Schiller, Madeline, gifted English pianist; b. London, 1845; d. N.Y., July 3, 1911. She studied piano in London with Benjamin Isaacs, Benedict, and Halle, and later with Moscheles in Leipzig, making her debut there with the Gewandhaus Orch. on Jan. 23, 1862, in Mendelssohn’s first Piano Concerto. She became known for her extraordinary ability to learn a new work in a short time; she demonstrated this talent by learning a piano concerto by Raff in a week and repeating this feat with the fourth Piano Concerto of Saint-Saëns. She engaged in an active career as a concert pianist in Europe, Australia, and the U.S. In 1872 she married an American, Marcus Elmer Bennett, but was widowed in 1876. On Nov. 12, 1881, Schiller made history when she gave the world premiere of Tchaikovsky’s second Piano Concerto with the N.Y. Phil., anticipating its first Moscow performance by 6 months. She continued to perform as a soloist and with orchs. until 1900, when an injury forced her to retire. She died of a cerebral hemorrhage during an intense heat wave in N.Y.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire