Teresa Carreño

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Teresa Carreño
Teresa Carreño, 1916.jpg
Born (1853-12-22)December 22, 1853
Caracas, Venezuela
Died June 12, 1917(1917-06-12) (aged 63)
New York City, U.S.

María Teresa Carreño García de Sena (December 22, 1853 – June 12, 1917) was a Venezuelan pianist, singer, composer, and conductor. The Teresa Carreño Cultural Complex in Caracas is named after her, as is a crater on Venus.

Life[edit]

Born into a musical family, she was at first taught by her father, then by Georges Mathias, Louis Moreau Gottschalk and Anton Rubinstein, and her talent was recognized at an early age. In 1862 her family emigrated to New York City, and at the age of 8 she made her debut at Irving Hall that same year. In 1863 she performed for Abraham Lincoln at the White House. In 1866 she moved to Europe, and began touring, making her debut as an opera singer in 1876. She toured Australia at least once.[1] Franz Liszt offered her lessons, but she declined.[2] She did not return to Venezuela until 1885, and then only for a short period. In 1889 she returned to Europe for more touring, settling in Berlin. She mounted two world tours in the early years of the twentieth century, but her health deteriorated and she died in 1917, in her apartment in New York City.

She performed several times at Henry Wood's promenade concerts. He wrote: "It is difficult to express adequately what all musicians felt about this great woman who looked like a queen among pianists - and played like a goddess. The instant she walked onto the platform her steady dignity held her audience who watched with riveted attention while she arranged the long train she habitually wore. Her masculine vigour of tone and touch and her marvellous precision on executing octave passages carried everyone completely away."[3]

Personal life[edit]

Plaque commemorating Teresa Carreño at the place of her death

Teresa Carreño married three times and also had a common-law partnership with the brother of her final husband:

  • 1873-1875 she was married to violinist Émile Sauret by whom she had a daughter, Emilita
  • 1876-1891 she maintained a common-law union with Italian opera-singer Giovanni Tagliapietra, by whom she had two surviving children, Giovanni and Teresita (born 24 December 1882); the latter also became a famous pianist, under the name of Teresita Tagliapietra-Carreño
  • 1892-1895 she was married to pianist Eugen d'Albert, himself oft-married, and together they produced two more daughters, Eugenia and Hertha
  • 1902-1917 she was married to Arturo Tagliapietra, the brother of her former common-law husband Giovanni Tagliapietra.

Compositions[edit]

Teresa Carreño was also a composer; she composed at least 40 works for piano, 2 for voice and piano, 2 for choir and orchestra, and 2 as chamber music. She also left many incomplete works. She wrote a song called Tendeur, which was a "hit" in her time. On April 2, 1905, she recorded 18 pieces for the reproducing piano Welte-Mignon. Her daughter Teresita recorded in 1906 for Welte-Mignon as well.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/45810197
  2. ^ Harold C. Schonberg, The Great Pianists, p. 328-29
  3. ^ Sir Henry Wood, My Life of Music (1938), p. 147-148.

Further reading[edit]

  • Kijas,, Anna E. (2013). ""A suitale soloist for my piano concerto": Teresa Carreño as a promoter of Edvard Grieg's music". Notes: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association (Music Library Association) 70 (1): 37–58. 

External links[edit]