MYRA HESS

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MYRA HESS

Mesaj  Admin Bir Salı Kas. 30, 2010 12:48 am

MYRA HESS

Myra Hess (25 February 1890 – 25 November 1965) was a British pianist.

She was born in London as Julia Myra Hess, but was best-known by her middle name. At the age of five she began to study the piano and two years later entered the Guildhall School of Music, where she graduated as winner of the gold medal. She studied at the Royal Academy of Music under Tobias Matthay. Her debut came in 1907 when she played Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 with Sir Thomas Beecham conducting. She went on to tour through Britain, the Netherlands and France. Upon her American debut (New York, 24 January 1922) she became a prime favourite in the United States, not only as a soloist, but also as a fine ensemble player. She also has a surprising link to jazz, having given lessons in the '20s to Ivy Brubeck, mother of Dave Brubeck.

Hess garnered greater fame during World War II when, with all concert halls blacked out at night to avoid being targets of German bombers, she organized what would turn out to be some 1700 lunchtime concerts spanning a period of six years. The concerts were held at the National Gallery, in Trafalgar Square; Hess herself played in 150 of them. For this contribution to maintaining the morale of the populace of London, King George VI awarded her with the Dame Commander of the British Empire (DBE) in 1941; having previously been created a CBE in 1936. Hess makes a brief appearance performing at one of her lunchtime concerts in the classic 1942 wartime documentary Listen to Britain (directed by Humphrey Jennings and Stuart McAllister).

In 1977, The Chicago Cultural Center began a series of lunchtime concerts every Wednesday at 12:15, named in Dame Myra's honor. These are still broadcast over radio station WFMT and streamed at WFMT.com. http://www.imfchicago.org/hess/main#/hess/history

Hess was most renowned for her interpretations of the works of Mozart, Beethoven and Schumann, but had a wide repertoire ranging from Domenico Scarlatti to contemporary works. She gave the premiere of Howard Ferguson's Piano Sonata and his Piano Concerto. She also played a good amount of chamber music, and performed in a piano duo with Irene Scharrer. She promoted public awareness of the piano duo and two-piano works of Schubert.

She made a well-known arrangement for piano of the chorale prelude "Jesus bleibet meine Freude" (known in English as "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring") from Johann Sebastian Bach's Cantata Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147. Her protégés included Clive Lythgoe and Richard and John Contiguglia.

Hess's lunchtime concerts influenced the City Music Society to form.

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Schumann Piano Concerto

Mesaj  Admin Bir Salı Kas. 30, 2010 1:01 am

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