Music and the Moderns: The Life and Works of Carol Robinson

This biography of Carol Robinson (1889-1979) presents the life of a serious American pianist within the larger context of American intellectual life in the first decades of the twentieth century. An active participant in the avant-garde, Robinson established close ties with literati Margaret Anderson and Jane Heap of The Little Review; with artist Pavel Tchelichev and architect Frank Lloyd Wright; with dancers Elizabeth Delza and Henri; with composers George Antheil, Bohuslav Martinu, and Henry Cowell; and with the spiritual leader Georgi Gurdjieff. The author considers Robinson's life as a pianist and teacher as well as the larger issues raised by her choice of pianistic repertory, by her own compositions, and by the music manuscripts composers gave her (Antheil sent his Jazz Sonata; Martinu, the little gem Par T.S.F.; and Ives, his Sonata No.3 for Piano and Violin). The book is intended for those interested in America's intellectual life in the twentieth century and for scholars concerned with the dissemination of contemporary music literature. To that end, an appendix lists Robinson's extensive repertory with dates and places where each work was performed. Robinson's works in score are also included. Illustrated, with selected bibliography.