Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Alma Moodie

Alma Moodie (Alma Templeton Moodie) was a Scottish (some would say Australian) violinist and teacher born on September 12, 1898 (Stravinsky was 16 years old.) She is remembered for never having recorded and for being the favorite pupil of Carl Flesch. She was a highly successful concert violinist of the early twentieth century who dropped from public view and who today is even omitted from the most popular music dictionaries. She initially studied with her mother. By age 5, however, she had a private violin tutor (Louis D'Hage) in Rockhampton, Australia, which is where she was probably born (sources differ.) By age 6, she was playing in public and by age 9. she was studying with Oskar Back at the conservatory in Brussels, Belgium. In 1919, she began studying with Carl Flesch. By 1922, she was playing ten concerts per month throughout Europe and elsewhere. She premiered several works by important composers of that era - Krenek, Pfitzner, Atterberg, and Stravinsky, among others. Many other works were also dedicated to her. After her marriage in 1927, her schedule became less hectic. She settled in Cologne and taught at the Hoch Conservatory (Frankfurt) for a time. Musical luminaries, including Leopold Auer and Arthur Nikisch, spoke highly of her. She never returned to her native Australia. She also became addicted to alcohol and sleeping pills. On March 7, 1943, Moodie died (from some type of thrombosis), at age 44. Some say she committed suicide.

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