Maud Powell and Sibelius: how the violinist championed the composer's Violin Concerto

MP at home Gramercy Park with Sibelius photo on wall 1917

Violin virtuoso Maud Powell was the first American performer to recognise and champion the genius of Sibelius’s epic Violin Concerto in D minor, in spite of the initial scepticism of some US critics. Karen A. Shaffer reveals the mutual respect and friendship that made it possible

While chatting with Eugene and Lilien Weintraub on a cold, rainy day in the autumn of 1936, Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) recalled the time he met American violinist Maud Powell in Norfolk, Connecticut, in 1914. The Finnish composer and his wife Aino received these American visitors at their home in Järvenpäa with kindness, enjoying an afternoon of genial conversation…

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