. Nîmes, Nov. 13, 1874; d. Paris, Feb. 13, 1966. She began piano studies as a child with her sister, Claire Long. In 1883 she became a student of her sister at the Nîmes Cons., where she received a Prix d’Honneur in 1886. That same year she made her debut in Nîmes as a soloist in Mozart’s D minor Concerto, K.466. In 1889 she entered the Paris Cons, in the class of Mme. Chêné, and then was Henri Fissot’s student there (1890–91). After graduating in 1891 with a premier prix, she pursued private studies with Antonin Marmontel. In 1893 she made her formal Paris recital debut, and subsequently acquired a notable reputation as a recitalist and chamber music artist. On Nov. 22, 1903, she made her Paris debut as a soloist when she played Franck’s Variations Symphoniques with Chevillard and the Orchestre Lamoureux. Her reputation was assured when she appeared for the first time as soloist with the orch. of the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire in Paris performing Fauré’s Ballade on Jan. 19, 1908. Thereafter she appeared as a soloist with the principal French orchs. until her farewell appearance in the same work with Inghelbrecht and the Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Télévision Française in Paris on Feb. 3,1959. In 1906 Long became a teacher of piano at the Paris Cons. In 1920 she was made a prof. of piano of a Classe Supérieure there, the first woman to hold that position. From 1906 she also was active with her own music school. After retiring from the Cons, in 1940, she joined Jacques Thibaud in founding the École Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud in 1941. They also organized the Concours Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud, which was first held in 1943. After World War II, it blossomed into one of the principal international competitions. Among Long’s many notable students were Samson François, Nicole Henriot, Aldo Ciccolini, Philippe Entremont, and Peter Frankl. Her writings, all publ, in Paris, included Le piano (1959), Au piano avec Claude Debussy (1960; Eng. tr., 1972), Au piano avec Gabriel Fauré (1963; Eng. tr., 1981), and Au piano avec Maurice Ravel (1971; Eng. tr., 1973). She was made a Chevalier (1921), an Officier (1930), and a Commandeur (1938) of the Légion d’Honneur. She was the first woman to be accorded the latter honor. In 1965 she was the first woman to be awarded the Grand Croix de l’Ordre du Mérite. In 1906 she married Joseph de Marliave . As a pianist, Long won great renown for her interpretations of French music. Her performances of Fauré, Debussy, and Ravel, all of whom she came to know well, were outstanding. She gave the first performance of Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin (Paris, April 11, 1919). She also was the soloist in the premiere of his Piano Concerto in G major under the composer’s direction (Paris, Jan. 14, 1932).

Bibliography

J. Weill, M. L: Une vie fascinante (Paris, 1969); C. Dunoyer, M. L, 1874–1966: Un siècle de vie musicale française (Paris, 1993; Eng. tr., 1993, as M. L: A Life in Music, 1874–1966).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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