Rogers, Clara Kathleen (1844–1931)

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Rogers, Clara Kathleen (1844–1931)

English-born composer, singer and teacher. Name variations: Clara Doria. Born Clara Kathleen Barnett in Cheltenham, England, on January 14, 1844; died in Boston, Massachusetts, on March 8, 1931; daughter of John Barnett (a composer); married Henry Munroe Rogers (a Boston attorney), in 1878.

Born in Cheltenham, England, in 1844, Clara Kathleen Rogers showed an early interest in composition. She became, at age 12, the youngest student ever accepted by the Leipzig Conservatory, where she studied singing and piano, but not composition, since this area was at the time closed to women. After graduating from Leipzig in 1860 with honors, Rogers continued her studies with Hans von Bülow and others in Berlin, and began a singing career. She made her debut under the name Clara Doria in Milan, and enjoyed a successful career in Italy and England. In 1871, she made her New York debut, but her performing career ended seven years later with her marriage to Henry Munroe Rogers, a Boston attorney. She then concentrated on composing, although she occasionally appeared as a performer to play her own works and was appointed a professor at the New England Conservatory of Music in 1902. Most of her compositions were songs that used choice texts, and she set them effectively within the then-reigning tradition of German Romanticism; many of these works remain eminently singable and a number of them deserve to be revived. She also composed violin and cello Sonatas and, in her student years, crafted a String Quartet. Rogers wrote several books on the art of singing as well as a three-volume autobiography.

John Haag , Athens, Georgia

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Rogers, Clara Kathleen (1844–1931)

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