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Philippa Schuyler

American composer and pianist Philippa Duke Schuyler was the daughter of African-American author George Schuyler and eccentric, Texas-born Caucasian artist and ex-Mack Sennett Bathing Beauty Josephine Cogdell, whose marriage to Philippa Schuyler’s father served to ostracize Cogdell from her rich family. Anxious to verify that mixed-raced children were inherently more advanced than children blessed to single-race households, the Schuylers elevated their daughter over the educational fast-track and on an unconventional diet plan consisting generally of whole wheat germ. Philippa Schuyler do indeed respond highly to this program and swiftly progressed into a kid prodigy; she enhanced her skill through research with pianists Paul Wittgenstein and Josef Hofmann and in structure with Dean Dixon. On June 19, 1940, NY mayor Fiorello LaGuardia presided over “Philippa Schuyler Time” at the brand new York World’s Good, of which Schuyler performed as his visitor of honor; shortly after she obtained a account in ASCAP, currently having written a lot more than 100 musical functions. By her 13th calendar year Schuyler had currently established the foundation of her profession being a concert pianist and composer; in 1944 Schuyler premiered her piano-orchestral function Manhattan Nocturne with the brand new York Philharmonic, and she came back in 1946 to try out the Piano Concerto No. 2 in G small, Op. 22, of Camille Saint-Saëns. Many African-American kids her age group and younger appeared up to Schuyler like a model exemplory case of what a dark child in the us could attain. As Schuyler moved into adulthood, the novelty of her position as a kid prodigy started to put on off and, after producing her NY City Hall debut like a recitalist in 1953, discovered it increasingly challenging to obtain concert engagements in the us. She rectified the problem by touring abroad and gained popularity playing prior to the crowned minds of European countries, for Emperor Haile Selassie in Africa, and in Asia. But she was rarely seen in america within the last 10 years of her lifestyle, and privately she acquired started to repudiate the “dark” aspect of her identification, implementing an ultra-conservative politics plan and playing engagements in South Africa for whites-only viewers. Schuyler also toured Europe for a while under an assumed identification, Felipa Monterro, posing being a Spanish musician in the expectations of being in a position to earn engagements in the us once again. Philippa Schuyler composed five books about her world-wide travels and continuing to create musical compositions up to the finish of her brief life. She produced only one industrial documenting in 1963 for the obscure Middle-Tone information label. Philippa Schuyler passed away at 35 within a helicopter crash in Da Nang, Vietnam, during an effort to evacuate college kids from a battle zone. Schuyler’s documents were donated towards the Schomberg Middle for Analysis and Black Lifestyle at the brand new York Community Library, and a Memorial Base and a college for artistically gifted kids were set up under her name. A significant biography on Schuyler, Structure in Dark and Light by Kathryn Talalay, made an appearance in 1996, and a film biography on Schuyler, starring pop vocalist Alicia Keys, is within production.

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