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Ballou, Esther Williamson (1915–1973)

American composer, teacher, and pianist. Born in 1915; died in 1973; studied with Luening, Wagenaar, and Riegger; taught at American University.

Esther Ballou, the first woman composer to have a work premiered at the White House, seemed destined for a brilliant career, when, in 1943, she was crippled by arthritis, a condition she would endure for the next ten years of her life. Finally recovered, she joined the faculty of American University, where she composed and orchestrated Beguine for two pianos (1958), performed by the National Symphony Orchestra. She composed as well A Babe is Born (1959), and, for orchestra and band: In memoriam (1952), Prelude and allegro for string orchestra and piano (1952), Oboe concertino (1953), Adagio for bassoon and string orchestra (1962), Early American Portrait (1962), Concerto for piano and orchestra (1965), Concerto for solo guitar and chamber orchestra (1966), Konzertstück (1970), and Intermezzo for orchestra.

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Ballou, Esther Williamson (1915–1973)

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