…from Rachel Barton Pine
On Saturday, January 25, 2014, my hero, violinist Maud Powell (1867–1920), became the first female instrumentalist
of any genre to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the GRAMMYs. This year’s other awardees included the
Beatles and the Isley Brothers. Maud Powell became only the fourth violinist to have received this prestigious award
(the others were Jascha Heifetz, Isaac Stern, and Itzhak Perlman).
I was honored to share the stage with Karen Shaffer, Maud Powell’s biographer and president of the Maud Powell Society,
to accept the award on Maud’s behalf. It was a thrill to attend both the Lifetime Achievement Awards and the GRAMMY
Awards. You can find my GRAMMY speech below.
Here are some links for you to enjoy:
The official website of the Maud Powell Society
The official tribute to Maud Powell on Grammy.com
NPR’s Weekend Edition
Nearly a century after her death, Maud Powell finally receives a Grammy
My heroine Maud Powell by Rachel Barton Pine
Violinist.com’s report on the road to Maud Powell’s GRAMMY, by Karen Shaffer
Red carpet photos and more from the January 25 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awards and the January 26 Grammy Awards
My Violin Adventures podcast episode about Maud Powell and the Maud Powell Society
My Violin Adventures podcast episodes about my album “American Virtuosa: Tribute to Maud Powell”
The Chicago Symphony’s tribute to Maud Powell
RECORDINGS OF MAUD POWELL’S MUSIC
Maud Powell’s remastered recordings on Naxos –
My Maud Powell tribute album — American Virtuosa: Tribute to Maud Powell
MAUD POWELL’S SHEET MUSIC
Karen Shaffer of the Maud Powell Society prepared this meticulously researched compilation of all of Maud Powell’s own
transcriptions, works dedicated to her, her cadenza to the Brahms Concerto and more. I served as Music Editor for the
The collection includes such favorite as Deep River, Boccherini’s Minuet, and Dvorak’s Humoresque, as well as numerous
exciting discoveries. Purchase “Maud Powell Favorites” here — a treasure trove that should be in every violinist’s
RACHEL BARTON PINE’S SPEECH AT THE 56TH ANNUAL GRAMMY LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS
I’d like to express my gratitude to Karen Shaffer for her incredible dedication and efforts to preserve and promote the
legacy of this extraordinary artist who, as I realized about an hour ago, is the only female being honored tonight.
Nearly 20 years ago, I discovered Maud Powell through the fascinating biography Karen had written. Maud Powell was
recognized as America’s greatest violinist and one of the pre-eminent musicians in the world at the turn of the last
In 1904, Maud became the first instrumentalist to record for the Victor Red Seal label (now RCA Red Seal), making more
than 100 acoustic recordings before her untimely death in 1920. She was so popular that people throughout America
bought the recently invented phonograph just to hear Maud’s music. She was the first woman to dare to lead a quartet
with men as the other members and the first white instrumentalist to champion works by composers of African descent.
I discovered that Maud Powell’s legacy has left a profound impact on all of today’s American classical artists. The leading
industry publication of her time called her “long one of the most powerful forces for the advancement of music in America.”
Maud Powell educated a nation that rarely had access to high quality concert performances. She famously said that
popular music was familiar music, and that if classical became more familiar it would become more popular, and she
definitely proved this to be true.
Maud Powell’s story resonates powerfully for me and I’ve tried to model my career in music around Maud and the
example she set:
—By performing music by deserving composers, both well-known and lesser known,
—By introducing classical music to new audiences across the country,
—By embracing the latest technology to spread great art to listeners everywhere,
—And by educating and encouraging the next generation of young artists.
Despite living long before the creation of the Recording Academy (and even before the introduction of the electric
microphone), Maud Powell embodied the mission of the Recording Academy – to positively impact the lives of musicians,
of industry members, and of our society at large.
Thank you very much for this great honor.