Rebecca Clarke (composer)
Rebecca Helferich Clarke was a British-American classical composer and violist. She became one of the first female professional orchestral players. She was romantically involved with British baritone John Gossorie, who was married to her sister-in-law. Clarke died at her home in New York at the age of 93.
About Rebecca Clarke (composer) in brief
Rebecca Helferich Clarke was a British-American classical composer and violist. She became one of the first female professional orchestral players. Clarke was born in Harrow, England, to Joseph Thacher Clarke, an American, and his German wife, Agnes Paulina Marie Amaliehelferich. She studied at the Royal Academy of Music and Royal College of Music in London. She married composer and pianist James Friskin in 1944. Clarke died at her home in New York at the age of 93. Her compositional career peaked in a brief period, beginning with the viola sonata she entered in a 1919 competition sponsored by Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge. She was romantically involved with British baritone John Gossorie, who was married to her sister-in-law. She died in Manhattan, New York, aged 93, and was buried in Mount Vernon, New Jersey. Her works have yet to be published; those that were published in her lifetime were largely forgotten after she stopped composing. The Rebecca Clarke Society was established in 2000 to promote the study and performance of her music. She claimed both British and American nationalities, and spent substantial periods of her long life in the United States, where she permanently settled after World War II. She also performed on several recordings in the 1920s and 1930s and participated in BBC music broadcasts, including those of the BBC Music Orchestra.
Her sonata Morpheus, composed under the pseudonym of \”Anthony Trent\”, was premiered at her 1918 joint recital with cellist May Mukle in NewYork City. A 1923 rhapsody for cello and piano sponsored by Coolidge, made Clarke the only female recipient of Coolidge’s patronage. In 1924, Clarke embarked on a career as a solo and ensemble performer in London, after first completing a world tour in 1922–23. In 1927, she helped form the English Ensemble, a quartet that included herself, Kathleen Long and Kathleen Long, Kathleen Hayward, Marjorie Hayward, and may Mukle. However, she continued to perform, participating in the Paris Colonial Exhibition in 1927 and 1931 as part of the British Ensemble. In the same year, she was involved with the British Baritone Quartet, which included herself and Kathleen Hayward. In 1932, she performed in the London Colonial Exhibition with the quartet, and in the following year in Paris, she participated in the British Ensemble in the London Exhibition of the Royal Institute of Music. In 1936, she sang under the direction of Ralph Vaughan Williams in a student ensemble organized by Clarke to study and perform Palestrina’s music. In 1938, she appeared in a BBC music broadcast with the BBC Ensemble in London and the BBC Orchestra in Paris.