Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Karen A. Shaffer  

Pen Name: None

Genre: C:ADULT C:CHILD C:YA Non-Fiction



Illinois Connection

My subject is the first great American violinist Maud Powell (1867-1920) who was born in Peru, Illinois, and grew up in Aurora, Illinois, studied in Chicago and toured throughout the world. She performed frequently in Illinois as a recitalist and as soloist with the Theodore Thomas Orchestra and the Chicago Orchestra, conducted by Theodore Thomas and Frederick Stock. She pioneered the violin recital in America. She was a pivotal figure in the development of classical music in America and a strong advocate for women in music. She introduced the Tchaikovsky, Dvorak and Sibelius violin concertos to American audiences and won international acclaim for her artistry, ranking with the greatest violinists of her day. She was the first instrumentalist to record for Victor's Red Seal label (the Celebrity artist series). Her life and art are inspirations for young people today.

Biographical and Professional Information

I am the founder and president of The Maud Powell Society for Music and Education, devoted to preserving the legacy of the pioneering American violinist Maud Powell and to writing women back into music history through our online magazine ''Signature, Women in Music''.Shaffer was also responsible for the music compulation and introductory notes of the first volume of the four volume set - ''Maud Powell Favorites''. The set was edited by Rachel Barton Pine and published in 2009 by The Maud Powell Society for Music and Education. All of the books listed here can also be ordered from the The Maud Powell Society for Music and Education web site at [].

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