Jean Coulthard

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Description:
Jean Coulthard, OC, OBC (February 10, 1908 - March 9, 2000) was a Canadian composer and music educator. She was part of a trio of women composers who dominated Western Canadian music in the twentieth century: Coulthard, Barbara Pentland, and Violet Archer. All three died within weeks of each other in 2000. Her own work might be loosely termed "prematurely neo-Romantic", as the orthodox serialists who dominated academic musical life in North America during the 1950s and 1960s had little use for her. Some of her well-known compositions include Cradle Song, Threnody, Canadian Fantasy, Ballade "A Winter's Tale" and her opera Return of the Native.

Life and career

Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Coulthard was the daughter of Jean Blake Robinson Coulthard, a prominent and influential music teacher in Vancouver. Through her mother she received her earliest musical training and was introduced at an early age to the work of French composers like Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel, both of whom were life-long influences. From 1924-1928 she studied the piano with Jan Cherniavsky and music theory with Frederick Chubb. A scholarship from the Vancouver Woman's Musical Club enabled her to pursue studies at the Royal College of Music in 1928-1929 where she was a pupil of Kathleen Long, R.O. Morris, and Ralph Vaughan Williams. She later studied at various points in her artistic career with such great composers as Béla Bartók, Aaron Copland, and Arnold...
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