Sophie-Carmen Eckhardt-GramattéSophie-Carmen Eckhardt-Gramatté, "Sonia," née Friedman, composer, pianist, violinist, teacher (b at Moscow? 6 Jan 1899; d at Stuttgart, West Germany 2 Dec 1974). Although most of her professional career was spent in Europe, she became a strong force in Canadian music from the time of her arrival in 1953 (with her husband, Dr Ferdinand Eckhardt, who had become director of the Winnipeg Art Gallery) until her death. As an 11-year-old prodigy she gave recitals on the violin and piano in Paris, Geneva and Berlin, and by age 13 had several small pieces published in Paris.
Her concert career peaked in 1929 with performances in America, where she was championed by Leopold Stokowski. She next concentrated on composition, her style gradually evolving through the conservative influence of her instructor, Max Trapp, and through her 1939 move from Berlin to Vienna (neoclassicism and a modest bow to serialism). Her works written in Canada show an increasing emphasis on intervallic relationships (Bartok), metric organization and "basic note groups" (Webern). Many were commissioned, as wereWoodwind Quintet, Piano Trio, Duo Concertante for cello and piano, String Quartet No. 3, Symphony-Concerto for piano and orchestra and the Manitoba Symphony. Her name is memorialized in the Eckhardt-Gramatté National Competition for the Performance of Canadian Music held annually at Brandon, Manitoba.