Talma, Louise (Juliette)

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Talma, Louise (Juliette)

Talma, Louise (Juliette), American composer and teacher; b. Arcachon, France, Oct. 31, 1906. She studied at the Inst. of Musical Art in N.Y. (1922-30) and took courses at N.Y.U. (B.M., 1931) and at Columbia Univ. (B.Mus., 1933); took piano lessons with Philipp and composition with Boulanger in Fontainebleau (summers, 1926-39). She taught at Hunter Coll. (1928-79); was the first American to teach at the Fontainebleau School of Music (summers, 1936-39; 1978; 1981-82). She received 2 Guggenheim fellowships (1946, 1947); was the first woman composer to be elected to the National Inst. of Arts and Letters in 1974. In her music, she adopts a strongly impressionistic style. She publ. Harmony for the College Student (1966) and Functional Harmony (with J. Harrison and R. Levin, 1970).


dramatic: Opera :Tfe Alcestiad (1955-58; Frankfurt am Main, March 1, 1962). ORCH.: Toccata (1944; Baltimore, Dec. 20, 1945); Dialogues for Piano and Orch. (1963-64; Buffalo, Dec. 12, 1965). CHAMBER: String Quartet (1954); Violin Sonata (1962); Summer Sounds for Clarinet, 2 Violins, Viola, and Cello (1969-73); The Ambient Air for Flute, Violin, Cello, and Piano (1980-83); Studies in Spacing for Clarinet and Piano (1982). Piano: 2 sonatas (1943; 1944-55); Passacaglia and Fugue (1955-62); Textures (1977). VOCAL: Choral : The Divine Flame, oratorio (1946-48); La corona, 7 sonnets (1954-55); A Time to Remember for Chorus and Orch. (1966-67); Voices of Peace for Chorus and Strings (1973); Mass for the Sundays of the Year (1984). With Solo Voice: Terre de France, song cycle for Soprano and Piano (1943-5); All the Days of My Life, cantata for Tenor, Clarinet, Cello, Piano, and Percussion (1963-65); The Tolling Bell for Baritone and Orch. (1967-69); Diadem, song cycle for Tenor and Piano or 5 Instruments (1978-79); Variations on 13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird for Soprano or Tenor and Flute or Oboe or Violin and Piano (1979).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire