Marion Bauer (1882-1955) was born in Washington state the youngest of seven children to working class immigrant parents. But even though resources were limited, the Bauers supported their daughter’s musical aptitude.
Though she studied extensively, including being the first American to study with Nadia Boulanger, Bauer never earned a formal degree for her music education. Luckily, that didn’t stop New York University from employing her—she was the first female faculty member in NYU’s music department, and taught there from 1926-1951. She lectured at Columbia and Juilliard as well, all while composing extensively. Bauer was also actively involved in advocating for new music, was part of many composer societies and groups, and, with Amy Beach, helped found a Society for American Women Composers.
Her papers are housed at Mount Holyoke College.
Bauer’s wrote for large and small ensembles. Here is an example of her orchestral work, her Piano Concerto: