Stuart-Coolidge [Coolidge; Stuart], Peggy
- Catherine Parsons Smith
(b Swampscott, MA, July 19, 1913; d Cushing, ME, May 7, 1981). American composer. Privately educated, she studied the piano with Gebhard and composition with Raymond Robinson and Quincy Porter. Coolidge’s orchestral works were performed by the Boston Pops from the late 1930s; commissions included American Mosaic for the American Wind Symphony and The Blue Planet for the World Wildlife Fund. Her works were performed in Europe from 1963 and, on Khachaturian’s invitation, a concert of her music was presented by the USSR Union of Composers in Moscow in 1970. Coolidge was the first American to be honoured thus, and at the same time she was awarded the medal of the Soviet Union of Workers in Art. Coolidge’s music is skilfully orchestrated and accessible, with a distinctive style reminiscent of Gershwin and Copland. Her manuscripts and personal papers in the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.