Her Life and Works in the Public Eye
Anthony Bilton [+–]
UK. However, throughout his career he maintained his keen interest in music (sparked by his teacher, the organist at Beverley Minster), both playing and researching. Two
particular strands to his musical life – his research into Romantic piano concertos and
his exploration of Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel’s music – led Anthony Bilton to Dora Bright’s piano concerto and thence to this biography, which will offer the first full-length study of Bright’s inspirational life and work.
Dora Bright was a ‘stage star’ before the term ‘star’ had even been invented. After a successful period at the Royal Academy of Music, reports of her ability circulated the globe from America, across Europe and as far as Australia. She became known as one of the finest pianists of her generation and was the first woman to be invited to perform at a Philharmonic Society concert in 1892, where she performed her newly composed Fantasia No. 2. A woman of considerable determination and stamina, she was at the forefront of the English Musical Renaissance at the turn of the twentieth century, and an avid supporter of the music of her friends and colleagues. Marriage did not prevent her from performing and composing, but the death of her husband made her turn away from public view for a time as she mourned his loss. Returning to the stage, she became friends with Adeline Genée, and together they returned English ballet to the centre of London Theatre, and were key to the creation of the Royal Academy of Dancing. This book takes the reader from the arrival of Dora Bright’s grandfather in Sheffield in 1769 through to her death in 1951 providing, through a rich variety of archival materials, a public perspective on the life of this important, but now little-known, musician and composer.
Series: Women in Music