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Mary Howe


Mary Howe

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Mary Howe (April 4, 1882 – September 14, 1964) was an American composer and pianist.

She was born Mary Carlisle in Richmond, Virginia, at the home of her maternal grandparents. She would spend her entire life in the Washington, DC area. Her family was extremely wealthy; her father, Calderon Carlisle, was a very well known and successful lawyer. This privilege ensured her private piano lessons—a symbol of status for wealthy women—with Hermione Seron, an accomplished pianist. By the time she was 18, she was regularly performing publicly, and was accepted into Baltimore’s Peabody School of Music. It was there that she began studying with Richard Burmeister, who led her to be quite accomplished on the piano. She also studied composition with Gustav Strube, Ernest Hutcheson, and Harold Randolph, and in 1933 went to Paris to study with the very famous and prestigious Nadia Boulanger.

Shortly thereafter, she began mixing with the high society of the District of Columbia. There, she met Bruce Howe, a wealthy lawyer who ensured that she would maintain her comfortable life style. She also started performing with her friend Anne Hull, their most notable performance being Mozart’s “Concerto for Two Pianos”. However, she much preferred composition. She notably emulated neo-romanticism, with an unusually open mind for modernism. Her early compositions were almost exclusively for piano, as a reflection of her craft. However, she began to develop an interest in themes in nature and American themes, paving the way for some of her most famous orchestral works (which include Sand, Stars, Rock, “Three Pieces after Emily Dickinson” and “Chain Gang Song” for orchestra and chorus).

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  • ChristFollower3

    “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” –Acts 4:12

    21 Mar 11:23pm Reply