Jeanne Behrend

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Jeanne Behrend

Jeanne Behrend (11 May 1911 – 20 March 1988) was an American pianist, music educator, musicologist and composer.


Jeanne Behrend was born in Philadelphia and graduated from the Curtis Institute in 1934, where she studied piano with Josef Hofmann and composition with Rosario Scalero. She made her debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1922 and at Carnegie Hall in 1937, playing one of her own compositions.[1]

After completing her education, Behrend worked as a pianist and composer and taught music at Juilliard, the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music, and Temple University.[2] Becoming aware of the lack of opportunity for American composers, she became a champion of American music and concentrated on her career as a performer.[3]

Behrend edited a selection of Louis Moreau Gottschalk piano scores and his autobiography, Notes of a Pianist. She also edited a collection of Stephen Foster songs and one of American fuguing tunes. She married twice. Her first husband, pianist Alexander Kelberine died in 1940, and her second husband, Americana book dealer George S. McManus died in 1967.[1]

Behrend received the Joseph Bearns prize from Columbia University in 1936 for composition. She was recommended for sponsorship by Heitor Villa-Lobos and toured in South America from 1945-46. She founded and directed the Philadelphia Festival of Western Hemisphere Music in 1959 and 1960 and was awarded the Order of the Southern Cross from Brazil. Behrend died in Philadelphia and her papers are housed in the Free Library in the city.[4]


Selected works include:

  • A Child's Day, piano suite
  • From Dawn to Dusk for orchestra, 1939
  • Lamentation for viola and pianoforte, 1944
  • Quiet Piece for piano, 1932
  • Festival Fanfare: Prelude to the National Anthem, 1959

Behrend edited Louis Moreau Gottschalk's Notes of a Pianist (New York, 1964) and also selections of his music.


  1. ^ a b Rockwell, John (15 April 2008), Jeanne Behrend, 76, a Pianist; Specialized in Music of Americas, The New York Times, retrieved 8 May 2014 
  2. ^ Gottschalk, Louis Moreau; Behrend, Jeanne (2006). Notes of a pianist. 
  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 23 January 2011. 

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