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date: 17 August 2019

Runcie, Constance Faunt Le Roy locked

  • Carol Neuls-Bates


(b Indianapolis, IN, Jan 15, 1836; d Winnetka, IL, May 17, 1911). American composer, pianist and writer . Runcie’s maternal grandfather was Robert Owen, and she grew up in New Harmony, Indiana. Her father, Robert Henry Faunt Le Roy, was an amateur flautist and composer; her mother, Jane Owen, was a pianist and harpist. In 1852, following her father’s death, Runcie went to Germany with her family for six years. Her initial plans were to study the piano and harp, but she turned to composition. In 1861 she married James Runcie, an Episcopalian minister in New Harmony, and after 1871 they lived in St Joseph, Missouri; they had two daughters and two sons.

It appears that Runcie was the first American woman to compose in large forms. She is credited with a symphony, a piano concerto, a violin concerto, an opera (The Prince of Asturia), chamber music and 50 songs, many to her own texts. Annie Louise Cary and William Mason praised her songs, of which the most widely sung were ...

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