David Whitwell (1937–)
Dances in Honor of Mothers Past
Cover photo by Evie Shaffer 📷 @evieshaffer
📅 2021 🎺 Concert Band ⏰ 5 min 45 sec 4️⃣ Medium 📄 PDF download
I have just finished my latest composition, written in honor of my mother, whose story must be similar of so many earlier women who never got the credit they deserved. She was an unusually talented artist. Her oil paintings from the 1920s demonstrate an extraordinary talent, but she laid down her brushes in 1927 and never painted again. One can only imagine what her fame as a painter might have been with another seventy years of creativity. She was also an exceptional pianist, who gave recitals and organized city-wide piano festivals. She studied with a student of Liszt, and she could still play some Liszt compositions in public from memory until the age of 94. But her public appearances as a pianist also ended abruptly in 1927. This composition is based on a melody from a string quartet she composed in 1926, as part of her final project before receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Music. Why did so talented a woman immediately stop pursuing her talent in music and painting so abruptly in 1927? She was following the customary expectation of all women of that era who made this choice. She got married.