Powell, Maud

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Powell, Maud

Powell, Maud , esteemed American violinist; b. Peru, Ill, Aug. 22, 1868; d. Uniontown, Pa., Jan. 8, 1920. After studying violin and piano in Aurora, Ill., she received violin lessons from William Lewis in Chicago. She then studied violin with Schraideck at the Leipzig Cons. (1881–82) and theory with Charles Dancla at the Paris Cons. (1882–83); after touring England (1883), she completed her training with Joachim at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik (1884). In 1885 she appeared as a soloist with Joachim and the Berlin Phil., and with Thomas and the N.Y. Phil.; toured Europe with the N.Y. Arion Soc. (1892); subsequently performed regularly in the U.S. and Europe. She was the first American woman to found a string quartet (1894), and she also organized her own trio (1908). Powell made it a point to program works by American composers, and also introduced works by Dvorak, Lalo, Saint-Saens, Sibelius, and Tchaikovsky to the U.S. Her virtuosity won her wide recognition and praise.


K. Schaffer and N. Greenwood, M. P., Pioneer American Violinist (Arlington, Va., 1988); K. Shaffer, M. P.: Legendary American Violinist (Arlington, Va., 1994).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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