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MACDOWELL, EDWARD - Columbia's first professor of music
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MACDOWELL, EDWARD - Columbia's first professor of music

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MACDOWELL, EDWARD. (1860-1908). American composer, pianist and teacher. DS. (“E.A. MacDowell”). 1p. Oblong 8vo. New York, October 4, 1900. A partially-printed document signed by MacDowell and acknowledging that ANGELA DILLER (1877-1968) is qualified to attend “Course 2.5” in Columbia University’s Department of Music.


In May 1896, MacDowell was appointed Columbia University’s first professor of music. In addition to teaching, he continued to conduct, perform and compose, producing some of his finest piano works, including Sea Pieces (Op. 55), the Third (“Norse”) Sonata (Op. 57) and Fireside Tales (Op. 61).


Diller, the Brooklyn-born daughter of a church organist, was a music teacher at a New York City girls’ boarding school when she began studying with MacDowell. “For seven years, from 1896 until 1903, she studied harmony, counterpoint, orchestration, composition, and piano with Edward MacDowell at Columbia University, and concurrently was enrolled at Barnard College as a special student in music… In 1899 Angela Diller was the first recipient of the Mosenthal fellowship for musical composition at the university,” (Notable American Women: The Modern Period: A Biographical Dictionary, ed. Sicherman and Green). That same year, she began teaching at the New York City Music School Settlement where she eventually rose to head of the theory department and “became a devoted, and inspiring teacher to the hundreds of students, young and old, whom she met,” (ibid.). She went on to co-found the Diller Quaile School of Music which introduced a new curriculum she developed that applied music theory and “emphasized the development of musicianship in a program closely coordinated with the individual instrumental lessons,” (ibid.). Her philosophy was influential amongst music educators.


Mounted to a slightly larger sheet. Tears in the upper and lower right corners and one small chip along the right edge. In very good condition. Uncommon in this format.



Item #18759


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