Rockefeller, Martha Baird
- Gary Galván
(b Madera, CA, March 15, 1895; d New York, NY, Jan 24, 1971). American concert pianist and philanthropist. The daughter of merchant William Baird and music teacher Mina A. Smith, she studied with Morton Mason and made her debut on stage in 1903 at the University of California’s College of Music. She attended Occidental College in Los Angeles and the New England Conservatory of Music. She won the annual piano competition at the conservatory her senior year and embarked on a solo career with a repertoire comprising a mix of older works by Johannes Brahms, Fryderyk Chopin, Jean-Philippe Rameau, and Alessandro Scarlatti and modern works by Claude Debussy, Manuel de Falla, Vincent d’Indy, Charles Griffes, and Erik Satie. She toured the United States and Europe under her maiden name, despite a brief marriage to importer Adrian van Laar (whom she divorced). In 1930 she married Arthur M. Allen, a Rhode Island attorney, and soon retired from the stage. In ...