Lincoln Kerr (1892 - 1977)
Lincoln Kerr, American composer, violist and patroness of the arts,
was born April 24th, 1892 in Cleveland, Ohio, and died December
10th of 1977 in Cottonwood, AZ at her ranch. She was the daughter
of John C. Lincoln, who was an engineer and real estate tycoon.
Her mother, Myrtie, taught her to play the piano at age six, violin
at seven, and later learned to play viola. She studied violin in
Cleveland with Sol Marcosson, concertmaster and soloist with the
early Cleveland Symphony Orchestra. She attended Barnard College
in New York in 1910 where she studied music composition with two
prominent Columbia University professors: Cornelius Rubnor and Daniel
Gregory Mason. She left New York around 1913 in order to join the
early Cleveland Symphony Orchestra under the direction of her teacher
the famous Dutch violinist Christian Timmner. She was one of the
first two women to join that orchestra.
returned to New York to start her family and eventually came west
to Arizona for the health of one of her daughters. There she helped
to found the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, the Phoenix Chamber Music
Society, the Arizona Cello Society, and the Phoenix chapter of the
Monday Morning Musical. Kerr composed over one hundred works including:
symphonic tone poems, works for chamber orchestra, a violin concerto,
numerous piano pieces, vocal pieces, string quartets, piano quartets
and quintets, ballets and incidental music, and numerous duos for
piano and other instruments. The Phoenix Symphony as well as many
other symphonies performed her tone poem, "Enchanted Mesa"
written in 1948. Kerr's symphonic work "Arizona Profiles"
was commissioned for the dedication ceremonies for the Scottsdale
Center for the arts in 1968. Her Ballet, "Tableau Vivant,"
was performed for the Dedication of the Waddell Sculptures entitled
"Dance" at Phoenix Symphony Hall in 1974. Louise Lincoln
Kerr received an honorary Doctorate from ASU in 1977. She won several
awards in composition during her life.
Kerr donated her studio and manuscripts to Arizona State University
in Tempe. They are housed in the archives in Haydn Library. The
five piano and viola works included in this edition are the first
works by Kerr ever to be published. She is one of the finest Southwest
composers in the United States. Many of her works were inspired
by Impressionism. The Five Character Pieces for Viola and Piano
were not originally grouped together, but written as separate pieces.
These viola solos are perfect for the solo artist as well as advanced
students. The "Habanera," "Las Fatigas Del Querer,"
and "Berceuse" were all inspired by Spanish and French
Impressionists. The "Lament" is more German in harmonic
language. The "Toccata" is a brilliant through composed
fantasy. Each one is a gem that pleases both audiences and musicians