Esther Ballou

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Esther Williamson Ballou (17 July 1915 – 12 March 1973) was an American music educator, organist and composer. She was born in Elmira, New York, began organ lessons at age 13, and began composing in her twenties. She studied at Bennington College, Mills College and The Juilliard School of Music in 1943.[1]

After completing her education, she married Harold Ballou in August 1950. Her performing career was shortened by arthritis, and she taught at the Juilliard School from 1943–50, at Catholic University from 1951–54 and at American University from 1955–72.

In 1963, her Capriccio for Violin and Piano was the first work by an American woman composer to premiere at the White House.[2][3] She died in Chichester, England.[4]

Works[edit]

Ballou composed orchestra, chamber, organ, piano and vocal music. Selected works include:

  • Nocturne, 1937
  • Adagio for Bassoon and String Orchestra, 1962
  • Allegro for String Quartet
  • The Art of the Fugue, 1963
  • A Babe is Born, 1959
  • Bag of Tricks, 1956
  • The Beatitudes, 1963
  • Beguine, 1960
  • Beguine for Two Pianos, 1958
  • Berceuse for Piano Forte, 1956
  • Blues, 1944
  • Brass Sextette with Piano Forte, 1962
  • Bride, 1963
  • Capriccio for Violin and Piano, 1963
  • Christmas Mass (Palestrina)
  • Chromatic Invention
  • Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra, 1964
  • Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, 1964
  • Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, 1965
  • Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, 1964
  • Concerto for Viola and Orchestra, 1969

She published a text:

  • Creative Explorations of Musical Elements (1971)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ammer, Christine (2001). Unsung: a history of women in American music. 
  2. ^ "Esther Williamson Ballou Papers". Retrieved 22 January 2011. 
  3. ^ Dees, Pamela Youngdahl (2004). A Guide to Piano Music by Women Composers: Women born after 1900. 
  4. ^ Sadie, Julie Anne; Samuel, Rhian (1994). The Norton/Grove dictionary of women composers (Digitized online by GoogleBooks). Retrieved 22 January 2011. 

External links[edit]