Urso, Camilla, 1842-1902

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French violinist, Born Nantes, France 1842, died New York, 1902. She was a child prodigy. Admitted to the Paris Conservatory at age seven where she took first prizes in all her subjects. Came to the U.S. in 1852 and made her debut in New York at age 10. She performed all over the world and was noted for her performances of Beethoven and Mendelssohn concertos. She was an outspoken advocate for equality for women.

From the description of Letter to Mr. Phillips, n.y. September 16. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 57620894

Camilla Urso (born 1842 in Nantes, France; died 1902 in New York City) was the daughter of an Italian flutist and a Portuguese singer. She began taking violin lessons at age six. After a successful recital a year later, the Urso family moved to Paris where Camilla was the first girl admitted to the Paris Conservatoire. By age ten she had performed in Switzerland, Germany, and France and graduated with first prize in the final examinations. She debuted in New York City in Sept. 1852 and gave concerts in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. In 1853 she gave a series of concerts throughout New England with the Germania Musical Society. She did not appear again publicly until 1863, when she performed with the Philharmonic Society in Boston and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. After 1864 she toured with her own concert company, returning to Paris in 1865 and performing in Australia in 1879 and 1894, Brazil and Argentina in 1880, and South Africa in 1895. After settling permanently in New York City in 1895 she continued to tour regularly in the U.S. and abroad while teaching violin privately and at the National Conservatory. She became one of America's foremost performers and music educators, as well as a spokesperson for the cause of women orchestral players, working with the Women's String Orchestra from 1895 until her death in 1902.

From the description of Camilla Urso collection, 1892-1969. (Claremont Colleges Library). WorldCat record id: 703177834

Biography of Camilla Urso

Camilla Urso (born 1842, Nantes, France died 1902, New York, N.Y., U.S.A.) was the daughter of an Italian flutist and a Portuguese singer. Urso began taking violin lessons when she was six years old, though orchestral instruments were only played by boys and men at the time. After a successful recital a year later, the Urso family moved to Paris where Camilla Urso was the first girl to be admitted to the Paris Conservatoire. By the age of ten, she had already performed in Switzerland, Germany, and France, and graduated with first prize in the final examinations. She made her debut in New York City in September 1852 and gave concerts in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. In 1853 she gave a series of concerts throughout New England with the Germania Musical Society. She did not appear again publicly until 1863, when she performed with the Philharmonic Society in Boston, and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. After 1864, Urso toured with her own concert company, returning to Paris in 1865, and performing in Australia in 1879 and 1894, Brazil and Argentina in 1880, and South Africa in 1895. After settling in New York City in 1895 she continued to tour regularly in the United States and abroad while teaching violin privately and at the National Conservatory. She was asknowledged one of the preeminent violinists of the day and became one of America's foremost performers and music educators, as well as a spokesperson for the cause of women as orchestral players, working with the Women's String Orchestra from 1895 until her death. She died of appendicitis in New York City on january 20, 1902.

From the guide to the Camilla Urso Collection, 1892-1969, (Libraries of the Claremont Colleges. Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Collection of autographs, [ca. 1797 to ca. 1915] Brown University, John Hay Library
creatorOf Camilla Urso Collection, 1892-1969 Libraries of the Claremont Colleges. Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library.
referencedIn Houseworth's Celebrities: Theater Portraits [graphic], ca. 1875-1885 Bancroft Library
referencedIn Photographs of theatrical performers, 1862-1982. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
creatorOf Ward, Lydia Avery Coonley, 1845-1924. Autographs collected and letters received by Lydia Avery Coonley Ward, 1705, 1785, 1848, 1861-1922 (bulk 1861-1922). University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Urso, Camilla, 1842-1902. Letter to Mr. Phillips, n.y. September 16. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Urso, Camilla, 1842-1902. [Programmes]. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Urso, Camilla, 1842-1902. Camilla Urso collection, 1892-1969. The Claremont Colleges, Claremont University Consortium
referencedIn Edward Webster McGlenen papers, 1857-1937 (inclusive), 1857-1890 (bulk). Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
Role Title Holding Repository
Place Name Admin Code Country
California--San Francisco
Subject
Music
Women violinists
Violinists
Music festivals
Women musicians
Musicians
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1842-06-13

Death 1902-01-20

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