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Rockefeller, Martha Baird

Rockefeller, Martha Baird

Rockefeller, Martha Baird , American pianist and music patroness; b. Madera, Calif., March 15, 1895; d. N.Y., Jan. 24, 1971. She studied at Occidental Coll. in Los Angeles and the New England Cons. of Music in Boston (graduated, 1917); received instruction in piano from Schnabel in Berlin. After touring with Dame Nellie Melba (1918), she appeared as a soloist with leading orchs. and as a recitalist until her retirement in 1931. In later years she devoted herself to musical philanthropy; after the death of her 3rd husband, John D. Rockefeller Jr., she organized the Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund for Music (1962); by the time it was dissolved in 1982, it had dispensed grants of some $9, 000, 000 to individuals and organizations.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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