Myra Hess

Biography

Born: February 25, 1890; London, England   Died: November 25, 1965; London, England  
Dame Myra Hess was one of the best-known and most beloved of British pianists. She was a pupil of Julian Pascal and Orlando Morgan. At 12 she earned a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music and became a pupil of Tobias Matthay, whom she viewed as her primary teacher.

She debuted at the age of 17 in Beethoven's Fourth Concerto, with Thomas Beecham conducting. In a departure for pianists of her era she took a special interest in
Read more chamber music, including participating in a piano duo with her cousin Irene Scharrer. She toured Europe and the United States.

She was a warm person and well liked, particularly in English-speaking countries, and visited America frequently. Her reputation was particularly enhanced by her innovative and deeply appreciated venture during World War II, the National Gallery Concerts. Wartime blackouts closed the concert halls of London. In the meantime, the National Gallery in London had been emptied of its art treasures, which were sent to parts of the country less vulnerable to German bombing. It was Hess's idea to open the Gallery to the public for concerts every day during the lunch hours.

Londoners flocked to these informal concerts. Hess arranged concerts from solo recitals to full-scale orchestral and choral music. She personally appeared more than any other artist (never asking for a fee), and got some of the finest musicians of the country to appear there. She received her knighthood as a Dame of the British Empire for this service in 1942. The effort was seen as a major boost to morale, and it is said that when the artworks were returned to the Gallery in 1946, ending the musical series, that there was considerable disappointment.

In common with many artists she adopted a wide-ranging repertory, including much music of her time, when she was younger, but focused increasingly on the great classic masters in later years. Her playing was noted for both warmth and thoughtfulness. She made numerous transcriptions, of which one in particular, Bach's chorale prelude Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring from Cantata 147, has become an international favorite. Read less

There are 24 Myra Hess recordings available.

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Formats & Featured

Biography

Born: February 25, 1890; London, England   Died: November 25, 1965; London, England  
Dame Myra Hess was one of the best-known and most beloved of British pianists. She was a pupil of Julian Pascal and Orlando Morgan. At 12 she earned a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music and became a pupil of Tobias Matthay, whom she viewed as her primary teacher.

She debuted at the age of 17 in Beethoven's Fourth Concerto, with Thomas Beecham conducting. In a departure for pianists of her era she took a special interest in
Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
Schumann: Carnaval, Op.9 - 1. Préambule
Schumann: Carnaval, Op.9 - 2. Pierrot
Schumann: Carnaval, Op.9 - 3. Arlequin
Schumann: Carnaval, Op.9 - 4. Valse noble
Schumann: Carnaval, Op.9 - 5. Eusebius
Schumann: Carnaval, Op.9 - 6. Florestan
Schumann: Carnaval, Op.9 - 7. Coquette
Schumann: Carnaval, Op.9 - 8a. Réplique
Schumann: Carnaval, Op.9 - 9. Papillons
Schumann: Carnaval, Op.9 - 10. A.S.C.H.-S.C.H.A. (Lettres dansantes)
Schumann: Carnaval, Op.9 - 11. Chiarina
Schumann: Carnaval, Op.9 - 12. Chopin
Schumann: Carnaval, Op.9 - 13. Estrella
Schumann: Carnaval, Op.9 - 14. Reconnaissance
Schumann: Carnaval, Op.9 - 15. Pantalon et Colombine
Schumann: Carnaval, Op.9 - 16a. Valse Allemande
Schumann: Carnaval, Op.9 - 16c. Intermezzo: Paganini - Valse Allemande (reprise)
Schumann: Carnaval, Op.9 - 17. Aveu
Schumann: Carnaval, Op.9 - 18. Promenade
Schumann: Carnaval, Op.9 - 19. Pause
Schumann: Carnaval, Op.9 - 20. Marche des "Davidsbündler" contre les Philistins
Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op.54 - 1. Allegro affettuoso
Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op.54 - 2. Intermezzo (Andantino grazioso)
Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op.54 - 3. Allegro vivace
Schumann: Symphonic Studies, Op.13 - Theme
Schumann: Symphonic Studies, Op.13 - Etude I
Schumann: Symphonic Studies, Op.13 - Etude II
Schumann: Symphonic Studies, Op.13 - Etude III
Schumann: Symphonic Studies, Op.13 - Etude IV
Schumann: Symphonic Studies, Op.13 - Etude V
Schumann: Symphonic Studies, Op.13 - Etude VI
Schumann: Symphonic Studies, Op.13 - Etude VII
Schumann: Symphonic Studies, Op.13 - Etude VIII
Schumann: Symphonic Studies, Op.13 - Etude IX
Schumann: Symphonic Studies, Op.13 - Etude X
Schumann: Symphonic Studies, Op.13 - Etude XI
Schumann: Symphonic Studies, Op.13 - Etude XII (Finale)
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.30 in E, Op.109 - 1. Vivace, ma non troppo - Adagio espressivo - Tempo I
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.30 in E, Op.109 - 2. Prestissimo
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.30 in E, Op.109 - 3. Gesangvoll, mit innigster Empfindung (Andante molto cantabile ed espressivo)
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.31 in A flat, Op.110 - 1. Moderato cantabile molto espressivo
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.31 in A flat, Op.110 - 2. Allegro molto
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.31 in A flat, Op.110 - 3. Adagio ma non troppo - Fuga (Allegro ma non troppo)
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.31 in A flat, Op.110 - 4. Fuga (Allegro ma non troppo)
I. Allegro
II. Andante con moto
III. Scherzo. Presto - Poco meno presto
IV. Finale. Allegro giocoso


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