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Teresa Carreño (1853-1917)

The time is long overdue that we re-discover this unusual talent and extraordinary musician. Her motto was: “Music is the very essence of living. Making music is as easy as picking flowers and as rewarding. You can do it as well as I if you try hard enough”.

María Teresa Carreño García de Sena, child prodigy, pianist, singer, composer, and conductor was born in Caracas, Venezuela on December 22, 1853 and died, by then an American citizen, on June 12, 1917 in New York City.

Teresa’s parents gave up their life in Venezuela in order to give their young daughter a first-class music education by moving to the United States and then to Europe. Their sacrifice paid off. Teresa started concertizing at the very early age of 8 and was the breadwinner of the family for many years.

Besides her musical career, Teresa had a robust family life with 4 husbands and 6 children. She spoke 5 languages and traveled the world extensively.  

During her lifetime she would meet most of the important contemporary composers such as Franz Liszt, Gioachino Rossini, Camille Saint-Saëns, Charles Gounod, Hector Berlioz and Gustav Mahler. Two composers who had the most important influence in Teresa’s music education were Louis Moreau Gottschalk and Anton Rubinstein. They became mentors and lifelong friends.

Today we present a program with several of her compositions along with works by her famous contemporaries.

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