This week you will be listening to the piano music of Edward MacDowell, an American composer who lived from 1860-1908.  MacDowell was born in New York city but his family moved to Paris when he was seventeen and he attended the Paris Conservatory. He continued to live in Europe for several years, composing and teaching but eventually he and his wife, Marian, returned to the United States where he became professor of music at Columbia University.

The MacDowells purchased Hillcrest Farm in New Hampshire to have as a summer residence and Edward found that living close to nature inspired him and infused his compositions.  Many of them have titles such as To A Wild Rose, To A Water Lily In Autumn, these from a collection entitled Woodland Sketches.  He was also influenced by native American melodies and rhythms.

Upon Edward’s death, Marian founded the MacDowell Colony using their beloved property of Hillcrest Farm as the setting for this organization.  It still operates today as an artists colony where artists of all the disciplines can come and work free of charge for up to two months.  To date sixty-one Pulitzer Prize winners have worked there including such notables as Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland.

From An Indian Lodge

Hungarian Etude played by Benjamin Hopkins