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Gail Smith, pianist

Homage to Teresa Carre?o, Thursday, April 1st., 2004 at the Bolivarian Hall

The Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Mrs. Bernardo Alvarez cordially invite you to Homage to Teresa Carre?o, a recital by Gail Smith, piano, and The Carre?o String Quartet.

Bolivarian hall, 2443 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, Dc. Hour: 7:00 PM


TERESA CARRE?O (1853-1917)Teresa Carre?o was born in Caracas, Venezuela, on December 22, 1853. Her father Manuel Antonio was a prominent politician (and amateur pianist), her grandfather Caetano Carre?o, a distinguished Venezuelan composer. With her father as her principal teacher, Teresa showed extraordinary musical promise at an early age. Her earliest compositions, short piano pieces, date from her sixth year. In 1862, she moved with her family the United States, settling in New York City. Teresa made her debut in New York's Irving Hall on 25 November 1862 and studied with pianist-composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk, to whom she dedicated her first published composition. In March she traveled with her family to Cuba, where she continued to meet with great success. In the fall of this same year, she performed for Abraham Lincoln in the White House. In 1866 the family sailed for Europe, and settled in Paris where she performed for Gioachino Rossini and Franz Liszt and became acquainted with Charles Gounod and Camille Saint-Sa?ns. She also performed in London and Spain. She was particularly productive as a composer during these years, and the majority of her surviving piano works were published in Paris in the late 1860s and early 1870s?well before her twentieth birthday. The early 1870s were eventful years for Teresa. She continued to tour and compose, and to assert her independence. In 1873, she married for the first time to Emile Sauret, a violinist and composer. In 1874, after the birth of her first daughter and the death of her father, she and Sauret left for the United States, and Carre?o remained in the Americas until 1889, where she had a hectic touring schedule. Throughout the later 1870s and 1880s Carre?o continued to concertize indefatigably. She pursued a career (briefly but with some success) as an opera singer, and in January 1876 she made her debut in New York City as Zerlina in Mozart's Don Giovanni and met her second husband, Giovanni Tagliapietra, an Italian-born baritone. An important period in her career comes in 1885-86, when she returned?for the first and only time?to Venezuela. There she concertized, composed a patriotic chorus in honor of Sim?n Bol?var's birth, managed an opera company, and helped formulate plans for a conservatory of music, all in a matter of months. In 1889, when she returned decisively to Europe, and settled in Berlin, where on 18 November she performed for the first time with the Berlin Philharmonic, in a performance of Grieg's Piano Concerto.In 1891, she met pianist-composer Eugen d'Albert, who became her third husband. Their marriage, in 1892, produced two daughters, Eugenia and Hertha. The demise of this marriage in 1895 led Carre?o to seek solace in composition, and during her summer holidays she wrote a string quartet (published in the following year), as well as an unpublished serenade for string orchestra. During the many years in which she lived in Berlin, her career reached new heights of exposure and acclaim both as a performer and as a teacher. With the new century Teresa?s career continued to expand, making two world tours and marrying a fourth time, in this occasion, with Arturo Tagliapietra. In 1917 while performing in Cuba, she fell ill and upon her return to New York, she died there on June 12, at the age of sixty- four. Her nickname, the "Walk?re of the Piano," summarizes something of the high energy that she brought not only to her playing and composing, but to life itself.


GAIL SMITH Pianist and composer Gail Smith was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut.She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Florida Atlantic University. She has taught piano students from the age of 3 to 99! Her blind student Ivan, was seen on national TV. Giving musical lectures by portraying the composer has been an effective way to reach audiences with the history of music. Gail has portrayed Marian MacDowell and Anna Magdalena Bach. She gives many workshops and concerts throughout the States as well as in Germany and Japan.For many years, Gail has been the pianist of the famed Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. She has been active in many organizations including National Music Chairman of the NLAPW and President of the local branch. She is a member of The Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge,National Music Teachers Association and Federation of Music Clubs.Gail?s works include many piano solos, choral works, a piano trio a composition for four pianist and numerous vocal solos. She has arranged hundreds of hymns, Indian melodies and folk tunes from many countries. Gail has composed twelve piano palindromes, which are her trademark. These unique solos can be played backwards as well as forwards and sound the same. Ms. Smith is the author of several books, among others: ?Four Centuries Of Women Composers?, ?The Life and Music of Amy Beach?, ?The Complete Book of Improvisation, Fills and Chord Progressions?,?The Complete Church Pianist?, ?Twelve Spirituals for Piano Solo?.

 
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