Hagan, Helen Eugenia
- David Metzer
(b Portsmouth, NH, Jan 10, 1893; d New York, March 6, 1964). American composer and pianist. She attended the Yale University School of Music (1906–12), studying composition with Horatio Parker. After graduation (BMus), she performed her Piano Concerto with the New Haven SO. A Yale fellowship enabled her to study with d’Indy and Selva at the Schola Cantorum in Paris. Having briefly pursued a performing career, she turned to education and became head of the music department at the George Peabody College for Teachers. Her one-movement concerto in C minor, one of the earliest extant works in the genre by a black American woman composer, adheres to the Lisztian tradition, featuring a virtuoso solo part and fluid chromatic harmonies (an arrangement for two pianos is held at Yale University). Hagan’s other works included piano pieces and a violin sonata (before 1912), all lost. (GroveW...