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date: 22 August 2019

Coolidge, Elizabeth (Penn) Spraguelocked

  • Gustave Reese
  • , revised by Cyrilla Barr


(b Chicago, Oct 30, 1864; d Cambridge, MA, Nov 4, 1953). American patron of music. Her maiden name was Sprague and on 12 November 1891 she married Frederic Shurtleff Coolidge at Chicago. The Berkshire festivals of chamber music, held under her patronage at Pittsfield, Massachusetts, were begun in autumn 1918 as the South Mountain Chamber Music Festival. As an outgrowth of the festivals she created the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Foundation in 1925 at the Library of Congress by placing in trust a large sum of money, the income of which is paid to the library. The trust was intended, among other things, to enable the Music Division of the library to conduct music festivals, to give concerts, to offer and award a prize or prizes for any original composition or compositions performed in public for the first time at any festival or concert given under the auspices of the library, and to further the purposes of musicology through the music division of the library. Among the works that have resulted from commissions by the foundation are Copland's ...

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Journal of Musicology
The New Grove Dictionary of American Music
Dictionary of American Biography (New York, 1928-37, suppls., 1944-)