Peggy Stuart Coolidge

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Peggy Stuart Coolidge. (b. Swampscott, MA, 19 July 1913; d. Cushing, ME, 7 May 1981). American pianist, composer, and conductor. She studied composition privately with Raymond Robinson, then head of Boston University's music department, and Quincy Porter of the New England Conservatory ; she studied piano with Heinrich Gebhard. She began piano lessons at age 5 and wrote her first composition at age 9. Her first career ambition was to be a concert pianist; her earliest compositions were all for that instrument. In 1937 she composed the first known ballet music for ice skating, Cracked Ice, for the Boston Skating Club . It was later orchestrated by Ferde Grofé and was performed in Boston by the Boston Pops and in Madison Square Garden . A number of her compositions were premiered by the Boston Pops Orchestra under Arthur Fiedler including Night Froth, The Island, Smoke Drift, and Twilight City . In 1952 she married writer and editor Joseph R. Coolidge . They collaborated on a number of projects including a set of children's stories with accompanying music and songs. In 1963 she was invited to Vienna and Budapest for performances of her music; she was similarly invited to Moscow and Warsaw in 1965. Her music continued to be performed in Europe during her career. She also had a performance of her music in Tokyo when she visited there in 1967. While in Moscow the Coolidges met and established a friendship with composer Aram Khachaturian and his wife. Upon Khachaturian's recommendation she submitted some of her best compositions for consideration by the Union of Soviet Composers ; upon return to Moscow in 1970 she discovered that all of her compositions had been accepted and a concert made up entirely of her music scheduled. She was the first American to be accorded this honor and, at the same time, she was awarded the medal of the Soviet Union of Workers in Art. In 1976 Vox Publications released a record album, titled American Reflections, composed entirely of Peggy Stuart Coolidge's symphonic works. She was the first American woman composer of symphonic music to be recognized in this way. Of the important commissions she received were those from the American Wind Symphony for her American Mosaic in 1978, and from the World Wildlife Fund for her The Blue Planet, a piece that was first performed at the International Congress of the World Wildlife Fund in Bonn in 1972 and later became the musical motto for the organization. She was involved with several film projects: she composed a film score for The Silken Affair (starring David Niven), incidental and song music for Red Roses for Me, and songs for a proposed pilot of a TV show.

From the guide to the Collection of musical scores, 1924-1981, (Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, Harvard College Library)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Collection of musical scores, 1924-1981 Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, Harvard College Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Al Stillman. person
associatedWith Arthur Newman. person
associatedWith Carl Deis. person
associatedWith Carl Sigman. person
associatedWith Charles W. Homeyer & Co. corporateBody
associatedWith Emily Dickinson. person
associatedWith Ferde Grofé person
associatedWith Frank Hunter person
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associatedWith Gyulai-Gaál János person
associatedWith Henri Contet person
associatedWith Hershy Kay. person
associatedWith Jerry Stevens person
associatedWith Joseph Coolidge. person
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associatedWith Junior League Orchestra corporateBody
associatedWith Lilian Boit. person
associatedWith Lillian Boit. person
associatedWith Louis Jean Brunelli person
associatedWith Mary Arden person
associatedWith Nancy Andrews. person
associatedWith Pamela Baker. person
associatedWith Pat Young. person
associatedWith Paul Sterrett person
associatedWith Peggy Stuart Coolidge's person
associatedWith Portia Nelson. person
associatedWith Richard Hayman. person
associatedWith Rick French. person
associatedWith Rod Warren person
associatedWith Southern Music Publishing Co. Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Stan Rhodes. person
associatedWith The Boston Music Company corporateBody
associatedWith The Vincent Club. corporateBody
associatedWith Torch Publications. corporateBody
associatedWith Vera Dulova. person
associatedWith Vincent Club Revue corporateBody
associatedWith Warren, Rod person
associatedWith Wentworth Music Co. corporateBody
associatedWith World Wildlife Fund. corporateBody
associatedWith Yoichi Hiraoka. person
associatedWith Young, Pat person
Place Name Admin Code Country


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Ark ID: w63914nd

SNAC ID: 61458444