Edward Alexander MacDowell (/mækˈduːəl/ mak- DOO -əl; January 15, 1860 â€“ January 28, 1908) was an American composer and pianist of the late Romantic period. Edward MacDowell was born in New York City to a musical family of Scottish and Irish ancestry. His maternal grandfather Edward Bunting worked for the New York Evening Mail, and his father Edward MacDowell, Sr. was a well-known wood engraver who had been born in Belfast, Ireland. Edward MacDowell spent summer holidays at his grandfather’s home in Donegal (Ireland) and credited this place as having inspired his early compositions. Edward MacDowell’s four brothers were remarkable in their own right: William (born 1862), Alexander Lee (1864–1934), Edward Charles (1868–1945) and Frank Hatton (1872-1941). Edward took piano lessons from Louis Moreau Gottschalk for two years, but considered the lessons unsatisfactory and thereafter learned on his own from Edward William Webb’s piano tutors (Howat, 2001, p. 12). He made his public debut as a pianist in December 1876 at age 16 with a performance of the Grieg Piano Concerto in New York’s Chickering Hall.
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