Helen McGraw



Competition Winner

Born: 1905 (Tacoma, Maryland)

Died: 1999

Pianist Helen McGraw (Chambers) was born in Tacoma, Maryland and studied for six years at the Peabody Conservatory studying with Alexander Sklarevski receiving a teacher's certificate in 1927, and an Artist's Diploma in 1030. She spent the summer of 1929 in Paris where she was a member of the master classes conducted by Alfred Cortot. She also studied at Ecole Normale under Madame Bascourret de Guiraldi.

She presented her New York debut recital under the auspices of the Naumburg Foundation on January 19, 1931 at Town Hall singing works by Brahms, Chopin, Scriabin, Debussy and Schumann.

Ms. McGraw was also a music educator and composer. Best known for playing lesser known repertoire, she performed in recitals and chamber music concerts in venues at the Peabody Conservatory, the National Gallery of Art, and the Phillips Gallery.

In the 1920s she studied in France and England and received an artist diploma from Peabody in 1930. In 1930 she was also a winner of the Naumburg Foundation competition.

Ms. McGraw held teaching positions at the Eastman School of Music and American University in Washington DC, among other places. She composed works for piano, voice and chamber ensembles, and she was active in numerous musical organizations: the Friday Morning Music Club and Baltimore Music Club.

Her collection is housed at the University of Maryland Piano Archives.


1930 Naumburg Competition

First Prize

Commissioned Works

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Naumburg Performances

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Recording Awards

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