Louise Talma

Louise Talma was born in France to American parents. In 1914, after the untimely death of her father, she and her mother moved to New York City. There she enjoyed a long and productive musical life, which included a fifty-year professorship at Hunter College (CUNY) and a composing career that spanned more than five decades.Talma's works demonstrate a fascinating variety of genres, styles, and inspirational sources, and they earned for her an impressive number of awards, grants, and commissions. She was the first woman to receive two Guggenheim fellowships for composition, the Sibelius Medal for Composition, and election to the National Institute of Arts and Letters. Other honors included a Koussevitsky Music Foundation Commission, a Juilliard Publication Award, the Prix d'Excellence de Composition from the French government, two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Senior Fulbright Research Grant, and a Sanford Fellowship at Yale University. Her study with Nadia Boulanger and her acquaintance with other composers of the "American Stravinsky School" were undoubtedly the most significant influences on her own compositional style. Her music is especially noted for its neoclassic characteristics, but many of her post-1954 works also use serial techniques. She wrote a myriad of vocal and chamber works, including an a cappella setting of seven sonnets of John Donne (La Corona, 1955); a work for three choirs and orchestra that features quotes of John F. Kennedy (A Time to Remember, 1967); and an opera written in collaboration with Thornton Wilder (TheAlcestiad, 1958). Her output of instrumental chamber music is prolific and varied. Her primarykeyboard works include two multi-movement sonatas (1943, 1955); Aileluia in Form of Toccata (1945); Six Etudes (1954); Three Bagatelles (1955); Passacaglia and Fugue (1962); a five-movement study in Textures (1977); Kaleidoscopic Variations (1984); and a book of twenty pedagogical pieces, entitled Soundshots (1974). HPC #0201‚


Works in Our Catalog:

490-01144 - Bagatelles
490-01118 - Soundshots