TERESA CARREÑO (1853 – 1917)
María Teresa Gertrudis de Jesús Carreño García was a Venezuelan pianist, soprano, composer, and conductor. Over the course of her 54-year concert career, she became an internationally renowned virtuoso pianist and was often referred to as the “Valkyrie of the Piano”.
Born into a musical family, Carreño’s talent was recognized at an early age. She was first taught piano by her father, Manuel Antonio Carreño. In 1862, her family emigrated to New York City. The young girl took a handful of lessons from Louis Moreau Gottschalk. That year, she made her debut at Irving Hall at the age of 8. In 1863, Carreño performed for Abraham Lincoln at the White House.
Carreño was an early adopter of the works of one of her students, American composer and pianist Edward MacDowell (1860–1908) and premiered several of his compositions across the globe. She also frequently performed the works of Norwegian composer and pianist Edvard Grieg (1843–1907). Carreño composed approximately 75 works for solo piano, voice and piano, choir and orchestra, and instrumental ensemble. Several composers dedicated their compositions to Carreño, including and (Piano Concerto No. 2).