Teresa Carreño - Pianist, Singer, Composer, Conductor

Born in Caracas in 1853, Teresa Carreño was fortunate to be born into a musical family and receive instruction from Louis Moreau Gottschalk and Anton Rubinstein, fostering her talent as a young piano prodigy, and later as a singer, as well as a composer and conductor. Her career brought her all over the world, performing in the White House for President Lincoln, as well as several years spent in Berlin. Carreño died in New York City in 1917.

Her legacy lives on in the Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra, part of Venezuela’s El Sistema, where Gustavo Dudamel began his conducting career.

Her papers are held at Vassar College, and the finding aid includes a through biographical sketch. Other informational websites, like this one, are available to those who can read Spanish.

As I mentioned above, Carreño was known first as a piano prodigy. During her lifetime she was recorded on piano rolls, and thanks to the wonders of the digital age I can share one of her performances:

And here is an example of her compositional writing: