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Dana Suesse: Musician, Composer, and Lyricist

by sarah - March 29th, 2014.
Filed under: festivals, repertoire, women composers, women's history month. Tagged as: .

Dana Suesse (1909-1987), born in Kansas City, Montana, was a child vaudeville star who eventually left the circuit and moved to New York with her mother when she was just seventeen.  There she began to compose larger works and made a name for herself.  Among her more famous compositions are “My Silent Love” and “You Ought To Be in Pictures.”

She studied piano and composition formally, including with Nadia Boulanger.  She was heavily commissioned, published, and performed in her time.  Throughout her career she was recognized widely for her talent and achievements, and was even invited to the White House by FDR.  Suesse composed until her death, and her works are still be remembered today.  Today exactly, in fact, as her Concerto in Three Rhythms (1933) was performed at the Women in Music Festival in Rochester.

Here is a great archival recording of Suesse performing Jazz Nocture (which later became “My Silent Love”):

And here is a taste of the piece heard in Rochester today:

 

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