Sophie-Carmen Eckhardt-Gramatté (1899-1974) was born on January 6. This marks the 50th year of her death. Born in Russia, Eckhardt-Gramatté lived across Europe before becoming a Canadian citizen later in her life. She was a composer as well as a virtuosic pianist and violinist. During her performing career she played with The Philadelphia Orchestra and The Chicago Symphony.

Though she studied privately with many teachers and spent time at the Paris Conservatory, she was largely a self-taught composer. Her works show her various interests in neoclassicism, serialism, and even use of jazz idioms. In general, her music is described as “dark, dense and dramatic, with forward drive.”

Eckhardt-Gramatté composed two symphonies. Have a listen to the first one below: