Marguerite Long, the most important French woman pianist of the twentieth century, left an indelible stamp on a whole epoch of musical life in Paris with her personality, artistry, and achievement. She was a virtuoso performer as well as a tireless and demanding pedagogue. Long worked so closely with composers Debussy, Faure, and Ravel that her performances of their works, many of them written for or dedicated to her, became the authoritative interpretations.
Long was married in 1906 to the eminent musicologist Joseph de Marliave, who was a close associate of Faure. Marliave was killed in battle at the start of World War I just twelve days after joining the army. After his death Long left the concert stage for a few years, spending the time studying in seclusion. When she returned to public life, she pursued her career with increased intensity.
Long had been appointed Professor at the Paris Conservatoire in 1906. In 1920 she became the first woman at that institution to teach a Classe Superieure, a position she resigned in 1940. In 1943, she and violinist Jacques Thibaud founded the competition that bears both their names and is still a prestigious event today. In the years following World War II, her weekly master classes attracted pianists from around the world. Long also toured extensively and was repeatedly honored at home and abroad for her role as ambassador of French music.
For this first biography of the "Grande Dame," Cecilia Dunoyer draws on previously unpublished original sources and interviews with numerous friends, colleagues, and pupils of Long. There is much for today's pianists to learn from Marguerite Long's high standards, and much to admire in her fierce devotion to furthering the careers of young artists.
"Cecilia Dunoyer has written a thoughtful and carefully researched work. Not only is her book crammed with information on French music, performers, and composers, it also is highly readable."- Piano & Keyboard "Cecilia Dunoyer's new book presents an engaging portrait of the woman once esteemed as the grande dame of French music." - Notes "It is a fascinating story from beginning to end ... " - American Music Teacher "Dunoyer's thorough, accurate, well-written biography is the first of this important artist and, as such, worthy of many a music library's attention." - Booklist