Kessler, Minuetta

Minuetta Kessler (born Schumiatcher). Composer, pianist, educator, born Gomel, Russia, 5 Sep 1914, naturalized Canadian 19??, naturalized US ca 1940, died Belmont, Mass 30 Nov 2002. She was brought to Canada as a child and first performed her compositions in public at five.

Kessler, Minuetta

Minuetta Kessler (born Schumiatcher). Composer, pianist, educator, born Gomel, Russia, 5 Sep 1914, naturalized Canadian 19??, naturalized US ca 1940, died Belmont, Mass 30 Nov 2002. She was brought to Canada as a child and first performed her compositions in public at five. Her piano teachers included Gladys Egbert in Calgary and Ernest Hutcheson and Ania Dorfmann at the Juilliard School, where she also studied composition with Ivan Langstroth. After graduating in 1934, she did post-graduate studies to 1936 and also taught at Juilliard for several years. She made a Town Hall debut in 1945. Her New York Suite and Ballet Sonatina won CAPAC awards in 1945 and 1946. She premiered her Alberta Concerto (20 Nov 1947) on CBC radio and played the work with orchestras in Boston, Calgary, Montreal, Quebec City, Regina, and Toronto. She repeated it for Calgary's centennial celebrations in June 1975, with the Century Calgary Symphony Orchestra.

In 1952 Kessler moved to Cambridge, Mass, and in 1953 to Belmont Mass, but she has maintained close ties to Canada through frequent visits. She founded the New England Jewish Music Forum in 1958, and was president of the New England Pianoforte Teachers' Association 1965-7 and of the Massachusetts Music Teachers Association 1979-81. As a recitalist Kessler has been heard on CBC radio's 'Distinguished Artists' and 'Masters of the Keyboard' and on WNYC radio, New York. She is featured on two recordings of her works, Music for Solo Instruments (1978, AFKA SK-288) and Childhood Cameos (1981, AFKA SK-4663). In 1990 she continued to perform her own compositions.

Specializing in the teaching of very young children, Kessler has created a music teaching game, Staftonia (Belmont 1960), and has published Piano Is My Name (Belmont 1975), which employs a simplified notational system, 'Dash-a-Notes'. She has conducted lectures, workshops and courses for teachers, and has contributed articles to The American Music Teacher, the Christian Science Monitor, Clavier, Massachusetts Music News, Piano Guild Notes, and other periodicals.

Selected Compositions

New York Suite. 1944. Pf, orch (piano solo). Ms

Childhood Cameos. 1944-5. V, piano. 1981. AFKA SK-4663 (Paterson soprano, Oliver bar, Kessler piano)

Ballet Sonatina. 1945. Pf. Ms. AFKA SK-288 (Kessler)

Alberta Concerto. 1947. Pf, orch. Transcontinental Music 1947

Etude Brilliante. 1948. Pf. Self-publ 1948. Transcontinental Music 1973

Confirmation Prayer. 1956. V, organ (piano). Transcontinental Music 1957

Sonata Concertante. 1957. Vn, piano. Ms. AFKA SK-288 (Speaker violin, Kessler piano)

Peace and Brotherhood through Music, cantata (Kessler). 1960. Soli, SATB, piano (organ). Transcontinental Music 1967

Kiddy City, children's operetta (Kessler). 1961. Ms

Hear My Prayer (Bible). 1967. SATB. Transcontinental Music 1967

Victory Hora (Kessler, transl Hebrew N. Glatzer). 1967. SATB, piano. Transcontinental Music 1973

Lake O'Hara Fantasy. 1978. Ob, piano. Ms. AFKA SK-288 (Morehead oboe, Kessler piano)

Sonata. 1978. Cl, piano. Roncorp 1986. AFKA SK-288 (Wrzesian clarinet, Kessler piano)

Lake McArthur Fantasy. 1978. Ob, clarinet. Ms

String Quartet No 1. 1981. Ms

Trio No. 2. 1985. Cl, violoncello, piano. Ms

Many other works for piano, several published by Music Resources, Willis, including the books Savory Suite (1980), Cat 'n Mouse Tails, Playful Squirrels, and A Day in the Park (all 1981), four books published by Boston Music Easy Piano Pieces (1978), The Improper Grasshopper (1980), My Toys (1982), and Come to the Circus! (1984); and Jewish Easy Piano Pieces (Transcontinental 1981); also other works for voice, some published by Music Resources, and for choir