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Encyclopedia > Harriet Cohen

Harriet Cohen (December 2, 1895 - November 13, 1967) was a British pianist.


She was born in London and studied piano at the Royal Academy of Music under Tobias Matthay. She became partiuclarly associated with contemporary British music, giving the world premiere of Ralph Vaughan Williams' Piano Concerto and recording Edward Elgar's Piano Quintet with the Stratton String Quartet under the composer's supervision. A number of composers wrote music specifically for her, particularly Arnold Bax (Cohen's lover) who wrote most of his piano pieces for her. This includes the music for David Lean's 1948 film version of Oliver Twist.


Cohen was made a CBE in 1938. She died in London.


  Results from FactBites:
 
BAX: Winter Legends; A Mountain Mood; A Hill Tune; Viola Sonata — Harriet Cohen, piano/ William Primrose, viola/ BBC ... (741 words)
As much a social as a musical document, this disc attests to the artistic as well as romantic liaison between pianist Harriet Cohen (1985-1967) and composer Arnold Bax, who abandoned his wife and children to engage, during WWI, in an extended love affair with Tobias Matthay pupil Cohen, who was some thirteen years his junior.
After Cohen injured her right wrist in 1948, Bax wrote a left-hand concerto for her with which she enjoyed some success at the Proms concerts of the early 1950's.
For those unfamiliar with Harriet Cohen's musicianship, the scherzo is proof enough of her capacity for unbuttoned ensemble playing.
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